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Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
ISSN: 0976-3759 Journal of School Social Work Price Rs 20.00 A National School Social Work
ISSN: 0976-3759
Journal of
School Social Work
Price Rs 20.00
A National School Social Work monthly dedicated to networking of parents and teachers.
Volume
VII Issue 03
Contents
August
2010
Page
Editorial
Emotional Regulation –
Developmental Perspective
Emotional Intelligence for
Social Work Core Tasks
Remedying Children’s
Emotional Distress
02
Anger Management
among Children
Dangerous Emotion
Emotional Competence in
Young Children
Emotional Mastery
Dr Thirumoorthy A
Jeyaram S
Dr Shivani Mishra
Dr Ankur Saxena
Dr Emmanuel Janagan J
Dr Thirunavukkarasu
Subramaniam
Premalatha M
Dr Paranjyothi
Ramaligam J
Dr Saraswati Raju Iyer
Mahespriya L
Ranjit L
Inthira K R
03
10
12
15
21
26
30
Focus: Essentials of Emotional Control
Hony. Special Editor:
Dr Bigi Thomas,
i/c Director, MSW Department, Sardar Patel University,
V V Nagar, Gujarat
JournalofSchoolSocial Work,
8 (New 14), Sridevi Colony, Seventh Avenue,
Ashok Nagar, Chennai 600 083
Mobile: 98406 02325
E-mail: jssw.india@gmail.com
Note: Views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily the official view of the Journal.
Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
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Editorial Lest Emotions Get the Better of Us!

The health of mind and body are unquestionably interrelated as both

positive and negative emotions have

a tremendous ability to affect the

quality of our life. Emotions are powerful forces influencing our everyday affairs. From the time we

join the nursery class, our educational system focuses on making us intellectuals and shaping us good products for the job markets. In fact, no emphasis is laid in our curriculum on teaching children to manage their anxiety, anger, inner conflicts and emotions. Learning to manage emotions can ensure achievement of mental and physical serenity.

A child under stress may refuse to

go to school, to eat, to play and to talk. He may complain of different aches and pains, may fight with others, may be unable to sleep and becomes a dull child or problem child. If not managed properly these children may become slaves to anger, crying and aggression. On the other hand, children who know how to manage their emotions will be successful. High intelligence will be of no use to those who lack this

skill and who may end up with less self-respect and poor self- awareness. Cognitive ability is not the sole critical determinant of our life. One also needs good communication and interpersonal skills which one can acquire only through emotional management. We, parents and teachers, can play

a vital role in helping children handle

their emotions and develop emotional security with fair and consistent limits and responsibilities. There are several ways through

which we can effectively help children to understand their emotions; recognize the feelings of others; differentiate between feelings and actions; act in more acceptable ways and most importantly be good role models for our little ones. Each one teach one is a good policy. The challenge is to treat each child with utmost care as their emotional needs are not identical. But together we can achieve this goal.

It is important to teach our children

to manage their emotions or emotions will get the better of them.

That will be a threat to our dignity and even existence.

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Focus
Focus

Emotional Regulation – Developmental Perspective

Thirumoorthy A* Jeyaram S**

*Dr Thirumoorthy A, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bangalore. **Jeyaram S, Ph D Scholar, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bangalore.

Introduction Emotional regulation is the ability to perform cognitive tasks adeptly. It offers a new psychological framework for primary prevention in psychiatry that integrates recent discoveries in cognitive science, neurological science, and child development. The competencies of emotional regulation is crucial for the self-management of emotion and for the skillful handling of relationships. These abilities are learned throughout life, with primary learning occurring during childhood. As Aristotle put it, it is the rare ability “to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way.”

Emotion defined The root of the word emotion is motere, the Latin verb ‘o move,’ plus the prefix ‘e’ to connote ’move away,’ suggesting that a tendency to act differently is implicit in every emotion.

Emotions refer to feelings- attendant thoughts, psychological and biological states and range of impulses to act. The Oxford English Dictionary defines emotion as ‘any agitation or disturbance of mind, feeling, passion; any vehement or excited mental state.’ Families of emotions Studies suggest that there are universally recognized facial expressions for four core emotions:

fear, anger, sadness, and joy, as was probably first noted by Darwin. According to some theorists the following families of emotions are universal:

Anger: Fury, outrage, resentment, wrath, exasperation, indignation, vexation, acrimony, animosity, annoyance, irritability, hostility, and perhaps at the extreme, pathological hatred and violence. Sadness: Grief, sorrow, gloom, cheerlessness, melancholy, self-

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pity, loneliness, dejection, despair, and when pathological, severe depression. Fear: Anxiety, apprehension, nervousness, qualm, concern, consternation, misgiving, edginess, dread, fright, terror and as a psychopathology, phobia and panic attacks. Joy: Happiness,relief, contentment, bliss, delight, amusement, pride, sensual pleasure, thrill, rapture, gratification, satisfaction, euphoria, whimsy, ecstasy, and at the far end of the spectrum mania. Love: Acceptance, friendliness, trust, affinity, devotion, adoration, infatuation and self-love/ narcissism. Surprise: Shock, astonishment, amazement and wonder. Disgust: Contempt, disdain, scorn, abhorrence, aversion, distaste and revulsion. Shame: Guilt, embarrassment, chagrin, remorse, humiliation, regret, mortification, contrition and at the pathological end self-hatred. Each of these categories has a basic emotional nucleus at its core. (Goleman, 1995.) Emotion regulation Emotion regulation refers to the

internal and transactional processes through which individuals consciously or unconsciously modulate one or more components of emotion, by modifying either their own experience/ behaviour/ expression or the emotion-eliciting situation (Eisenberg, 2000). Effective regulation of emotions has been viewed as a developmental achievement that serves as a prerequisite for numerous other developmental tasks as powerful emotions have the potential to disorganize and/ or disrupt multiple psychological processes. Emotions evolve as situation- response tendencies that involve 1.Subjective feeling states. 2.Cognition and information processing. 3.Expressive displays and behaviour.

4.Motivation.

