Monitoring the state of the world has become an increasingly stressful task in recent years. Between violence, political frustration and natural disasters, we are hit with an onslaught of negative narratives. The nature of these stories and the 24-hour news cycle occurring across multiple platforms constantly bombards us. Trying to keep up with current events while taking care of oneself can be maddening. Unsurprisingly, in this climate, anger has become a constant companion for many of us. We are experiencing a higher baseline of anger and are more prone to outbursts.
Anger is an intense and powerful emotion but it can be difficult to process. In order to get to the root of how we can best channel our anger, let’s first explore what anger is.
Anger is a largely automatic response to pain stimuli which can be either physical, such as stubbing a toe or burning your hand on a hot stove, or emotional, such as experiencing a rejection or suffering a loss. The onset of pain ignites a chain reaction that leads to the release of the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline (NICABM). These hormones serve to increase the rate of neural activity, dilate your pupils and increase heart rate, among other physiological effects. The anger neural pathway is an evolutionary vestige that helps us stay alert in dangerous situations. Continue reading “We’ve Got a Lot to Be Mad About – But, Now What?”