How to Find the Good in the Bad to Help with Anger Management
Psychologists have a new name for finding something good in a bad situation — it’s called benefit-finding. Anger management attempts can be aided through the practice of benefit-finding.
Studies of patients with a variety of catastrophic, disabling illnesses — heart disease, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis — suggest that most people can identify at least one benefit they derive from being ill. The possibilities include
An enhanced sense of spirituality
A greater appreciation for what life offers
Deeper, more meaningful interpersonal relationships
A heightened sense of compassion
Greater introspection — examining one’s inner self
Greater willingness to openly express emotion
Less tension, anxiety, and anger
Greater sense of mastery in dealing with day-to-day stress
Increased vigor and activity
Better future health
Being able to find the silver lining was a key to Ann’s ability to endure chronic neck and back pain. Ann, a divorced mother of three, was only 36 when she was permanently injured while employed as a nurse.
Asked one day during group therapy by another pain client why she continued to be so upbeat despite intense pain, she said, Hey, had I not been injured, I would just be another working mom who rarely got to spend time with her kids. At least now I can be part of their lives in a more meaningful way. And that’s a good thing.