Anger and New Beginnings

Christmas is a fading memory and the New Year fizz went pop weeks ago. Now what? Are we everything we want to be? Are we sticking to our New Year’s resolutions and ultimately, are we happy? 2014 is a new opportunity to learn more about ourselves. A new opportunity to learn what makes us tick and how we think, because how we think about ourselves has consequences for everyone around us. As the title alludes, anger is an emotion we are all familiar with. But why are we angry? That’s the question we could be asking. Why is it that on some days the kids can come home and dump their coats and bags on the floor and you pick them up with patience and a smile, while other days when their coats and bags are dumped on the floor, an almighty roar escapes you and you see red. Is it simply the fact they dropped their stuff unceremoniously, or is it something else? Somewhere inside of us we know that it’s usually something else! From attending a course with the British Association of Anger Management (BAAM), I got to understand why I get angry. Recognising this one simple aspect of what makes me tick, has opened up a whole treasure trove of understanding. I’m angry because I had a shameful childhood, which I kept suppressed from loved ones, friends and ultimately myself. I dealt with it then by believing in the fantasy of my own making, for example: “My mum was committed to a mental institution because she was a genius, born before her time!” I also got...

The Killing Fields

We live in a world where we have to get from place A to B as quickly as possible and we each have our favourite mode of transport to do it with. Out of them all, train, car and plane, cycling is the cheapest and fittest way to travel. It takes a brave soul to get on a saddle and engage with the busy and congested roads of London on a daily basis. Alas it also appears to be the most dangerous, with the tragic death of the 6th cyclist in the last few months, and the 14th this year. London is in shock London has never been so congested. The morning rush ‘hour’ starts at about 5.30am on major roads and lasts for up to three hours. In some parts of London, journey times are so slow, traffic moves at around one mile per hour. No wonder people are choosing to cycle in more and more numbers. Health officials and the London Major’s office will find a way to improve the roads for both cyclist and motorist. The recent tragic deaths can only be truly honoured with a legacy of a smart London road system which ensures nobody dies on it’s roads. As always with facing such drastic measures, the debate between cyclists and motorists has once again erupted. Sadly both the cyclists and motorists are missing the most tragic point; it isn’t their riding or driving ability thats the danger on the roads, it’s their anger level once they sit on the saddle or behind the wheel. The danger on the roads isn’t our riding or driving...

Christmas – Don’t get your Tinsel in a Tangle

    Christmas is coming and the most stressful time of the year is drawing near. So much to do. The tree is top priority, followed closely by presents, food, drink and good-cheer in equal measure. Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. More than half of us have family disagreements and a quarter of us say our relationships with our partners come under immense pressure. We have never been under so much pressure to deliver a perfect Christmas. We’re lured into thinking Christmas is perfect by the glossy TV Christmas adverts, with celebrities smiling as they huddle around the Christmas tree exchanging gifts, beautifully wrapped. Everyone must be happy and cheerful through the season of goodwill. No one is allowed to be sad or depressed. NO ONE MUST GET ANGRY!             Here’s what to do and not to do over Xmas. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Its the only way you’ll give yourself the time to relax and enjoy the day. Don’t give yourself a hard time making everything perfect. Stop and look at the bigger picture, its just one day! Think about the incidents, which press your buttons in all the wrong ways. Our buttons are unique to all of us and what makes one person angry is completely different to the next. Figure out a strategy of how you are going to deal with those circumstances, whether it’s a brother-in-law, mother-in-law or wife.   Think about the Bigger Picture! Christmas is the one day that getting angry isn’t worth the long term consequences. You are never as good as your last...

Anger in Prison

Two pieces of news this week got me thinking about anger in UK prisons. Number one follows comments from the director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC, who says its time to make benefit cheats serve longer jail terms of up to 10 years. The second follows a Commons Justice committee reports that says more elderly sex offenders are being jailed than ever before. Two pieces of news that make me wonder what effect it’ll have on the well-being of all prisoners in the system. Will an influx of elderly perverts tip the balance or will an increase in swindlers break the camels back and push the UK prison population into the red mist? After-all, convicted criminals aren’t exactly known for their gentle dispositions and tolerant natures. Being deprived of your freedom is punishment enough, but prisoners must also deal with the constant supervision and control of their movements and interactions. Locked behind bars for up to twenty-three hours a day, left to stew over their own failings and stupidity, is enough to make anyone angry. Angry at themselves, the world, the system, their parents and God Almighty. In fact, prison is the perfect place for anger to grow and prosper.   Controlling Anger in Prisons. Anger management programmes have enjoyed a varying degree of success in UK prisons. At one point in 2006 the Home Office significantly scaled back their anger management courses citing them to be “counter-productive,’ after a City financier was killed by a prisoner who had just been released from prison after serving six years for attempted murder. He attended twenty-four sessions of an anger...

Is Road Rage making you Rage?

In light of a recent Daily Mirror newspaper article about road rage, let’s take a moment to look through the ‘Red Mist’ and see how you can beat it. It’s expected that whilst driving on our roads, an incident of road rage will happen at least once during the journey. Whether it’s having an angry looking man shaking their clutched fist at you, or being cut up by a speeding driver, whether it’s being honked at, or being given the single finger gesture; road rage is apart of everyday life. As the Daily Mirror article points out, ‘Road rage is growing worse with nearly half Britain’s drivers saying they had ­experienced the red mist.’   We each believe we are the best driver in the world. The next time a driver cuts you up, gives you the finger, shouts or shakes their fist, smile and think, ‘Perhaps there’s an emergency in their life which they must attend to.’ After all, any number of situations could be at play in that driver’s life.   Five easy ways to beat Road-Rage Avoid eye contact. In much the same way you wouldn’t look a raging bull in the eyes, avoid looking at a road rage driver in the eyes too, especially while the red mist clouds their senses. It’s best to avoid any engagement and if you do find yourself face-to-face, smile and apologize and in doing so, you will defuse the situation. Change lanes and let the road-rager pass. Remember they may be in an emergency. Refrain from doing to them, what they do to you. Good biblical advice which applies to...
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