5.Physiological responses. Information In the evolutionary context the first function of emotion is it is a source of information about the cost effectiveness of short-term goal achievement as seen below:

Depression informs one that

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costs have exceeded benefits in past attempts to achieve goals. Anxiety informs one that future goals are unlikely to be achieved or that achievement will result in a negative cost-benefit balance. Frustration informs one that negative cost-benefit balances exist with respect to ongoing goals. Pleasure indicates that goals have been achieved or that they are likely to be achieved with a positive cost-benefit balance. Change of behaviour The second function of emotions is to initiate strategy and behaviour change. Pain, anxiety, and anger generally initiate behavioural responses more rapidly than cognitive assessments (for example, acute fear of a situation triggers rapid flight-or-fight responses whereas cognitive assessments may delay responses). That excessive emotions often exceed the intensity of stimuli is thought to reflect the fact that mankind has evolved to believe that it is better to be safe than sorry. Social regulation Emotions are signals: smiles signal pleasure and usually initiate others’ social participation; anger signals that

one is displeased and that interpersonal aggression may be forthcoming; depression in response to interpersonal competition signals that one has lost the competition. Recognition of these signals and responding appropriately regulates one’s interpersonal relationship. Culture and emotions Cultures differ dramatically in their willingness to accept a public display of emotion; therefore, the examiner should have some knowledge of the cultural background of the patient being assessed. Often the child and family are the best informants; they may be able to describe changes from the pre-morbid emotional state before they become obvious to even an experienced clinician. Healthy development Emotional development can be seen as the literal acquisition of emotions. Children must develop the ability to recognize and use their emotions appropriately. They must also become successful in a complex maturation process that entails learning to become emotionally responsive rather than emotionally reactive to internal experiences of emotion. Emotional maturation can

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be understood as the acquisition of coping defenses in infancy and childhood. In infants and children, emotional maturation is best understood by theories that incorporate all of these elements. Theories Behaviourists and social learning theorists explain emotions as developing secondary to either stimulation or classical conditioning. John Watson postulates a theory of three innate emotions that states that emotions are available and are easily stimulated from birth:

a.Fear is evoked by loud noises or loss of support, b.Rage is stimulated by body restrictions, and c.Love is aroused by touching. Others postulate that operant conditioning stimulates emotions. Cognitive developmentalists such as Donald Hebb, postulate that emotions are simply the byproduct of the cognitive process. In the discrepancy theory of emotional development, Hebb postulates that emotional learning results when children attempt to rectify the discrepancy between a previously learned experience and a new one.

The functionalist theories of emotional development—including Anna Freud’s defense model and the adaptation of emotional acquisition—transactionally combine previous theories of emotional development with a new, more pragmatic formulation. The functionalist’s premise is that emotions are acquired inherently to help children adapt to their world. They are applied through a learned practice that derives from cognitive and social maturation, called social referencing (infant’s use of parents for cues as to how to react). Recently, researchers used the most advanced biotechnical equipment to document a series of complex interactions for explaining emotional maturation. Their work appears to integrate the previous theories into a transactional, biological, sociological, interactive formulation. They suggest that emotional maturation—predicated upon a.Genetic predispositions, b.Environmental exposure, and c.Behavioural repetition—occurs through the development of complex interactive pathways

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within a child’s brain. The persistent and pervasive anxiety of children who are neglected or abused as infants stems from the enormous stimulation and subsequent high degree of development of those particular brain synapses. Plight of children The plight of today’s children can be seen in day-to-day problems that have not yet blossomed into outright crises. Perhaps the most telling data of all—a direct barometer of dropping levels of emotional competence—are from a national sample of American children, aged 7 to 16 years, comparing their emotional condition in the mid-1970s and at the end of the 1980s. Based on parents’ and teachers’ assessments, there was a steady worsening. 1.Withdrawal or social problems like preferring to be alone, being secretive, mute anger, lacking energy, feeling unhappy and being overtly dependent. 2.Anxiety and depression with many fears and worries due to emphasis on perfection and feeling unloved,nervous and depressed. 3.Attention or thinking problems,

daydreaming, impulsive action, inability to concentrate, irregular schoolwork and obsessive thoughts. 4.Delinquency or aggression like joining bad company, lying and cheating, arguing, selfishness, demanding attention; vandalism, disobeying at home and at school, talking too much and teasing. Primary prevention 1. Emotional literacy targets the specific deficits in emotional and

social skills that underlie problems such as aggression or depression.

It is much talked about but rarely

been implemented in schools. Emotional intelligence skill-building should be used as a primary prevention strategy; the lessons learned from such programmes should be generalized and used as

a preventive measure for the entire

school population and taught by regular teachers. Curriculum content The topics taught can include self- awareness , distinguishing between thoughts or feelings when making a decision; seeing the consequences of alternative choices; and applying

these insights to decisions about such issues as drugs, smoking, and

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sex. Self-awareness also takes the form of recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, and seeing oneself in a positive but realistic light.

Practical learning Another emphasis is on managing one’s emotions and learning ways to handle anxieties, anger, and sadness. Taking responsibility for decisions and actions, and following through on commitments, is also emphasized. A key social ability is empathy and respecting differences in how people feel about things. The curriculum has to be designed progressively from the most basic, such as happiness and anger and later on more complicated feelings such as jealousy, pride, and guilt. 2. Parent trainings empower parents to be emotional mentors to their infants and toddlers, as some home- visit programmes do. Children’s readiness to learn depends to a large extent on acquiring some of these basic emotional skills. Such interventions work best when they track the emotional timetable of development. The newborn’s repertoire of feeling is primitive compared to the emotional range of

a 5-years-old, which, in turn, is limited compared to the fullness of a teenager’s feelings. 3. Emotional education programme. School is a crucible and a defining experience that will heavily influence children’s adolescence and beyond. A child’s sense of self-worth depends substantially on his or her ability to achieve in school. A child who fails in school sets in motion the self-defeating attitudes that can dim prospects for an entire lifespan. Among the essentials for profiting from school, Hamburg notes, are an ability ‘to postpone gratification, to be socially responsible in appropriate ways, to maintain control over their emotions, and to have an optimistic outlook’—in other words, emotional intelligence. Competencies Beyond teacher training, emotional

literacy expands our vision of the task

of schools themselves, making them

more explicitly society’s agent for seeing that children learn these

essential lessons for life—a return to

a classic role for education. Apart

from any specifics of curriculum, this enhanced role requires using opportunities in and out of class to

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help students turn moments of personal crisis into lessons in emotional competence. It also works best when the lessons at school are coordinated with what goes on in children’s homes. Many emotional literacy programmes include special classes to teach parents about what their children are learning, not just to complement what is imparted at school, but to help parents who want to deal more effectively with their children’s emotional growth. Conclusion Emotionally intelligent individuals have superior self-control and ability to motivate themselves. Life is meaningful for them. They are:

Principled and responsible. Able to manage and express

emotions appropriately. Assertive but sympathetic and caring in relationships; blessed with a rich emotional life. Comfortable with themselves, others, and the social universe they live in. Able to manage stress without undue worry or rumination. Gregarious, spontaneous, playful, and open to sensual experience. On the other hand, a more careful look at the mechanics of specific problems suggests how given deficits in emotional or social competencies lay the foundation for social or psychiatric problems and how well- aimed correctives or preventives could keep more children on track.

