Why is Mumbai boiling over?

Dec 03, 2010, 06:13 IST | Aviva Dharmaraj

Why are anger levels rising in the city? We ask experts for their opinion. Plus tips on how to deal with anger effectively and manage negative emotions

Why are anger levels rising in the city? We ask experts for their opinion. Plus tips on how to deal with anger effectively and manage negative emotions

Monday, December 29, 2010: 17 year-old Saddam Shaikh visits his teenage girlfriend in her Oshiwara home. On finding the boy in the girl's room, the girl's father flies into a rage and mercilessly beats the boy, who eventually succumbs to his injuries.



Later that night, Kandivali resident Danny Rajbhor is reprimanded for speeding home on his bike with his three-year-old daughter. He returns with his father, knife in hand, and stabs the two men, who criticised him. The father-son duo have been booked on charges of attempt to commit murder.

The city is seething. Psychiatrist Shefali Batra, however, says that anger is not the reason why. "Anger is a normal emotion. The issue is that we are getting angry more easily than before. We have become very impulsive and more emotionally charged than before," she says.

The primary reason for the lowering of the anger-threshold is stress, according to Dr Batra, who says, "You need to be tough to survive in Mumbai. It's not an easy life. Even to be able to live like a rat, you have to slog."

Acupuncturist and reiki specialist Dr Geeta Thakkar agrees. "The cost of living here is very high and there is a lot of competition. Even children are stressed," she says.

Dr Thakkar suggests that the solution to dealing with anger in a constructive way lies in effectively managing stress. Experts advise engaging in a regular form of physical activity such as walking or jogging, doing deep-breathing exercises, and avoiding junk food.

"Junk food creates stress in the body as it typically takes a long time to be digested, and cause health complication including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)," says Dr Thakkar.

In certain cases, seeking professional help might be the solution. "It might be a psychological problem that has to be treated either through professional counselling or anger management classes," says Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla, professor of psychology, Grant Medical College.

Dr Batra advocates mastering one's emotional responses. "One needs to build on one's Emotional Quotient (EQ) to be able to deal with conflicting emotions positively," she says, adding, "Give more, expect less, understand your strengths and weaknesses, and go back to value systems that we learnt in childhood like 'don't hit back'."

Anger Management:101
Tips to cope with feelings of rage

>> Engage in a regular form of physical exercise on a daily basis
>> Avoid eating junk food
>> Work on building your EQ by understanding your strengths and weaknesses
>> Learn deep-breathing exercises
>> Learn yoga asanas for relaxation
>> Learn Reiki techniques
>> Seek professional help when necessary
>> Try talking things over with a friend
>> Figure out ways to deal with your negative emotions in a constructive manner
>> Make time for leisure activities

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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