Managing Our Emotions

Anger is a powerful, perfectly normal emotion that everyone feels at one time or another. Anger experts say that anger develops more often in the family—in marriage and with children—than in any other human relationship. However, anger in relationships can turn ugly, leading to the physical and emotional abuse of those whom we are expected to love and serve.  A second common setting for anger episodes is at work, with colleagues and supervisors. As a consequence, more people are injured-physically or emotionally– by the angry actions of someone they live or work with than by strangers.

Anger is probably the most poorly handled emotion in our society. It is the detonator of road rage on the freeway, flare-ups in the sports arena, violence at school and domestic abuse in homes. Anger is a source of many legal problems and many psychophysical diseases such as headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and chronic pain. Science has just recently begun to recognize the contribution anger makes to these and other diseases.

Family life can be like a tale of two cities-the best of times and the worst of times-where we act out emotionally our best and our worst selves. To enjoy more of the best of times, it’s important that families learn how to regulate their emotions wisely. The Managing Our Emotions episode provided some hints–check out the articles here for more ideas.