References:

 

Cooper M L, Shaver P R and Collins, N L (1998): Attachment Styles, Emotion Regulation and Adjustment in Adolescence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74 1380–1397. Eisenberg N, Fabes R A, Guthrie, I K, and Reiser, M(2000): Dispositional Emotionality and Regulation: Their Role in Predicting Quality of Social Functioning, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78 136–157. Goleman D (1995): Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, New York.

 

Correction Slip for JSSW July 2010

 

Page

For

Read Livelihood

 

05

Livlihood

15

socioeconomic status share

socioeconomic status they share

24

prerogative

a prerequisite

~ P K V

 

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Emotional Intelligence for Social Work Core TasksShivani Mishra* Ankur Saxena** * Dr Shivani Mishra, Lecturer, Department of Social work, Sardar Patel

Shivani Mishra* Ankur Saxena**

*Dr Shivani Mishra, Lecturer, Department of Social work, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar- , Gujarat ** Dr Ankur Saxena, Reader, Faculty of Social Work, M.S. University, Vadodara, Gujarat

Introduction Emotional intelligence has been defined as being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think; to empathize and to hope (Goleman, 1996). Goleman’s definition of emotional intelligence is the widest ranging, and most performance- orientated, encompassing abilities beyond the specific processing of emotions including: self-awareness, emotional resilience, motivation/ drives, empathy/ sensitivity, influence/ rapport, intuitive, decisions and conscientiousness. Hence emotional intelligence is the practice of thinking about how emotions shape our actions and of using emotional understanding to enrich our thinking to transform feelings that

incapacitate to feelings that empower (Antidote, 2003, p. v). An attempt is made to highlight handling one’s own and others’ emotions at every stage of the social work task of engagement, assessment, observation, decision making, planning and intervention. Engagement Engagement is multi-facet skill involving many layers of practice. During the engagement phase the clients will assess whether they feel safe and comfortable with social worker and will share their personal stories and struggles. Following competencies and attitudes are needed on the part of social worker:

Acceptance/non-blaming/non- judgmental approach/attitude. Self-awareness, especially about own emotions/ discomfort and how these may impact patient. Emotional controlled.

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Awareness of cultural diversity issues. Assessment and observation

Assessment requires both accurate

observation and recall.

practice should serve to reinforce, rather than reduce the importance of both intra and inter-personal skills. Researches prove that information about emotionally or morally laden material such as trauma, loss or problem drinking, is influenced by the degree to which the assessor is empathic and non-judgmental. Insensitive assessment practices can result in a failure to elicit crucial aspects of the details, feelings, context and meaning of the user’s story, leading to inadequate plans, reduced user commitment and ineffective services. The limited attention paid to the role of emotion in assessment frameworks also stems from an inadequate understanding about ‘feelings’.

Assessment

Emotions are more than feelings (Siegal, 1999). They are deep level signals about information that demands attention, as to whether a situation is to be approached or avoided. The rapid appraisal of such signals conveys the meaning of the situation and is often a trigger for action. Emotion, meaning, perception and action cannot be neatly segregated. Needs cannot be elicited or addressed without an appreciation of their emotional and cultural content. The result is that social workers may see the need, but not the feeling behind the need. In failing to elicit the meaning, well intentioned plans may fail or go awry. Conclusion Emotions were considered as disruptive forces in rational thought and adaptive actions (Bernstone et. al,1993). Emotions are not irrational. To be rational, social workers need understand emotions appropriately.

 

References:

Anderson D(2000): Coping Strategies and Burnout amongst Veteran Child Protection Workers, Child Abuse and Neglect, 24(6), Pp. 839–48. Antidote (2003): The Emotional Literacy Handbook: Promoting Whole-School Strategies, David Fulton, London. Bar-On R (2000): Emotional and Social Intelligence: Insights from the Emotional Quotient Inventory’, In Bar-On, R. And Parker, J. (Eds), Handbook of Emotional Intelligence, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.

 

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Remedying Children’s Emotional DistressEmmanuel Janagan J * Thirunavukkarasu Subramaniam** *Dr Emmanuel Janagan J, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social

Emmanuel Janagan J * Thirunavukkarasu Subramaniam**

*Dr Emmanuel Janagan J, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Administration and Justice, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. **Dr Thirunavukarasu Subramaniam, Senior Lecturer, Department of South East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Introduction Emotional distress is an increasingly popular basis for claiming damages in lawsuits for injury due to the negligence or intentional acts of violence on others. Originally damages for emotional distress were only awardable in conjunction with damages for actual physical harm. Physical and mental signs of emotional distress. Symptoms that emerge as emotional distress are depression, anxiety, fear, addiction, stress, panic, physical pain, worry, anger and co dependency. Emotional distress could be analyzed with the frame-work of the socio cultural, situational, interpersonal, temporal, and personal context. (Anderson,1999). Observational research on parent-child interaction shows mechanisms where by negative emotions in a parent creates distress in children (Larson

1999). Issues of interpreting physical and behavioural signs of abuse lead to distress. (Besharov 1994), Symptoms of emotional distress Children who experience emotional distress from depression and anxiety are prone to viewing themselves and their world in a negative light – and this thinking leads them to underestimate their abilities. Consequently they shy away from competitive situations. Three specific negative beliefs associated with emotional distress lead children to underestimate themselves.

1. Tendency to blame themselves

for failures while attributing

successes to external factors. 2. Uncertainty about meeting performance standards.

3. Low self-esteem which make

children underestimate themselves in the social realm, but not in the academic realm.

