Anger: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Hypnotist Ron Eslinger

by Ron Eslinger, RN, CRNA, APN, MA, BCH, CMI

Ron Eslinger, Healthy Visions Hypnosis & Wellness Center

Just a few months after their marriage a young couple was sitting at a stop light when some boys crossing the street made some lewd remarks. The husband made a remark back. The boys approached the car. The husband got out and words turned to blows. A punch to the stomach caused internal bleeding in one of the boys and he died.

Conflict developed into anger which resulted in a prison sentence for one young man and death to another. The young men and the young couple were just out for an evening of fun that ended with deadly words. We use to sing “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” In this case words killed!

Anger can be good when it is used to protect us by stimulating our fight or flight response. However, anger can turn bad when one perceives a danger as being much greater than it really is as in the example above. There was no danger until the conflict came face to face and turned into anger resulting in tragedy for two families.

The nightly news is filled with the horror caused when anger turns ugly. Stress when joined by hateful thoughts usually turns to anger which turns to violence. “Student shoots teacher” was a local headline. The news is filled with stories of employees out of anger killing co-workers. Virginia Tech student shoots classmates and teachers. Road rage ends with shots fired and dead. Father batters 12 month old! Every day we hear it. We use to call it, “Going Postal.”

Anger is an emotional reaction that is associated with other bad feelings such as fear, disgust, shame, irritability, outrage, hostility and even violence. I see these things in the Court Mandated Anger Management Classes held at Healthy Visions Wellness Center on a regular basis.

One class attendee said. “I don’t know why I have to take this class; I didn’t shoot them. I just shot at the tree.”

When people respond in anger it is rarely from a single event. Most violent related anger in the court system is between family members or neighbors. Families and neighbors let small things get big when thought about over and over. However, they can continue to be small if we change how we think about them. There is no emotion with out a thought. Control your thoughts and you control your emotions whether they are anger, happiness, sadness, or fear. Abraham Lincoln said, “We are only as happy as we make up our minds to be.”

For those willing to take control of stress, anger and conflict there are many articles, books and videos available at the public library. There are also stress and anger management classes available in the area. You can transform your stress and anger into something positive if you so choose. Why don’t you take control of your stress and anger before you find yourself standing in front of the judge? Often just a smile can make all the difference in yourself and in those you meet.

Michael R “Ron” Eslinger


Ron Eslinger

A retired Naval Captain and Board Certified Hypnotist and Hypnotism Instructor, was nominated by the Department of the Navy to Represent the Department of Defense as Ex-Officio member to the National Institutes of Health’s Health Service’s Committee on Complementary and Alternative Therapy. He received the Researcher of the Year award for 2003 presented by the National Guild of Hypnotists. He is Past President of the Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Advanced Practice Nurse, Board Certified Hypnotist, a Certified Master Instructor of Hypnosis and Fellow National Council for Hypnosis. Ron has published multiple articles on hypnosis in Nursing Journals and lectured and consulted on both anesthesia and hypnosis internationally since 1978.

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