At the risk of over-stating the over-stated, we are living in unprecedented times.
Covid-19 has caused lockdown and we are alone, together. Hand washing, hand sanitiser, social distancing, self-isolating, key workers, PPE, flattening the curve, furloughing, Zoom and Houseparty are all part of a new narrative. The rhythm of our day-to-day lives has fundamentally changed.
The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a global recession and economic shockwaves are reverberating around the world. People are concerned about their income, jobs, health and futures. We will witness growing mental health problems and spikes in suicide rates. It is a time of very high job stress and, potentially, burnout for many of our key workers.
It is also an opportunity to ‘reset’ our lives. Many of us are already getting used to flexible working, working from home, home-schooling, home cooking, shopping for essentials, cleaner air, daily exercise, checking in regularly with family and friends on social media, and more downtime. Moving forwards, do we really want everything to revert back to the way it was? Reflecting on the lives we have been living means getting in touch with ourselves and deciding what is important to us. This is the very essence of anger management.
Anger management is not just for ‘angry people’, it’s for all of us. Let me explain. Anger management is a vehicle for understanding ourselves better – what makes us tick and how we feel. It works to navigate our lives in ways that suit us better, and it gives us clarity. I’m not sure what defines an ‘angry person’ given that we all feel angry at times. ‘Angry people’ are perceived as those who have uncontrollable tempers, who shout and scream and throw things. That includes a considerable portion of the population at one time or another. And what do those who don’t scream and shout do with their anger? It has to go somewhere; it doesn’t miraculously disappear.
My question here is:
Resetting implies that something needs to change, that all is not well, that there’s a problem. This is where tuning into our anger can help. Our anger tells us that “we need to take action to put something right. It gives us strength and energy, and motivates us to act” (NHS Inform, 2020). If we didn’t feel angry, we wouldn’t have the strength, energy or motivation to take action when things need to change.
So, anger is useful. It is transformative, a driving force, a feeling to be listened to and acted upon. It is also fascinating, especially when it offers us a key to our past to show us how past experiences continue to wreak havoc in the present. Anger can be out of control and it can be hidden. It can take lives and save them. Anger management is a skill to be embraced and we don’t have to be out of control for us to benefit from learning how to manage our anger.
Anger management will put you back in touch with yourself. When you have a better relationship with yourself, you will enjoy better relationships with those around you. Less conflict allows more time for happiness and calm.