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Childhood emotional traumas not only have a negative effect on children’s emotional wellbeing, but they also may lead to developmental problems. Emotional distress predict negative beliefs about the self and the world over time, these beliefs in turn predict decrements in competence estimation over time. Depression and anxiety lead children into emotional distress. (Rudolph 2003). A stressed-out child may manifest his distress in a variety of ways. A quiet child may be seen as ‘good’, a quarrelsome one as ‘naughty’ and one who cannot concentrate as ‘stupid’. Yet, all three could be showing symptoms of childhood distress. Research has demonstrated that the presence of hostility or rejection has devastating effects on the development of children. Parental rejection, hostility and unavailability during childhood are associated with subsequent child behaviour problems (Egeland 2002). Coping with distress Parents should look out for a child’s distress signals.’ He/ she may also have trouble sleeping or eating or may even start wetting his bed. Older children may react with anger,

frustration or defiance. Sometimes attentive teachers and parents do

pick up

sometimes, you have to be a friend.

If all you do is demand homework and

push too hard, they might just give up. ‘And when that happens, it’s hard to get them back.’ It takes a lot of ‘patience’. Healing of emotional distress There are effective ways of coping through emotional distress and letting

go of the traumas of the past. Dealing directly with your emotions and acknowledging emotional trauma is the first step to healing. Treatments that aim to help you claim your life back and put things into perspective include:

the symptoms. ‘And

Counselling. Cognitive behaviour therapy. Meditation. Spiritual therapy.

A holistic approach seeks to treat the underlying causes and not just the

symptoms of emotional distress, a

greater understanding of the affliction

is achieved leading to wellbeing and

harmony.

Conclusion It is widely acknowledged that a child’s emotions, beliefs and self-

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esteem have an impact upon the way he/ she thinks and behaves. Through counselling, social workers can help parents to acknowledge and share the emotional challenges raised by the affected children. They are able to create a space in which clients may freely discuss how they feel about themselves.

Focusing on the person, Being open-minded, Not being condemnatory, Creating a relationship with the client based on empathy, respect and trust are most important aspects when working with children and their families with emotional distress.

References:

Douglas J. Besharov (1994): Responding to Child Sexual Abuse: The Need for a Balanced Approach ‘The Future of Children’, Vol. 4, No. 2, Sexual Abuse of Children pp. 135-155 Eva M. Pomerantz and Karen D. Rudolph (2003): What Ensues from Emotional Distress? Implications for Competence Estimation ‘Child Development’, Vol. 74, No. 2 pp. 329-345 Nancy S. Weinfield, John R. Ogawa and Byron Egeland (2002): Predictability of Observed Mother-Child Interaction from Preschool to Middle Childhood in a High-Risk sample ‘Child Development’, Vol. 73, No. 2 pp. 528-543 Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, Sharon Wallace Williams and Theresa Cooper (1999):

The Contexts of Experiencing Emotional Distress among Family Caregivers to Elderly African Americans ‘Family Relations’, Vol. 48, No. 4, Interventions for Family Caregivers), pp. 391-396 Reed W. Larson and David M. Almeida (1999): Emotional Transmission in the Daily Lives of Families: A New Paradigm for Studying Family Process ‘Journal of Marriage and Family’, Vol. 61, No. 1 pp. 5-20.

Future Focus

We are thankful to Dr Bigi Thomas for consenting to be the Honorary Special Editor for this issue and for responding promptly to our request and for her timely editorial. Sep 2010 HSE: Dr Sekar K (NIMHANS) Focus: STUDENT ENRICHMENT. Oct 2010 HSE: Dr Emmanuel Janagan (University of Malaya) Focus: REACHING THE UNREACHED. Contributors to Note: Please send articles before 16th Aug 2010 .

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Focus
Focus

Anger Management among Children

Premalatha M* Paranjyothi Ramaligam J**

* Premalatha M, Lecturer, Dept of Social Work, Karpagam University, Eachanari (PO), Coimbatore.

**Dr Paranjothi Ramalingam J, Professor and

AmritaVishwa Vidyapeetham University, Coimbatore.

Head, Dept of Social Work,

Introduction Emotions are intense during childhood. Angry feelings are normal emotional reactions to daily stresses in life that range from minor irritation to white-hot rage. Although any emotion may be heightened in the sense that it occurs more frequently and more intensely than is normal for that particular individual, heightened emotionality in early childhood is characterized by temper tantrums, intense fears and unreasonable outbursts of jealousy. Much of the heightened emotionality characteristics of this stage is psychological rather that physiological in origin. The most common emotions among the children in early and late childhood are anger, fear, jealousy, curiosity, envy, joy and grief. Anger in children It’s natural for children to experience emotions of anger and anger itself is not a negative emotion if transformed.

Only when repressed does it cause problems. Anger in children is often triggered by frustration. They cannot understand their situation and they do not know how to change it. Helpless and unable to verbalize their feelings, they respond with anger. The emotions of anger when repressed transform to the following four feelings that can be regarded as more dangerous. The dangerous four Contempt, jealousy, hatred and guilt are very negative manifestations of anger, because they are difficult to be employed constructively. All four imply stasis, inaction or reckless destruction. Contempt implies illusory superiority and does nothing to help a person constructively; it perpetuates separation, oppression and exploitation. Jealousy is an emotion of lack of security, and obsession to fantasize. Hatred is rarely acted upon and

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is a brooding emotion, dynamic, sending oozing negativity into physical and enteric environment and atrophying the soul. Hatred leads to destabilizing destruction. Guilt is a futile attempt by a person to change the past brooding about which is another major negative emotion. Causes for emotional outburst Most of the children feel that they are capable of doing more than their parents will permit them to do and revolt against the restrictions placed upon them. In addition they become angry when they find they are incapable of doing what they think they can do easily and successfully. Even more important, children whose parents expect them to measure up to unrealistically high standards will experience more emotional tension than children whose parents are more realistic in their expectation (Vishala, 2006). High and unrealistic expectation from parents will lead to emotional tensions and promote the feelings of anger among children. It can be associated with low self- esteem, fear of failure, or feelings of isolation. It can be related to situations in which a child feels

anxiety because of lack of control over the situation (divorce, transfer or family problems). What an adult experiences as sadness, a young child may express as anger in situations like loss of a loved one and separation (Compas, Bruce.E, 1988). Family and social environment are more significant factors in provoking or passifying the emotions of the child. Stress and anger Anger in children often comes from stress. Stress is part of child’s life as much as it is part of adult’s life. There are other valid causes for anger in children that require immediate attention and perhaps even professional intervention; there are children who are angry because of family separation and child custody issues. Or they may be victims of sexual abuse or their anger can be due to rape trauma. Coping with anger Children who were viewed as highly socially competent by their peers and school personnel were found to cope with anger in more constructive, nonaggressive ways (Fabes and Eisenberg, 1992). The children when not recognized and rewarded for their

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achievements feel rejected and

behave with anger.

of children’s coping mechanisms for anger examined responses toward anger occurring between adults but not directed toward the children (Cummings, 1987). Children may respond to adults’ angry interactions by incorporating negative coping behaviours into their own interpersonal interactions. There are several studies that focus on causes of children’s anger. Covell and Abramovitch (1987) studied 123 predominantly middle-class children between the ages of 5 and 15. The traits of happiness, sadness, and anger were studied. The children were interviewed to identify causes of anger. This study showed that the children believe themselves to be the cause of their mother’s anger and their perception of ‘the family as an environment in which one is made and makes others angry’. Not only the small children, even the grown up children desire to have their parents closeby and to attend to their needs. Children are not able to comprehend why parents must have other preoccupations than them. The feelings of the child is likely to be that

Another study

if parents liked them, they would want to be with the children. If they aren’t the resentment arises ( Vishala,

2006).

