Some anger is a part of the normal spectrum of human emotion. But out-of-control anger becomes destructive and leads to problems at school, in relationships, and in the overall quality of life. Moreover, uncontrolled anger can make you feel as though you're at the mercy of an unpredictable force.
The American Psychological Association's Web Site includes an outstanding series of essays called Psychology and Everyday Life that offers solid, direct advice based on the latest research in emotional behavior. It also discusses the nature of anger and strategies for anger management, such as cognitive restructuring.
In this exercise you should visit these Web sites and then prepare thoughtful answers to the following questions:
1. What is anger? What features does anger share in common with other emotions? In what ways is anger different from other emotions?
2. What are the common triggers of anger? Who is most likely to experience frequent anger?
3. What do researchers believe to be the causes of an "anger-prone" temperament? (In your answer, be sure to touch specifically on biological, social, and psychological factors in anger).
4. Describe at least three specific strategies you can use to keep anger at bay.
5. What is "cognitive restructuring"? What is its relevance in the control of anger?