Why it's no good to "see red"
I keep trying to understand some of the stories I’ve seen in the news lately.
Why were the lives of three college students in North Carolina taken in a dispute over a parking space?
What could possibly make a dad in Canton, Ohio, so angry at his wife that he would throw a coffee mug at her, missing her and killing their 2-month-old son?
Or, here in Louisville, Kentucky, how could one man’s road rage become so intense that he would take the life of another man he didn’t even know?
These lives are gone and families are shattered because individuals allowed anger to control their actions. Maybe those three angry people would give anything to be able to rewind time and change their behavior. I’d bet they are saying, “If only I had …”
Automatic, uncontrolled anger is a path to mental and physical destruction. It’s a deadly legacy handed down from generation to generation, and it must be addressed in multiple ways to help people break the cycle.
Help is available from therapists, school counselors, clergy, social workers and psychologists. Even just talking things out with a trusted friend or family member can provide perspective and change behavior the next time the same frustration triggers an angry response.
Learning to control anger before it controls you is important because anger can escalate quickly. Not learning how to keep it in check allows it to become more extreme and spiral out of control.
Chronic anger has been linked to many health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, headaches, digestive issues and even skin disorders. Angry outbursts also may lead to emotional and physical abuse, acts of violence and criminal behaviors that can have lifelong implications.
No matter what, no one can make you angry. Anger is your response and your choice. There are ways to keep anger from getting the best of you. Stop whatever you’re doing when you feel anger start to build up. Stop. Count to 10. Breathe deeply. Pray. Seek help.
Make a conscious decision not to allow your anger to get to the point where you harm your mental and physical health … or worse, someone else’s.