One child norm The one child norm has caused certain problems for the child such as selfishness and inability to share with other children due to lack of experience of generous sharing. Only child may have the problem of attension-seeking and poor motivation. In the family where there are more children sibling rivalry and healthy competition are natural. Two greatest causes for unhappiness in 21st century children are:

psychological and physical rejection. Many children feel that they are not wanted and accepted by their parents. Another important cause of unhappiness in children are friction in family and the breakup of the family. In every case of seperation of parents, children are the victims. Indicators of anger Tantrums among children that are perfectly normal and short-lived can be handled by parents and teachers. However long-lasting and severe tantrums may be indicators for professional intervention.

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The feelings expressed out of anger if not managed properly may result in destructive emotions like contempt, jealousy, hatred and guilt that are very negative that may dominate the child’s personality and spoil the social development. The child needs help when anger becomes severe, if the child’s behaviour poses a danger to himself or others. Attention has to be paid if the anger in the child is sustained, persistent, rude, verbally abusive for more than an hour and if the child has performed the act of violence/ physical aggression against others (Vishala, 2006). The child needs help when he outburst himself and when anger turned inward through starvation, avoidance of friends and self-injury/ mutilation. The child should be properly taken care of when he is found to misbehave in school and have performance problem. Thus anger management in the right time is very crucial to protect our children in falling prey to this problem. The secret of successful anger management is to intervene early.

Most children use anger because it is their only coping mechanism for daily stress (Fabes, Esenberg, 1992). By identifying problem situations and providing them new techniques for coping, we can keep the anger at bay. Handling anger The following strategies may be followed to handle anger among children :

Identifying abnormal anger for early intervention is the first step towards recovery from anger. Rewards serve to reinforce motivation to learn to behave in a socially approved manner. A loving family that provides the four “A”s of happiness – affection,acceptance, approval by others and achievements will encourage children to like and accept themselves. (Vishala, 2006). Reasonable and appropriate expressions of affection and recognition by parents and teachers such as showing pride in young children’s achievements and spending time with them and doing things they want to do will make them appreciate themselves as well as others.

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wreak havoc on their fellow humans. Anger, annoyance, and irritation course through the minds and bodies of many perfectly normal people. Origin of anger Anger may arise from doubting others’ motives and values. Hostility is yet another cause of health problems. Williams maintain that about one in five Americans suffer from levels of hostility sufficient to be threatening to health. Social learning (environment) plays an even greater part, probably in interaction with biological (heredity) tendencies. Since anger is learned, it can be prevented, arrested and even unlearned/ removed. There are different approaches to managing anger.

Stages of anger There are more techniques of anger

management. Logically it follows that

if one controls his passion he can get

a handle on his anger. Anger starts

with a minor irritation and it can grow into an obsession that affects the mind. Anger can be corrected with behaviour modification. There are three stages in the

development of anger in a person:

1. Thought stage.

2. Speech stage.

3. Action stage.

A man of perfection is one who will

nip the anger in its bud; he will not even entertain angry thoughts. He will neutralize them by various thought-management techniques. After constant practice, there may not be even traces of anger left in such a human being. Thought stage This is the best stage for any anger to be controlled. It is like the beginning of the formation of hurricane in the nearby ocean. If one does not check the progressive formation of anger at the thought stage, it could develop into its final stage of wrath. Anger at the thought

stage is like a thief. If one gives it a stern look, it will flee, from the backyard of one’s mind. More important, one has to be aware of when he is getting angry, and this awareness alone can remove traces

of anger.

Speech stage

If

one is unable to control anger at

the thought stage, he should do so before it enters the speech stage. We

know that thoughts have already been formed and we cannot undo

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whatever the teacher says or does. Therefore it is the moral responsibility of the teacher to set standards and manage the children’s emotions. Parents should trust their children and respect them like adults. It will boost their morale to act in socially approved manner. When anger is persistent, diagnostic and remedial

instructions are helpful. Children who consistently have temper tantrums, require professional help from social workers and counsellors. Proper intervention to handle the emotional outbursts of the children include emotional literacy, life skill education, prevention, control, correction and enrichment programmes.

 

References :

Ann Shields, Dante Cicchetti (1998): Reactive Aggression in Maltreated Children:

The Contribution of Attention and Emotion Dysregulation, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Vol.27, Issue 4, Pg.381-395. Averill J R( 1982 ): Anger and Aggression : An Essay on Emotion. Springer Verlag, New York. Beck, Aaron T (1976):Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders, The New American Freedom, Inc., New York. Beck, Aaron T and Gary Emery (1985): Anxiety Disorders and Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective, Basic Books Pvt Ltd, New York. Childe, Doc Lew (1994): Freeze-Frame, Planetary Publications, California. Compas, Bruce.E ( 1988): Coping with Stressful Events in Younger Children, Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, Vol.56(3), Pg 405-411. Covell, Abramovitch,R ( 1987): Understanding Emotions in Family : Children’s and Parent’s Attributions of Happiness, Sadness and Anger, Child Development, 58, 985-991. Cummings E M( 1987):Coping with Background Anger in Early Childhood, Childhood Development, 58, 976-984. Fabes, Esenberg (1992):Young Children’s Coping with Interpersonal Anger, Child Development, 63, 116-128. Fabes, Esenberg (1994):The Relations of Emotionality and Regulation to Children’s Anger Related Reactions, Child Development, 65, 109-128. Fritz, Robert (1984): The Path of Least Resistance, Fawcett Books, Westminster. Goleman, Daniel (1995): Emotional Intelligence , Bantam Books, New York. Vishala Mary (2006): Guidance and Counseling (for teachers, parents and students ), S.Chand & Company Ltd., New Delhi. • Wetherill, Richard W (1962): Dictionary of Typical Command Phrases, The Alpha Publishing House, Royersford.

