Anger becomes a problem when people act on their anger
in ways that are not in their interests and in the interests of other people.
Come on! For God's sake!
They become addicted to using anger
simply because in the short term, like most addictions, it works.
If you are a frightening, angry person,
people back off and you get what you want.
But the ultimate downside of this
is that they become rather angry, nasty people
that people might avoid and are frightened of
and they are likely to lose significant things
like jobs, relationships and liberty.
Go on. Go on.
The way in which people met threatening situations back in cave times,
you were OK provided you could run away from it or fight it.
The sort of threats and difficulties that we face in our society
are a little bit more complicated,
but the body has not changed,
its response is still to get ready to run away, to freeze or to fight.
People sitting in their cars feel very entitled
to their bit of road and their bit of space
and the way they want to drive,
and if somebody else is encroaching
or takes a decision that isn't in their best interests,
their bodies can feel threatened and that's where you get road rage.
The health implications are quite grave
because that sort of anger
is essentially the body getting ready for action
but usually in situations where there is no action.
So it's very good for somebody who's going to run a marathon
to breathe in lots of oxygen,
but if they're just sitting in a traffic jam and doing exactly the same thing,
they go into hyperventilation, their muscles seize up, tense.
It pumps up your blood pressure
and I think everybody knows
that high blood pressure is quite a considerable health risk.
So this is putting a lot of strain on the heart
and, my goodness, we depend on our hearts.
I've gone the wrong way now!
One of the great dangers of using anger as a way of managing your life
is that the underlying agenda of your body when it gets ready for action
is to hit out,
and this can then result in physical violence.
You can spot angry thoughts
because they've often got things like "should", "must" or "ought"
or "always" or "never".
They're very extreme.
You know, "Idiots like that ought not to be on the road."
"I must get there in time." Something like that.
The body gets ready for action as a result of the thought.
The mind then thinks, "Body getting ready for action. What's wrong?"
and will start looking around
and thinking about all the other terrible drives they've ever had
and all the other idiots on the road and get more angry.
Please don't go red. Don't go red!
People can do a lot to prevent angry outbursts
and to manage their own anger.
They need to note those first signs of arousal.
One person will get tense across the shoulders,
another person will notice a headache coming on,
another person's partner will tell them, "You're tapping your foot again."
When you're "getting ready for action" breathing,
you breathe in more than you breathe out,
so if you can see to it
that you simply breathe out more than you breathe in,
that will calm you down very quickly.
(taps hand and exhales)
Avoiding alcohol and drugs is important
because both of those things take away people's inhibitions
and it's very often our inhibitions that stop us
from acting on what our bodies are telling us to do.
It's not your right of way. What are you doing?
A regular regime of exercise that is a part of your daily life
is really good for getting rid of that excess annoyance, irritation
which is a natural part of ordinary life.
Once you get good at that, at noticing what your body's telling you,
you then need to attend to how you're thinking about things.
You might be absolutely right that you're the best driver in the world
and those idiots shouldn't be allowed on the road,
but dwelling on that at that moment in time
is only going to get your body ready for action
and pump your heart too fast.
So it's not in your best interests,
so just let those thoughts go and think of something nice instead.