Most approaches to anger management are fatally flawed through seeing anger as bad and something to be controlled and avoided. People with ‘anger management issues’ may be referred on to psychobabble specialists like Dr Buddy Rydell (played in the film by Jack Nicholson, right) who treat anger as a mental health disorder rather than as a potentially healthy response to poor behaviour on the part of others.
The study of emotional intelligence suggests a different view.
Anger is good:
- It brings issues out into the open
- It gets you taken seriously
- It corrects poor behaviour
- It initiates change in others
- It fights injustice (think Martin Luther King)
- It protects you from manipulators
- It urges you to leave abusive relationships
- It forces you to define yourself and what you want
- It helps you towards self-respect
- It maintains boundaries between you and others
Rage is bad….
Myth 1. Anxiety is natural
Anxiety might be common but it isn’t natural. The fact that anxiety rates in present-day Africa and Asia are far lower than in the West points to this as does the fact that it is almost non-existent in so-called ‘primitive’ cultures. It is arousal that is natural and anxiety is largely exaggerated (and malignant) arousal. Anxiety disorders are created when thinking centres in the brain are allowed too much time to dwell on worry, perfectionism, guilt and other wrong thinking habits.
This post follows on from my earlier article Why Stress Does Not Exist.
It was Hans Selye who first coined the word ‘Stress’ in relation to non-specific illnesses. Contrary to popular myth, Selye did not say that ‘Stress’ caused illness. What he meant was that if the individual fails to adapt to adverse Life Events then a breakdown in body functions could occur. Examples of ‘bad’ life events include job loss, relationship breakdown, financial disaster, overwork and illness.
When I graduated as a psychotherapist in 1990 I had been taught a lot of things that were never any use in therapy – watching out for ‘transference issues’ was one of them. I had also not been taught a lot of things that I really needed to know but only found out later. So like most therapists I had to make it up as I went along. But now I have been doing it for 23 years I have learnt a few things I am going to share with you.
Here is my list of seven things that really do work.
Here is a television appearance by me on the Chicago Channel – Never Not Here. Interviewed by Richard Miller.
Despite the title I talk a about a lot more than Reverse Therapy: resilience, stress, how people get ill, the changing conditions of modern society, emotional intelligence and how it works, and the difference between Bodymind and the Conscious Mind.
I wrote in my last article my that ‘stress’ is a meaningless term.
When we say we are ‘ill with stress’ we mean that we have anxiety, depression, or something like chronic fatigue syndrome, all of which have solutions and on all of which I have written elsewhere.
When we say ‘I am stressed’ what we mean is that we are overwhelmed with life-problems. Which means that we lack resilience.
Resilience is what survivors and other successful people have. You won’t hear resilient people say ‘I am stressed‘. Instead they will say something like: ‘Life’s tough at the moment but I’m dealing with it’. That’s because these people know about the power of words – telling yourself that you are stressed can make you ill, while telling others that you are working on resilience will keep you well.
The stress word is about 90 years old and 30 years out of date.
Understanding why it is a meaningless word will help you get clarity on what ‘stress’ really means – and how to eliminate it from your life.