Anger is an emotion, and thus, by
definition, it is beyond our conscious reason, at least in the
moment we experience it. Emotions have traditionally been
considered reflective or involuntary experiences rather than
willful acts. We do not simply 'choose' to be angry, happy, or
sad; rather, emotions choose us. Likewise, emotions are feelings,
so they reflect a change in both our biological and psychological
Biologically, anger is defined as a stress
response of the human nervous system to internal or external
demands, threats, and pressures. When we are faced with a threat
to our survival, our nervous system instantly and automatically
prepares us to meet that threat by raising out defenses. The
defense response is triggered by the release of the hormone
adrenaline, secreted by the adrenal gland, which is attached to
the kidney. Adrenaline causes pupil dilatation, rapid heartbeat,
rising blood pressure, and rapid breathing.
From a psychological perspective, two factors make anger unique.
First, anger is a response to a perceived misdeed, usually on the
part of others. You feel angry because you believe that you have
been wronged. Second, and more important, anger involves an
attribution of blame in connection with that perceived misdeed.
You may feel tense or anxious if you are biologically but not
psychologically aroused by a particular situation or encounter,
but you are not likely to experience anger.
When we become angry, we are both mentally
and physically stimulated. The 'mental' component of anger or any
other emotion involves a psychological matrix of thoughts,
beliefs, expectations, and values that make each of us a unique
personality. The 'physical' component directly relates to a change
in our biological state- increased heart rate, blood pressure,
skin temperature-which differs in intensity and volatility from
one person to the next.
Music can soothe the savage breast, try to
listen to relaxing music at least 20-30 mins when you are feeling
angry. ---Steven Halpern, Ph.D., composer, researcher and author
of Sound Health; The Music and Sounds That Makes Us Whole.