Anger Management and Stress: The Art of Living Well

By twentzphd

What Is Stress?

Again, stress is the mismatch between the demands in our lives and the resources we have to deal with those demands – at that moment in time.

The stressor could be a positive or a negative event. The type of response that results depends upon each person’s reaction to the stressor. Thus, the primary purpose of Anger Management is to identify and change one’s reactions to stress!

Stress is Physical.

When we are under stress, our bodies react with the “fight, flight, or freeze” response. Adrenaline and other hormones are pumped into the bloodstream. Breathing becomes shallow and rapid, muscles tense up and your body prepares for action. In most cases, though, the body is all geared up with no place to go. If we do nothing to reverse the physical stress reaction, we can remain in an almost constant state of unproductive tension.

Stress is Mental.

Stress is not all in your head, but that is where it begins. Different individuals perceive stressors differently. For one person, an event may be viewed as a challenge; for another, it may be viewed as a severe threat or problem. Therefore, events do not cause stress, the ways we interpret and react to them does, again which may lead to Anger Management classes — proactively or reactively.

Some Stress May Be Beneficial.

Many people do their best work under pressure. A moderate degree of stress is a powerful force for growth; we often learn the most when we are forced to do so. Some students do their best studying when they have a deadline to meet. Athletes report that they sometimes have an adrenaline ”rush” when they need it most.

The relationship between levels of stress and mental performance such as learning or decision-making is measureable.  Stress varies with challenge; at the low end, too little breeds disinterest and boredom, while as challenge increases it boosts interest, attention and motivation – which at their optimal level produce maximum cognitive efficiency and achievement.  As challenges continue to rise beyond our skill to handle them, stress intensifies; at its extreme, our performance and learning collapse.”  (Goleman, pg. 271, 2006)

Cited from Anderson, G. and Elder, J (2008). T Wentz, PhD, CAMF, (Ed).  The Practice of Control: Executive Coaching/Anger Management for Physicians.


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