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Focus
Focus

Dangerous Emotion

Saraswati Raju Iyer*

*Saraswati Raju Iyer, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Nagarjuna Nagar, Guntur – 522 510

Introduction Anger has been considered as an emotion causing havoc in an individual’s life when not managed effectively. Before we can control anger, and thereby reap its benefits, we should understand the origin of anger. Anger is one letter short of danger and therefore needs to be under control so as to maintain good physical and social health. Being socially connected is healthy; being (or feeling) isolated is unhealthy. Anger has its harmful effects on health when it creates heightened stress and worse health habits. Types of anger Anger can be classified as negative anger and positive anger. Negative anger is a feeling, expressed or unexpressed, of hostility, aggression, or a desire to hurt and wanting to punish the source of frustration. Positive anger is the motivation to change or correct the source of frustration. Both are based on wanting something, not getting it and being frustrated.

Anger is a violent outburst of emotion stemming from the frustration of the individual. Anger is also a response to emotions such as hurt, rejection, humiliation, self-doubt or guilt that remains hidden. Hence it becomes essential to identify the root cause of anger and learn to cope with it. Sometimes anger is a manifestation of a selfish, unfulfilled desire. Almost all the time, its presence is felt only by the havoc it causes, like a hurricane that becomes visible only when it destroys everything in its path. Anger is rooted in fear – a state of helplessness, real or imagined. Since it is a manifestation of unappeased passion, or a strong desire ungratified, we must go back to the very beginning of the formation of a desire. Anatomy of anger A study of the anatomy of thought is required if we are to understand the logical evolution of anger. Deep and intense desire is the very

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beginning of any activity. When a person constantly dwells on a thought, without his or her knowledge an attachment is developed. Attachment always causes a person to possess and enjoy the object of attachment. When that desire cannot be fulfilled anger arises. An angry person loses his memory in which is stored all the past experiences and knowledge necessary for logical thinking and proper human behaviour. Thus, when the power of discrimination (which is the ability to differentiate right from wrong) is lost, that individual becomes confused. Very often we see individuals who are consumed by extreme anger behaving in an illogical way, and even resorting to violence in their interaction with others. Harmful consequences Anger mongers suffer at one time or the other. Indeed, management of anger will ensure peace of mind and harmony not only for the angry person, but for others around him. Anger gives rise to some evil consequences. They are:

Jealousy.

Verbal abuse. Cruelty. Physical abuse/ hurt. Rash behaviour. Unjust action. Persecution. Remedies for anger There are some techniques that an individual can practise to reduce the stress level and maintain a fair health status—mental and physical. Interventions such as:

Cognitive approach. Behavioural approach. Psychological counselling. Stress management techniques. Relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises. Meditation and yoga. Visualization techniques. Self-hypnosis and affirmations. Biofeedback. Music. Humour. Massage. Hydrotherapy. It is clear that anger is harmful to self and others. A US study shows one out of every five suffers from levels of hostility sufficient to be threatening to normal health. Anger that drives people to shoot, stab or otherwise

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wreak havoc on their fellow humans. Anger, annoyance, and irritation course through the minds and bodies of many perfectly normal people. Origin of anger Anger may arise from doubting others’ motives and values. Hostility is yet another cause of health problems. Williams maintain that about one in five Americans suffer from levels of hostility sufficient to be threatening to health. Social learning (environment) plays an even greater part, probably in interaction with biological (heredity) tendencies. Since anger is learned, it can be prevented, arrested and even unlearned/ removed. There are different approaches to managing anger.

Stages of anger There are more techniques of anger

management. Logically it follows that

if one controls his passion he can get

a handle on his anger. Anger starts

2. Speech stage.

3. Action stage.

A man of perfection is one who will

nip the anger in its bud; he will not even entertain angry thoughts. He will neutralize them by various thought-management techniques. After constant practice, there may not be even traces of anger left in such a human being. Thought stage This is the best stage for any anger to be controlled. It is like the beginning of the formation of hurricane in the nearby ocean. If one does not check the progressive formation of anger at the thought stage, it could develop into its final

stage of wrath. Anger at the thought stage is like a thief. If one gives it a stern look, it will flee, from the backyard of one’s mind. More important, one has to be aware of when he is getting angry, and this awareness alone can remove traces

with a minor irritation and it can grow into an obsession that affects the

mind. Anger can be corrected with behaviour modification. There are three stages in the development of anger in a person:

corrected with behaviour modification. There are three stages in the development of anger in a person:

1. Thought stage.

of

If

anger.

Speech stage

one is unable to control anger at

the thought stage, he should do so before it enters the speech stage. We

the thought stage, he should do so before it enters the speech stage. We

know that thoughts have already been formed and we cannot undo

know that thoughts have already been formed and we cannot undo

Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010

23
23

them. Anger then threatens to enter the speech stage. A conscious effort to clean up one’s vocabulary is more important . Silence is the best remedy to control anger before it reaches the speech stage. One should not utter a word if thoughts of anger dominate the mind. One must be constantly watching the conditions of his mind like a meteorologist watching the atmosphere for early detection of dangerous formations in the air. Once he is able to control his mental atmosphere, he will be keenly aware of every change taking place in the realm of the mind. When thoughts of anger arise in a person, he is there to flush them out before they can develop into threatening emotions. In the beginning until one becomes familiar with anger management, he must have a ready plan to tackle anger.

Action stage When anger has crossed the speech stage, it is in a dangerous zone. It is probably going to take violent eruptions unless checked. It is a good idea even in modern times to have a designated room to enter when anger has crossed over to the speech stage. The following rooms

could be used for that purpose:

1.Bedroom – Enter the room and lie down even if you cannot sleep. No violence will erupt from a person lying down. 2.Prayer room – Wash your face with cold water before entering.

Close your eyes and try to enter into

a meditative state. Even if you

cannot meditate, the silence in the

prayer room will help you to get out

of the agitated mood.

3.Take a walk – You can even leave the house but don’t drive. (Those with suicidal thought may be

restrained from leaving one’s home.) 4.Breathing some fresh air can change the mental state and help

one out of rage. 5.Take a shower – Another effective method is to take a shower in cold

or semi-cold water.

