Understanding the anger process

Anger that we experience is a two-step process.

“The first step is feeling some kind of PAIN – be it emotional (eg: loneliness, loss, or rejection) or physical (eg: headache, or stomach-ache),” says Rachel Johnson, owner of Palomino Training Solutions. “This is the fuel of anger, like a can of petrol sitting there.”

The second part of anger is the TRIGGER, the match that sets the can of petrol on fire.

When the pain and the trigger collide, we become angry and our bodies prepare for fight or flight. Our hearts may beat faster, our pupils dilate, we breathe faster, our faces may redden, and our legs might turn to jelly – these are physical reactions.

We might also experience emotional reactions when we are angry. We often feel pain, the pain of being ignored or treated badly, or being misunderstood. Behaviourally we may swear, talk loudly, hit or break things, or call people names.

“It is important to identify and recognise your daily triggers that set the fuel on fire,” says Johnson. “Common triggers are when we feel ignored, taken advantage of, criticised or disrespected.”

Once we start getting into the habit of identifying our trigger thoughts, we will be able to see what underlies our angry thinking. Which is the first step in managing our anger better.

If you would like to learn more about managing your anger, join us at our upcoming 2019 public courses. They will be held on 3 September, 2 October or 1 November in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban and the cost is R2,295 ex vat per delegate. This one-day interactive course includes modules on: understanding the anger process; realising how anger affects your thinking; managing anger; and much more.

This course is also available as an onsite option at your work premises throughout SA (contact us for the very competitive prices) and also as an online (e-learning) option.

“Our aim is for delegates to leave our workshops feeling inspired and motivated, with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on tools that they are able to implement immediately,” says Johnson.

Palomino Training Solutions, which was established in 2006, offers over 150 training courses ranging from telephone etiquette, public speaking and business writing to conflict resolution, recruitment & selection and supervisory skills.

For more information, contact Rachel Johnson on 082-878-1164, email [email protected] or visit