Sunday, 27 December 2015

Gift #444

Anger is a primary, natural emotion with functional survival value, which we all experience from time to time. The raised heart rate, blood pressure, and release of hormones prepare us physically for remedial action - which is either to fight or run away at top speed (fight or flight). Anger is a normal human emotion, a healthy one when it is expressed appropriately.

Anger is generally triggered by thoughts related to fairness: we feel angry when we think that others have treated us unfairly. Put differently, anger results from blaming others for our negative outcomes. As a result, when we feel angry, we feel like taking revenge to set the score straight. Anger, in other words, is an empowering emotion: we don't feel weak or low when we are angry; rather we feel strong and dominant.

But by blaming others for our outcomes, we have abdicated personal responsibility for controlling our emotional state. Because we are addicted to blaming others for our outcomes, we don't know how to begin taking personal responsibility for our happiness. Sadly, therefore, we never learn the single most important tool for maximizing happiness: managing one's attitudes.

Therefore, if we wish to maximize our happiness, the first step is to recognize that we need to retain the key to our happiness, and not hand it over to others by assertively expressing our anger and not aggressively demonstrating it.

Twinkle Thakkar ✨
Happiness and Health Coach

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