‘Simmering under the surface’: how anger has overtaken anxiety amid Australia’s Covid outbreaks

16 August 2021

Dr Stan Steindl from UQ's School of Psychology featured in an article by The Guardian discussing how compassion can be used to turn anger towards COVID-19 into something more positive. 

“There’s an old saying, ‘Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die,’” says Dr Stan Steindl.

“It’s terribly exhausting, painful and can be a source of great suffering.

“Normally, when we feel stressed, we might turn to our close family or friends for support, but … a major source of threat at the moment is our fellow humans.

“Social ‘safeness’ in our lives has taken an enormous hit. The result can be anger … anger at our neighbours, others in the community, people we have to deal with for various products and services, and at our governments and systems.

“We have tricky brains but we also have very clever brains. We can learn, change and grow, and develop ways to manage the threat system and manage our anger.

Slowing down the breathing, shifting our posture and our facial expression, creating a sense of warmth and friendliness, leading with the body and moving from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system – the part of our brain that slows everything down.

“Sometimes, anger can be a source of energy for great acts of kindness, justice, progress."

Read the full article