Anger Management: Understanding Why Your Life Is Unbalanced

By Charles H. Elliott, Laura L. Smith, W. Doyle Gentry

In today’s demanding, fast-paced, opportunistic world, it’s easy for life to become unbalanced and for people to feel anger as a result. All kinds of factors contribute to an unbalanced life.

Age

As with any skill, you find how to balance out your life by living. As you get older, you get wiser. Young people have a tendency to be one-dimensional. They put their energies into one thing or another — relationships, careers. Older folks are more diversified, more balanced in their use of energy. Life has taught them the fallacy of an all-or-nothing relationship with the world around them.

Time constraint

Time management may be the single biggest challenge facing human beings today. The average person has more money than he does time. The culture has bought into the 24/7 mentality, and many people work ten-hour days, six or seven days a week.

Overemphasis on independence

Most Western cultures place a strong emphasis on independence. Society tells you that you should control your own destiny without much, if any, help from others. To reach out for support is seen as a sign of weakness. Success comes from individual effort and initiative. Interdependence — doing with others — has become a lost art. When you’re pressured to be independent, you take on too much work yourself, and your life goes out of balance.

A reliance on unhealthy pleasure

Make no mistake — unhealthy pleasure sells! Unhealthy pleasures include that buzz or jolt you experience with caffeine, the high that people get from compulsive gambling, the eager anticipation that awaits your next encounter with a fast-food restaurant, and the passion of unsafe sex. The problem, unfortunately, with unhealthy pleasure is that it comes with a cost — gambling throws your bankbook out of balance, too much caffeine throws your physiology out of balance, and unsafe sex leads to disease and pregnancy — which only adds to the stress in your life.

Technology

You live in a marvelous technological age. There are more gadgets than ever, and life has never been more easily managed (from a production standpoint) than it is today. But technology is a double-edged sword. Because it makes life easier, it (in its own seductive way) makes you want to do more with your life. Because people have automobiles, they want to go more places. Because of cellphones, there’s no real sanctuary from the stressful world. If you’re not calling them, they’re calling or messaging you — constantly!

Too much freedom

No one (except dictators!) would argue that freedom is a bad thing, but too much of a good thing can be bad. Without doubt, people have more options, opportunities, and choices to make than ever before in the history of mankind. Trouble is, most people try to exercise as many of those options as they can. By wanting it all, you overload yourself with demands, commitments, and obligations that you can’t possibly satisfy. (As the cartoon character Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”)