“Anger is one letter short of danger! ”
Is anger affecting you, your health, your relationships or your work environment? Do you perhaps react like this?
- Have regular outbursts
- Fly ‘off the handle’ easily
- Explode with anger or rage
- Boil or burn up with anger
- Feel threatened, helpless or out of control
- Attack the ones you love
- Have road rage
- