Lost my temper

Postby JamesDF » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:49 am

I broke a windshield by hitting it today, it was a stupid argument and I just lost control.
I have punched through walls and shattered plenty of glasses, but this was the worst.

I wasn't able to control how angry I got and now I have a decent cut and a $500 windshield bill.
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Postby Candid » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:21 am

I guess that's one way to learn you need to think before you act.

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Postby Leo Volont » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:06 am

Dear James

Welcome to the Forum. Yes, I can help you with this recurring problem. Please let me save a bit of time and allow me to cut and paste a Spiel about Adrenaline that was about as complete and thorough as I usually give it:
“What Fuels your Rage is an Adrenaline Reaction – your Body Pumps out Hormones or whatever they are that make you Grit your Teeth, Cuss and Swear, and Kick and Swing your Arms. In Evolutionary Terms such behavior would be Appropriate when a Big Cat or a Wolf or something came into your hut and tried to snatch your Baby (That last Poster was a Teenage Girl, and so I was trying to Relate to her on her budding Maternal Level, if you understand me) – THEN it would be Entirely Appropriate to Completely Flip Out and Go Berserk. Equally, there were occasions back during Primitive Times when our Species was Evolving, that different Tribal or Clan Groups would see each other as Enemies, and if any of THEM came into your Encampment, then they were there to either Kill You outright, or Steal your Food Stores, which is the same as Killing you, so AGAIN the Appropriate Reaction would be to Completely Flip Out and Go Berserk. Anyway, you probably can pick up on how your Sister Wearing your Jeans is NOT the Same Thing as a Wolf trying to snatch your Baby (In your Case, whatever made you Slam a $500 Sheet of Glass)…. Not the Same as Enemies coming to Rape (in your Case they would have to be Bulgarians, if that’s still true about Bulgarians) and Kill you. Indeed, you can probably Discern that Getting Enraged over Just About Anything that you may encounter while Growing Up (and being a Grown up, in your case) is simply a Big Over-Reaction.

BUT, Often It Seems Like You have No Control Over It. Most People who Write In about Raging Anger complain that it ‘Just Happens’, that it takes them by Surprise. That is True, up to a Point. You see, that Adrenaline Reaction is Somewhat Automatic. Yes, we can Prime Ourselves for an Adrenaline Release by ‘egging ourselves on’, by ‘stewing and fretting’ and just by constantly Focusing on the Negative, BUT, that being said, the Brain Processes that Turn on the Adrenaline Valve are Subconscious. I read a book about Anger and the Brain (“The Angry Brain” by Ronald Potter-Efron, the Best Author out there for Self Help Anger Management Books) and it states that Adrenaline will have about a 2 or 3 Second Lead on Pumping Adrenaline before we become Consciously Aware of our Raging Anger. WHAT YOU CAN DO about this is Learn to Recognize the Very First Sign of an Adrenaline Rush, so you can Immediately Shut It Off before it gets Going Full Blast. THE VERY FIRST SIGN OF AN ADRENALINE RUSH IS THAT YOUR TEETH WILL CLENCH. One Lady writing in said that She experienced it as Having to Close Her Mouth. WHEN THIS HAPPENS, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS RELAX YOUR JAW MUSCLES, or as that Lady wrote in and told me, all She had to do to Shut Down an Adrenaline Rush was to Open Her Mouth. Some people say they Take a Deep Breath, but as they Do That they Open their Mouths to take the Breath. So Opening the Mouth is What Really Does the Trick. Well, How does that Work? Now remember what that book said, that Rage is set on its Tracks for 2 or 3 Seconds before it Hits Consciousness, so I suppose the Body built in an Emergency Shut Down Switch controllable by the Conscious Mind. It is the Jaw Muscles that are first to React to Adrenaline because they are Closest to the Brain and the Arterial Blood Supplies. If You Perceive that Teeth Clenching, Mouth Closing Reflex as the Onset of a Rage Episode, and Consciously Decide You DO NOT WANT a Rage Episode, simply Opening your Mouth or Relaxing your Jaw Muscles sends the Conscious Message to shut down the Fireworks before they Get Started. Take this Advice Seriously, a Number of Posters to whom I have given this same advice, have written back saying that It Works and that it Works Great!

The only thing you have to do is Catch that First Sign. If you let Adrenaline Pump freely for more than 3 or 4 seconds, then you are lost – you are in that state where you really don’t care if you break the other hand (or another Windshield) , you know what I mean. So it would be good to Practice with Adrenaline to see what that initial Jaw Tightening Feels Like, so you Know what to look for. I used to practice with a Pin. If you Stab your Hand with a Pin THEN you will experience an Adrenaline Reaction, BUT then I found out that just Preparing to Stab Your Hand with a Pin is Enough to Do the Trick – that it amounts to the Same Thing. So you don’t Really have to Stab your hand with a Pin… you just have to Seriously Threaten to Stab your Hand with a Pin, and then FEEL the Jaw Muscles Tighten Up…. You will See that before you can Jab Yourself with a Pin that YOU HAVE TO CLOSE YOU MOUTH. Once you notice that, then you can practice, relaxing your jaws and opening your mouth and Feel the Adrenaline fade away.

Oh, by the way, Adrenaline is not All Bad. Studies have shown that a little bit of Adrenaline actually Helps in Taking Tests. So when you need to take an important Test in school (remember, I was speaking with a School Girl) , well, put a Pin in your lapels and before the Test, Threaten to Stab yourself Really Hard, and feel those Jaw Muscles Tighten Up. NOT TOO MUCH. A Little Adrenaline goes a long way in this regards. Too Much Adrenaline, as you know, fires up an Unthinking Rage. But a little bit of Adrenaline puts you in a State of Mental Alert, and that is where you Want to Be while taking a Test.

One would think that Adrenaline would be Helpful in Sports (Yeah! Guy Talk!). Well it Is and it Isn’t. You see to Win in Sports you have to Score. But Adrenaline is All About Defense. Adrenaline can Keep the Other Team from Scoring but all that Fuming, Cussing and Swearing and Blind Hatred gets in the way of implementing a good Scoring Strategy. In that same book mentioned above, I learned that there are Two Forms of Aggression – Defensive Aggression (Adrenaline Driven) which is sort of Crazy Excited Blind Rage, and there is Predatory Aggression which is characterized by Intensity of Focus and which is actually Calm in the Emotional Sense – like a Leopard in the Jungle stalking up on a Deer;, it is crouched and focused, with eyes on Target. You might see the Same Thing if you go to your School’s Sports Events. The Winning Team will be Focused and Calm, scoring Point after Point. The Losing Team, put on the Defensive will become Excited and Emotional… even the Coach might begin Cussing and Swearing! Now in Football, where you have One Set of Guys for the Offence and Another Set of Guys for the Defense, you can Get the Best of Both Worlds – put the Calm and Focused Guys in the Offensive Squad, and all the Hot Heads on the Defense. “

Back to You, James. Yeah, Most Guys that have a Chronic Anger Problem will get in Trouble in One or Two Ways – cussing up a Storm, which at Work can get you fired for “Speaking in a Hostile and Threatening Manner”, or Smashing and Breaking Stuff. When I was young I broke a few things, but as I got Older I no longer had a problem with Breakage. My Last Conquest was Fixing my Foul Mouth. Now you would think I was a Saint.

Anyway, James, from what you tell us, and that isn’t much, apparently you are the “Strong Silent Type” – you don’t cuss and swear. You just smash stuff. BUT, if you DO cuss and swear, in order to deal with Chronic Anger you Have To Stop That Too. In fact, you should not even let yourself THINK in Terms of Cuss Words, as it only serves to rile yourself up and get you all negative and frenzied. If you can Control your Adrenaline, as I spoke at Length about, and if you can keep a lid on your Negative Thinking, then you should be able to Fix your Chronic Anger Problem, provided you don’t forget about it. Get a few of those books by that author I mentioned – Ronald Potter-Efron. Make yourself a semi-expert on Anger Management and make Anger one of the things in Life you no longer need to Worry About.
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