So … having emotional intelligence (EI) means you have the ability to not only monitor other people's emotions (being empathetic) but you're also able to monitor your own. You can discriminate and label each emotion appropriately and use emotional information in order to guide your behavior and thoughts. Studies have shown that people with a higher EI have more potent leadership skills, greater mental health, and exemplary job performance.
But the curious thing? Most people don't know how to have a high EI. We just fly by the seat of our pants and feel entitled to our emotions, regardless of how we got to that emotional state.
Your thoughts lead to feelings.
Your feelings lead to actions.
Your actions produce your results.
Anger is a natural emotion and it alerts us to when something has violated “the natural order” of how we think things should go, whether it's someone arguing with you about something you know for a fact is truth or if a shopper has 20 items in a 10 item limit line. That emotion triggers a bodily reaction that is meant to motivate us to restore the balance of “right and wrong” … yet in order to do so effectively we must not only get angry for the right reason but express our anger appropriately.
This morning I got into a fight with my wonderful, caring boyfriend and we both inadvertently expressed our lack of EI today. Through misunderstanding, our need to be right, and (at least for me) lack of sleep we had an argument that escalated into anger and harsh words were spoken – which made it worse.
INTERESTING FACT: Anger in women is more likely triggered by their close relationships, especially when they feel let down by loved ones or that these people expect too much and give nothing in return.
Needless to say, we both have a high enough EI that we could work through it and past it quickly enough, but I wanted to share this with you as it inspired me to do some research on anger and how it affects your mind and body.
Anger induces stress on your body … And stress is a silent killer. It's amazing what it does to your body. I won't go into it much now, but if you have the time you should watch the documentary. Here's the YouTube for it:
Anywho … I couldn't stop thinking about how quickly things escalated and how it could have been avoided … And how it reinforced the knowledge that personal development is a MUST in order to have a higher EI!
But back to the subject at hand … I wanted to provide you with some information on anger – what it does to you and ways with which to deal.
One of the sites I found was a Reader's Digest one as well as a HowStuffWorks article (which I HIGHLY recommend you reading because it has so much more content than I am sharing in this post), but you can Google it and find tons on this subject!
What happens to our bodies when we get mad or angry?
— our rational frontal lobes shut down
— reflexive back areas of the brain take over
— left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated as the hormonal & cardiovascular responses kick in
— body pumps out cholesterol & catecholamines (which encourage fatty deposits to pile up in the heart & carotid arteries)
— “fight or flight” response buts blood flow to your stomach & diverts to your muscles (impacts intestinal-tract contractions and digestive secretions)
— cortisol hormonal surge (bumps oil production, leads to acne & other skin issues)
— if you're prone to frequent & prolonged eruptions of rage, it can be difficult to return to a relaxed state (over time can impact your immune system)
How to Deal With Anger
Retrain Your Brain
This is actually something I was learning at the Unleash the Power Within event by Tony Robbins I went to this past year in Dallas, and partly with what I've learned from T Harv Eker. Remember – thoughts lead to your feelings … so if you're feeling something you recognize is not a good emotion, challenge yourself to think of something else!
Or you can do cognitive restructuring (“thought stopping”), which is the process of identifying and disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Kind of the same thing … kind of. LOL!
Book An Appointment
Apparently there is such a thing as cognitive behavioral therapy. Basically you learn to spot anger triggers and control your reactions.
Deep breathing (or even just breathing exercises) help to slow your heart rate that the FOF reaction increased. Keep your mind focused on something that is NOT the source of your stress.
Sweat It Out!
Exercise has a TON of benefits, and when you're angry provides an outlet for the anger. Getting those feel-good brain chemicals will help, too! 😉
There is also the option of medication, but I'm always leery of this since our society focuses so much on masking the problem instead of fixing it. But there is this option, as well. I would just strongly suggest alternative methods first. And give them time. It takes almost a month of consistent work to form a habit.
You can find additional methods for controlling anger here.
If you're like me and enjoy working on yourself so you can be successful in all areas of life, be sure to check out the presentation below and learn how to train your brain for SUCCESS!
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