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Mental health is taking a beating. World events are causing anxieties. Massive resignations are taking place across the country. People are feeling the weight of, for one, COVID-19, in an unprecedented way. Among the mix of emotions is anger — and in the online world, that anger is multidimensional and measured in a test.

What is Multidimensional Anger?

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Turns out, anger isn’t as straightforward as you may think. That it’s about antagonism toward someone or something. That it manifests instantly as aggression or that it has one definable expression. Multidimensional anger covers the many elements associated with the complex emotion — because anger is complex.

The concept of multidimensional anger inventory is relatively new. UCLA psychologist Judith Siegel came up with it after observing several dimensions of anger during a review of a scientific literature on anger and coronary heart disease. Dr. Siegel noted how some people had a hostile outlook even without experiencing intense anger whereas others were easily angered from a limited range of situations.

Why is it necessary to dig into your angry reactions?

It’s important to understand the why you’re roused to anger and how it unfolds because it’ll help you figure out how to manage it. Anger management is one way to safeguard your mental health, especially in deeply challenging situations.

Today’s generation offers the convenience of social media in helping you recognize anger through the multidimensional anger test.

How Accurate is the Multidimensional Anger Test?

Multimedia Anger Test chart
Multimedia Anger Test

What is this multidimensional anger test?

This type of anger test, which has been making the rounds on Twitter, helps you reflect on your experiences with anger. It poses 38 questions, which are meant to determine your susceptibility to the emotion. It does so by comparing your responses with the population average.

Designed by IDRLabs, the test on multidimensional anger is based on the multiple empirical dimensions that Dr. Siegel has mapped out on her work. The questions allow you to reflect on the following scales of anger:

  • Frequency
  • Duration
  • Magnitude
  • Mode of expression
  • Hostile outlook
  • Range of anger-eliciting situations

Each dimension is further broken down into elements, like hostile outlook comes out as two separate dimensions: anger-in and anger-out.

The questions are posed as phrases in which you’ll choose if you “agree” or “disagree.”

Some examples:

 

 

The multidimensional anger test simplifies Dr. Siegel’s work by breaking down the facets into:

Anger Arousal

It covers frequency, duration and magnitude of anger.

Anger Spectrum

It covers the scope and breadth of situations that are likely to trigger your rage.

Hostile Outlook

It refers to how you see the world; those who score high tend to be cynical.

External Anger

If you score high here, you may be known for your temper.

Internal Anger

If you score high here, you tend to feel guilty about expressing your anger.

Since the test seems to cover a lot of ground, does that mean it’s accurate about your anger? No guarantee is given that the results will be accurate. Like every trend that springs from social media, don’t take it as gospel. But you could use the results to keep yourself in check.

Maybe you’re not noticing your responses to your anger. Maybe the situations described in the anger test give you pause about whether you agree. What you get out of the test may help you come up with strategies on how to calm down when frustrations build up.

What are the Ways to Deal with Anger?

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Photo by Chelsea Gates on Unsplash

Anger isn’t all bad. It’s a natural response in some cases and expressing it may even be healthy; repressing anger could develop into a heart attack or bronchitis. Research has even found that feeling this emotion increases creativity, optimism and effective performance.

It becomes a problem only when you don’t have the ability to control it. It affects your relationships when you become abusive. It impacts your physical and mental health, manifesting as increased blood pressure, muscle tension, stress, guilt and the like.

Anger suppression reportedly makes chronic pain worse whereas uncontrollable anger or hostility has been linked to peptic ulcers, high blood pressure and stroke.

Anger is classified into three types: passive aggression, open aggression and assertive anger. The last one is the healthy way to deal with anger, allowing you to react to tense situations the right way:

  • Understand the difference between events you have control over and ones you can’t change.
  • Delay your response. When you’re angry, pause and take a deep breath. When you take a moment, you give yourself several options to respond to an emotionally charged situation.
  • State your concerns clearly and without taking on a tone that will demean the other person.
  • Ask yourself, “Is my anger helping the situation or escalating it?”

If the above steps seem like a mountain you can’t climb, start your journey to anger management with the following:

  1. Minimize stress in creative ways
  2. Practice relaxation techniques (meditation or yoga)
  3. Consider behavioral therapy for professional support
  4. Look into anger management classes that offer virtual and in-person options

Control, Don’t Suppress Your Anger

Anger management is part of looking after your mental health. In a time when the world doesn’t seem to be headed in a good direction, it’s natural to feel the frustration, a loss of control and faith. It’s healthy to express your emotions, even when you feel it may not be received well.

When you do express anger, make sure it’s well within reason. Is there is a benefit to expressing it? Will it lead to a healthy outcome?

If you want to take a temperature of your anger arousal and spectrum, the multidimensional anger test could be a good start.

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