Control Anger : Overcome Negativity

Nothing will cause you to have an emotion until you have learned which things are threatening and which are harmless. You learn to fear things from your experiences.

As a human, when you experience something painful, like getting stung by a bee, and you store this experience in your memory. However you may continue to feel afraid when you hear a buzzing similar to a bee. This happens because your memory has associated the past experience of pain with the current buzzing sound. A bee does not cause the fear, the fear is an interpretation about the bee. It is your interpretations of what it means to be near a bee that determines if you anxious or not.

Most small children have no fear of animals. They are interested in anything that moves, and if the thing also happens to be warm, soft, and fuzzy, they will like it. A child will not automatically be afraid of a big animal, such as a lion or bear. They must learn about the danger of such animals before they will be afraid of them.

Some have associated the pain or discomfort that can occur in the future, with the thought of that thing or event in their mind. For example, a person who interprets all bees as dangerous and causing harm, feels fear when they see any sort of real or plastic bee. The emotional “fearful” thoughts will occur automatically, without any conscious evaluation. This reaction can come from numerous experiences or from a single, intensely frightening one, especially if that experience occurs while they are young. Others have concluded that there is no pain associated with a bee and have no problem being in a bee’s presence. Either way, the feeling depends on what your interpretation of a thing or event related to whether it brings potential pain or comfort.

I always remember a story I saw on television once, about the mudslides that were taking place in Southern California, and a TV interviewer coming up to one man whose house had been destroyed. His reaction was what you would typically expect. He was very upset; his house had been destroyed; what was he going to do? The government should do something about this. He was crying. It was a very strong presentation for the evening news.

Then the reporter went down the street to another man who had suffered the same fate, and his response was a little different. It was, “Well, my family got out all right. We can save a lot of this stuff. It’s been buried in the mud, but we can dig out the pictures.” And then his last comment, which was the telling one, was, “You know, I’ve always wanted a third bedroom”.

The same situation, and a very different response. In other words, the attitude with which you approach life actually seems to affect the way you reacts towards events that make you angry.

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Kazi Ali


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