6.Change of scene– Under any circumstances, one must get away from the person/ situation that caused anger in the first place. This will avoid any untoward or violent actions toward that person. Some more interventions Since anger is correlated with health problems, particularly cardiovascular

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diseases such as essential hypertension and coronary artery disease, the individuals whose anger levels are high could benefit from psychological interventions such as applied relaxation, cognitive restructuring, combined cognitive- relaxation, coping skills training, social and communication skills training and anger-focussed process- oriented group therapy. These interventions have proved to be effective in reducing anger and its outward negative expression and in enhancing a calmer, controlled expression. There is a feasibility of adapting anger management interventions as part of cardiac rehabilitation which can help in preventing re-infarction and in promoting physical and psychological wellbeing. Tips for reducing hostility In their excellent book, Anger Kills; Williams and Williams present 17 strategies for ‘controlling the hostility that can harm your health’.

1.Reason with yourself. 2.Stop hostile thoughts, feelings and urges. 3.Distract yourself.

4.Meditate.

5.Avoid over stimulation. 6.Assert yourself. 7.Care for a pet.

8.Listen.

9.Practise trusting others. 10.Take on community service. 11.Increase empathy. 12.Be tolerant.

13.Forgive.

14.Have a confidant. 15.Laugh at yourself. 16.Be more religious, if you prefer. 17.Pretend today is your last. Conclusion When anger is managed effectively it promotes wellness for self and for others. Anger management is especially useful for the school students who are stressed due to many factors over which they have no control. So catch them young and teach them to manage.

References:

The Week July 5, 1998. Williams and Williams (1993): The Mind Management Guide. Pp.21-22, , Part III) Publisher, Place Vishala Mary (2006): Guidance and counseling (for teachers, parents and stu- dents ), S Chand and Company Ltd., New Delhi.

 

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Emotional Competence in Young ChildrenMahespriya L* Ranjit L** * Mahespriya L , Research Scholar, Department of Social Work, Karpagam

Mahespriya L*

Ranjit L**

* Mahespriya L, Research Scholar, Department of Social Work, Karpagam University, Coimbatore. ** Ranjit L , Head, Department of Social Work, Karpagam University, Coimbatore.

Introduction Emotional competence is a skill to recognize, interpret, and respond constructively to emotions in one and others. It is a learned capability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work. At the heart of emotional competence there are two abilities:

They are empathy which involves reading the feelings of others and social skills which allow handling those feelings artfully. The framework Personal competence determines how we mange ourselves. Self- awareness is knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions. Self-regulation is managing one’s internal states, impulses and resources. Motivation is emotional tendency that guides or facilitates to reach goals. Social competence determines how we handle relationships. Empathy is

awareness of others’ feelings, needs and concerns. Social skills include adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others. Three basic foundations Emotional awareness, self- assessment and self-confidence are the three basic foundations on which the emotional competence of children rests. Emotional awareness is the recognition of how our emotions affect our performance and the ability to use our values to guide decision making. Accurate self assessment is a candid sense of finding our personal strengths and limits, a clear vision of where we need to improve and the ability to learn from experience. Self-confidence is the courage that comes from certainty about our capabilities, values and goals. Emotional competence is the key to strong preschool social skills (Denham 1997). Effective programmes often

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Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010

focus on teaching specific cognitive skills that improve the children’s emotional competence. Some of the programmes described below have been evaluated with young children. Emotional awareness training Children need training that will help them know their own feelings and others’ better. It’s the building block of a healthy emotional life. Emotional awareness is the ability to identify and express what they are feeling and to have empathy for what others are feeling which is an important key to help children become well adjusted, resilient adults. The care giver must take some time to work with child on developing a few simple coping skills and must create a more harmonious family atmosphere. Danielle M. Hessler and Lynn Fainsilber Katz (2010) stated in a brief report: ‘The children with poor emotional awareness and regulation had a higher likelihood of using hard drugs.’ Social skills training During their child hood stage, young children will become members of many groups: family, neighbourhood, school, and in society. Each of these groups will require the child to interact in an appropriate manner. They can

provide emotional support, they can help to solve problems, and they can even teach each other new skills to strengthen children’s social and emotional competence and directly train them in social, cognitive, and emotional management skills such as friendly communication, problem solving, and anger management (Beauchaine, 2001; McBurnett et al., 1993). Children’s emotional regulation problems have been associated with distinct patterns of responding on a greater variety of psycho physiological measures compared to typically developing children. Enhancing academic skill Help strengthen prewriting, writing, prereading, reading, sequencing, vocabulary and discrimination skills. This skill provides an opportunity for a discussion of sequencing as children learn the steps to solving their problems. It also gives opportunities to promote effective learning behaviours, such as verbal and nonverbal communication skills, that include collaborating, cooperating, listening, attending, speaking up, and asking questions. These are key foundational skills in

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order for a child to learn academic skills and be successful in the classroom environment Anger management Childhood is an age of development. Children learn and discover new things every moment. Children are not very good at communicating; their feelings and emotions are not tuned.

careful guidance of their behaviour can lead them toward developing self-management, self-confidence, and problem solving skills. Guidance has to be provided for the young children to make them aware and to know the direction they have to take. Kolo (1992) quoting Shertzer and Stone (1980) said guidance is to

All these collectively lead to anger in children. Anxiety is one of the most prevalent issues among young children. At that moment the children have to be given unconditional love when their mercury levels begin to rise. The care giver must offer support

direct, pilot or to guide. In the light of the present discussion guidance is essentially a directing assistance, more specifically, in the context of early childhood development. Communication skills Low interaction of a child with other

to

comfort the child. Involve the child

children may occur when they feel

in

creative activities such as dance,

insecure or unsure of themselves.

music, or art. By making use of any

Communication skill helps to equip a

of

these creative mediums, the child

child with just the right amount of

can express his feelings in a better way. When handling angry children, the parents should first ascertain the reason for their anger and then find

social skills so that the child would be able to communicate well. Speaking skills build confidence among the children.

a

solution accordingly. As reasons

Parents’ training

differ from child to child, solutions should also be tailor-made. Behaviour management Behaviour management is a skill to control one’s own behaviour in any circumstance. Understanding children’s development and providing

Training given to parents must focus on establishing friendly relationship with their children. To teach emotional competence to the child, the parents must make them comfortable and must know about child feelings. When parents explain emotions and their

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causes, children learn to regulate their own feelings. “When you don’t pay attention to me, it makes me feel frustrated and sad” is a common complaint applicable to all. Paying attention and understanding the feelings of a child aids the child’s emotional competence. Denham et al (1992) In one of their study stated that “parents who use ‘more frequent, more sophisticated’ language about emotions had kids who could better cope with anger and disappointment”. Teachers’ training Teacher training focuses to develop behavioural plans for handling the children. It also helps the class room management strategies that will reduce all kind of misbehaviour of a child in class room setting. Teachers are encouraged to be sensitive to

individual development in children. Teachers must be well trained in effective class room management strategies and be able to manage misbehaviour successfully (Webster- stratton et al 2001). Conclusion No child is born with skills. Positive early relationships provide the foundation for developing positive peer interactions in their adult hood. In this paper we discussed few programmes for the children for their use in promoting emotional competence and reducing behavioural problems. The ability of young children to manage their emotions and behaviours and to make meaningful friendships is an important prerequisite for school readiness and successful in life.

