From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Anger Revisited

We live in a society frought with violence. Recent incidents at high schools and multiple incidents over the past few years, heighten our awareness of the thin line that seems to exist between the expression of anger and the expression of violence. Obviously, the situation could get worse. But the more interesting question is, how can things improve?

Dr. Albert Ellis, renowned Psychologist, has spent his life teaching people how to deal more effectively with anger. Here are a few ideas which he espouses in over 500 articles and 50 books on the subject. They are readily available in local libraries and bookstores.

Most of us learned these irrational beliefs during childhood in our families, and they were reinforced for many years. Anger may have become an automatic response, but it is not necessarily a constructive response. As adults we have the choice of either maintaining our childish reactions (tantrums) or developing new ones. If we choose to adopt new ways of thinking, we may also learn to avoid more serious problems, such as getting inappropriately angry at work or in our personal lives.

Once anger gets started, it is difficult to control, it can get out of hand, and be totally consuming. Anger is also one of those contagious emotions which brings out hostility in others and can ruin otherwise good relationships. As an alternative, it may be better to focus on learning to communicate our negative reactions and feelings in non-aggressive ways.

Human beings have a tremendous capacity to change, to learn new ways of being, and to develop new skills. Anger does not have to rule your life and your emotions. Like any other bad habit, you can learn to control it if you wish.

ęCopyright, 1994, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated October 25, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.