For the last few years and even recently, we have had an increase in spousal abuse, stabbing and suicide reports in Nigeria. I have written about suicide prevention in Nigeria, today I will be discussing anger management as a process towards preventing spousal stabbing or murder.
People have joked that living in Nigeria alone could cause depression because the lack of good leadership,insecurity,unemployment,lack of access to healthcare, bad roads, all add up to the stress and anxiety people go through which in turn affects the way they react to everyday life situations,embarrassments and even bereavement.
Anger management should not be discussed in hush tones, in fact every community in Nigeria needs an emotional well-being club/hub, not for the rich or elite class but a walk-in surgery for anyone going through any form of emotional trauma, anxiety or stress. Anger is a natural human emotion to stress, but if not well controlled, it could lead to aggressive behaviour. Anger could be managed or controlled.
So, what are the causes of anger? how do we know when we are going to get angry and how do we manage our anger to avoid committing murder or even suicide?
Many factors could trigger excessive anger, this includes- stress, anxiety, family issues, and financial worries. For some people, anger is caused by an underlying social disorder, such as alcoholism, drug misuse or depression.
Anger itself isn’t considered a diagnosed medical disorder, but anger could be a symptom of several other mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia etc. Managing your emotions will help improve your mental well-being.
According to mind UK (2020), there are 5 exercises that could help with maintaining your emotional well-being.
‘Introduce these 5 simple strategies into your life and you will feel the benefits:
Connect- There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting well-being and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
Be active-Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.
But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good — slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.
Take notice-Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.
Learn-Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of well-being.
Give-Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of well-being research.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in well-being’. (MIND UK 2020)
Short term Anger Management steps:
There are many ways to manage your anger, anger management techniques include-Breathing slowly, body relaxation techniques, mindfulness, exercise, writing, arts and crafts. etc
Long term Anger Management steps:
Long term management strategies, entails knowing and learning what triggers your anger and doing everything possible to avoid such toxic environments or relationships, modifying your lifestyle and seeking medical intervention in good time, Other things to try include:
Talking therapy — entails counselling and Psychotherapy. It’s best to think about how to manage your anger when you are feeling calmer. Make a conscious effort to be a master of your own emotions.
Get to know what triggers you into anger and strife to avoid such situations where you can. So always remember, attitudes don’t just happen, you choose them,
Often times I hear people say- ‘I cannot tolerate nonsense’ ‘I get angry very easily’ ‘Where I come from, nobody insults us’, These are some of the excuses for their bad behaviour and lack of empathy to others.
As I grow older, I realise I am responsible for my actions and I need to put in some conscious effort towards developing myself and I have to respond to situations in a sensible way. I encourage you to do the same, be responsible for your actions, think before you act, own your actions. And if you find yourself struggling or not being able to cope with stressful situations, try to walk away from what triggers your anger, adopt all the lifestyle management steps discussed above or seek medical intervention in good time.
Reference: Mind UK