References:

Carolyn Webster-Stratton and M. Jamila Reid, (2004): Strengthening Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children—The Foundation for Early School Readiness and Success. Infants and Young Children, Apri l- June 2004 Danielle M Hessler and Lynn Fainsilber Katz (2010): Associations between Emotional Competence and Adolescent Risky Behaviour”. Journal of Adolescence Volume 33, Issue 1, February 2010, Pages 241-246 David Goleman (1998):Working with Emotional Intelligence. Bantam Book, New York and Toronto. Gewen Dewar (2010): Preschool Social Skills: A Guide for the Science-minded Parent, Parenting Science, pp 142-143. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/anger-management http://www.incredibleyears.com

 

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Emotional MasteryInthira K R* * Inthira K R , Research Scholar, School of Social Work, Karpagam

Inthira K R*

* Inthira K R, Research Scholar, School of Social Work, Karpagam University, Eachanari, Coimbatore

Introduction Emotions are the major driving force behind our behaviour. The burning question today is, can we control them? Can we lead a better life and thereby create a better world around us? While complete emotional mastery is utopian, small steps towards greater skills in managing and shaping our moods, feelings and experiences can lead to better the quality of our life, and thereby help us to live in harmony with our fellow human beings. Understanding emotion In The Fifth Discipline, Peter M. Senge, quotes an article by B.O’Brien titled, ‘Advanced Maturity’:

“Whatever the reasons, we do not pursue emotional development with the same intensity with which we pursue physical and intellectual development. This is all the more unfortunate because full emotional development offers the greatest degree of leverage in attaining our full potential” Most adult humans are quite immature when it comes to their

emotions. It is as if they stopped growing at about the age of eleven or twelve years. Scott H. Young,

states that emotions are nothing but

a category of thinking and

experiencing. Although from a biological perspective there are interacting neurotransmitters and hormones creating emotions, he describes emotions from a purely experiential viewpoint which

simplifies anger, love or enthusiasm

as classification of an incredibly

diverse and varied set of behaviours, experiences and thought patterns. Mental patterns These thought patterns form the

foundation of our emotional experience. Everey factor — environmental, biological or

physiological — is influencing our feelings and appear in our self-talk. Emotions always express themselves in our self-talk. Changing

the path of our mental patterns will

change our emotional state. But if it were so easy we would have all reached perfect emotional control

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Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010

already. Mental patterns flow like

rivers. The water in the river has no control over where that river flows. However indirectly it is possible to change that flow and regain control over our emotional life. Steps to control emotions The first step is to recognize it as such. This is the first barrier to emotional mastery/ control and the most difficult to overcome. By he time one is actually angry, depressed

or enthusiastic, one is already deep

within that pattern. To achieve emotional mastery, one must start by being conscious of one’s emotional state at all times. By recognizing that one is in a bad mental pattern will help to replace

them with better ones. Break the pattern Interrupting the pattern means, doing something your brain doesn’t expect.

A spontaneous new action or

stimulus will immediately cause a massive status change and help to regain control of the bad emotional state.

Change focus Another way to alter the flow of a mental pattern is to change one’s focus. It is important to remember

that focus is what creates an emotion. One can reframe the situation as a more proactive means to change one’s focus. Visualize Visualization is another method to change one’s thinking patterns. By visualizing a new alternative or imagining something positive, one can shift one’s state. By deciding to visualize a positive outcome you help install positive emotions more strongly than negative ones. Change orientation Fritz in his book The Path of the Least Resistance, states that most people believe circumstances are the driving forces of their lives. In other words, in such an orientation you are forced either to respond to or react against the circumstances, you tend not to believe that you can make choices independent of the circumstances. The reactive- responsive orientation is based on the premise that you are powerless. The problem of emotional control reflects the problem of human beings in general. We tend to live as if our lives are determined by circumstances, by factors beyond our control. This essentially passive

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Journal of School Social Work English Monthly.

ISSN: 0976-3759

Registered with Registrar of Newspapers for India underNo.TNENG/2004/14389.

Postal Registration TN/CC(S) Dn/ 47 / 09-11. Licensed to post under WPP No. TN/CC(S) Dn/ 34/09-11.

orientation towards life leads to the feeling that we are victims of circumstances or fate. In order to regain your power you need to switch to what Fritz calls the ‘orientation of the creative’ and the individual who lives out his life in such orientation believes that he can make choices independent of the circumstances. We tend to get used to things happening to us that we forget that we can control our own lives. This is especially relevant to our emotions:

we don’t need to be at the mercy of our moods and feelings. Conclusion The trouble with us is that we waste so much of our time getting bogged down by our emotions. To quote Colin Wilson:

“We habitually exaggerate the importance of present difficulties. We seldom feel relaxed and healthy enough to a clear, objective view of own lives. The consequence is that we are always working below our maximum level of efficiency.” By taking control of our emotions and minimizing the degree to which we indulge in negative emotions (all negative emotions are basically a form of self indulgence), we become vastly more effective and efficient human beings. Positive affirmations, if taught to our children, will enable them to break away from the clutches of passive inactivity, by making them own their emotions and not feel for them.

References:

 

Mark Lindsay - How to achieve Emotional Control Scott H Young Mental Patterns - Emotional Mastery ( series) Beck, Aaron T - Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders Fritz, Robert - The Path of Least Resistance

 

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printed by T. Rajaguru at TRK Press, 39, Saidapet Road, Vadapalani,

Chennai 600026.

Editor: P. Jayachandran Naidu.

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Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010
Journal of SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK August 2010