Anger is a healthy and perfectly normal emotion
|Since stress and anger issues are a daily reality for law enforcement officers everywhere, PoliceOne's newest columnist, Dr. Dorothy McCoy, will first address anger related issues in her columns; how to control the situation at hand, and how to express anger in a healthy way ... without having a heart attack.
Anger is a healthy and perfectly normal human emotion. It can motivate us to take action, feel empowered or stand up for ourselves when we are being treated unfairly.
Rage is neither healthy nor normal. Furthermore, others do not react favorably to an enraged person. If you say, "I hurt," most people are inclined to listen to you, if you say, "I am enraged" they are disposed to remember an important appointment elsewhere. In fact, rage serves a purpose in personal and professional relationships ... it creates and maintains distance.
It is irrational for a habitually angry person to complain of being lonely when he has carefully preserved distance in his relationships. Anger intimidates. It is the "Make my day" approach to relationships. Both individuals in an intimate relationship must feel safe. Extreme anger does not promote a safe environment for warm and fuzzy emotions to develop. What if you are angry with supervisors and other officers at work? I would not expect that promotion either, if I were you.
The Angry Body
According to Dr. Redford Williams, author of Anger Kills, men (normally) who respond with anger to ordinary everyday occurrences are "four to seven times more likely to be dead of coronary disease and other causes by age 50" (CNN, Sean McMann, 1996). If one accepts this, then the survival odds are not good for consistently angry people. Dr. Williams suggests that the entire body is affected by anger, including cardiovascular, immune, digestive systems and other highly desirable and indispensable organs and systems.
The hormone noradrenaline seems to be, at least in part, the villain. It causes one’s blood vessels to decrease in diameter, blood is then diverted to muscles and one’s blood pressure shoots up to undesirable and potentially lethal levels.
Expressing Destructive Anger
All of these anger driven behaviors limit ones ability to establish and maintain good relationships, reach ones career goals and meet ones needs.
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