How To Never Get Angry: Secrets From Neuroscience

How to Not React with Anger Toward Your Child or Anyone Ever Again... 

angry dadHow To Never Get Angry: 3 New Secrets From Neuroscience
One of the most effective tools in a parent’s toolbox is anger. “Don’t make me get angry with you”! (As if they could make us…). We don’t like it when our children get angry, we don’t like it when our spouse or boss gets angry, and if you are like me, you don’t even like it when you get angry. So why do we do it? More importantly, how do we “not do it”?

Eric Barker, the guy behind the blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree (his site brings science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine and Time Magazine) has done a wonderful job helping us find options, understanding and alternatives to our fits of anger that do more harm than good.

His article appeared in Oct 2015 and is worth spending some time reading and looking at the links he provides. His focus is research based information and he provides the footnotes to back it up. Make sure you watch the Marshmallow Test video - inspiring and entertaining.

Imagine realizing that anger and other emotions can be healing — and that by suppressing them we are actually doing damage to ourselves. Suppression works he says but, “The good news is suppression works. You can bottle up your feelings and not look angry. However…It’s almost always a bad idea. Yes, it prevents the anger from getting out, but when you fight your feelings they only get stronger.” Whoa!

And further, “What happens in the brain when you try to clamp down on that rage? A whole mess of bad stuff. Your ability to experience positive feelings goes down — but not negative feelings. Stress soars. And your amygdala (a part of the brain closely associated with emotions) starts working overtime.” Well, we know about this amygdala stuff — the fear center for freeze, flight or fight. Who wants more of this? Want to learn how to decrease the power of your reactive amygdala? Help is here.

And to make matter worse, Barker says, “And fighting your feelings uses a lot of willpower. So afterwards you have less control and that’s why you’re more likely to do things you regret after you’re angry”. No surprise here.

Eric give us plenty of science to show how destructive suppressing our emotions can be (and the same for our children) and offers some excellent help for learning to manage (stop venting and start reappraising and more) the darker side of ourselves. Read it all right here…

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