Monday, January 23, 2017

Anger Management

Is it true that in a normal emotional state we make rational choices? No. The word 'normal' should be thrown out because it forces us to think in an 'either-or' fashion, also called a False Dilemma, where things are either one way or another. Normal or abnormal, angry or not.

What does this have to do with anger management? To get control of our emotions, we must first understand them. We have many words that describe emotions, but in literature they are used out of context and often incorrectly. Words like happy, indifferent, sad, ecstatic, outraged, furious, etc.

Our lives are constantly under many different forms of pressure that make us frustrated. When we know what frustrates us we can often do something about it, but there are things we cannot control or don't yet know how to change. They stay with us and make us agitated.

If our real sources of frustration stay with us long enough, we tend to forget them, then any other little annoyance will cause us to overreact. This is called misattribution of arousal, where we mistake something or someone close at hand as the cause of our pre-existing frustration from another situation.

People frustrated by their own economic circumstances tend to blame others. Typical targets are political parties, minority race or religious groups.

Stress increases activity within the more primitive parts of our brains, revving up our Fight-or-Flight response centers.

We fall victim to logical fallacies, especially appeals to our emotions, because we are under enough psychological pressure that we do not think rationally.

We must train ourselves not to think using logical fallacies. Here's a list of resources for learning proper critical thinking skills:
*Arousal defined as any increase in activity of the Limbic System caused by stumuli or long-term operant conditioning.
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