Is Rage Truly Addictive? A Brief History of Anger
Have you ever seen someone being mistreated, were you ever in an argument with someone who refused to listen to logic, or did you ever read something on the internet which made you fill up with rage until you exploded like a thermometer, all while making locomotive sounds? Well, if you have, then this article on quotes about anger issues is for you.
In our day and age, anger is one of the most commonplace emotions out there. That’s not to say that in the past we had fewer reasons to get angry. No, it’s just that today’s society makes frustration and stress commonplace. It’s rare to find individuals who don’t get angry at least once a day, and that’s beginning to be a problem. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Anger Through the Ages
Jim Butcher once wrote that “Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.”
One of the most basic emotions out there, anger is assumed to be felt by most living creatures. Both birds and mammals have the ability to feel the emotion, making it as primal a feeling as fear and curiosity. So, it’s only natural that anger has played a huge part in shaping our history.
We’re not only talking about rash decisions made in anger or impulsive leaders giving in to their base emotions. No, anger played a far bigger role than that. In fact, some cultures even revered those able to properly harness the emotion. The best example would be Vikings and their famed Berserker warriors.
These human behemoths fought in rage-infused trances, cutting down foe after foe, fueled by nothing by their anger. They were so fearsome that they inspired legends. And scholars have been speculating for over a thousand years as to the source of their hypnotic rage.
So far, the best theory they could come up with was that these warriors practiced some form of meditation which allowed them to enter a trance during which they lost conscious control over their actions. Allowing their subconscious to take over made it easier to kill indiscriminately without feeling any fear or pain.
However, as strangely romantic as the idea of a berserker warrior may seem, it also came with a few drawbacks. After all, Aristotle was right when he said that “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
For one, giving into anger on a regular basis leads to addiction. We’ll talk about that a bit later on. Moreover, their practices rendered these warriors socially impaired. They would suffer from reduced awareness, inhibitions, and critical thinking. After the trance passed, it was obvious that the berserkers had gone through some form of catharsis, as they experienced intense drowsiness and even exhaustion, often falling asleep right after the state dispelled.
Knock Knock Knockin’ on Anger’s Door
Nowadays, society doesn’t accept such forms of channeling one’s anger. As we’ve increased our quality of life, going berserk isn’t really an option anymore. So, people have to find different ways to handle their daily frustrations and stress. As it turns out, most of the ways which don’t include hugging a puppy or going to therapy are pretty dangerous and addictive.
Anger and Addiction
One of the best quotes about letting go of anger comes from none other than Yoda himself. The Jedi master was right when he said that “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” The bursts of adrenaline you get when filled with rage are as addictive as jumping out of a moving plane.
Yes, people who get addicted to anger are like most adrenaline junkies. They actively go out (or stay online) looking for situations which can trigger their anger. And the more often they do it, the more difficult it is to stop. Angry internet commenters are perhaps the best example.
But internet trolls are just a small subgroup. Those who watch reality shows for the drama, those who read news articles they know will get them angry, and those stemming from homes where yelling is a daily practice are all very easily addicted to getting angry.
Now that we know anger is addictive and that some upbringings will get you predisposed to addiction, let’s see why the emotion manages to turn into a monkey on your back. There are several reasons for that, and I will briefly comment on some of them below:
– Anger triggers your fight-or-flight response;
– It works just like adrenaline, caffeine, gambling, and even meth;
– It further destabilizes your ego.
First of all, anger directly interacts with the limbic system. The most primordial part of your brain, the limbic system is responsible for fear, desire, and the fight-or-flight response. That means that the same system which still partly remembers you getting chased by megafauna in the Australian outback (I don’t know your life) is being tricked into thinking that getting angry on a daily basis is just as important to your survival as not being gutted by a cassowary.
Next, just like most drugs, anger gives you comfort and familiarity. That is how they, the drugs, get you. They might feel uncomfortable at first but after repeated exposure, you start feeling like you’re meeting an old friend. And given the chaotic nature of the world we live in, a bit of comfort is all that some of us are looking for.
Finally, anger has a devastating effect on your ego. To fall into the trap of addictive substances, one must have at least some moderate issues with their ego. No perfectly stable and content person becomes an alcoholic, cocaine addict, or prescription pill abuser. Similarly, no truly happy and in-control person gets addicted to a daily dose of outrage and anger.
To get addicted, one needs something from which to run away. Mostly, these issues are daily stress, anxiety, insecurity, and weakness. Anger, like most drugs, works by giving you a sense of empowerment. It makes you forget about your worries and your strife.
I mean the- And while the temporary relief might seem blissful, all it does is tell your subconscious that you can’t function properly without the regular dosage.
Ways and Quotes to Control Your Anger
Some old Indian dude named Buddha once said that “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” So, if you already happened to grab onto the coal, how do you let go?
There are several ways to get over your anger addiction, but a couple of them are paramount. First of all, as cliche as it may sound, you have to admit to yourself that you have an issue. Next, you need to actively go about making changes in order to improve your emotional state. Once you’ve got these two nailed down, it’ll be way easier to get over the addiction.
Some of the things you can employ to help counter anger and frustration are:
– Therapy (particularly cognitive-behavioral);
– Relaxation exercises and meditation;
– Coping strategies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is best employed for specialized issues. The style of therapy works perfectly for addiction, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other afflictions which manifest concrete symptoms. This is owed to the fact that in CBT, disorders are approached head-on. Therapists who practice CBT know how to deal with each specific issue as quickly and effectively as possible.
CBT can also teach you relaxation exercises and meditation. For those of you hesitant to meditate, it’s worth mentioning that meditation is very easy to perform and anyone can do it. All it takes is being aware of your breathing and staying relaxed.
Finally, some coping strategies one can employ (a therapist can recommend which ones are best suited to your needs) are hugging animals (proved to work almost 100% of the time), talking to your loved ones about your issues, humor, and breaking your routine. Oh, and anger management therapy is always a good idea.
I hope that you’ve all learned something new from this blog post on quotes about anger issues. I also hope that you don’t really need to use any of the information in the article any time soon but if you do, you know where to find it. Before I go, I’ll leave you with this great advice from none other than Mark Twain himself – “When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.”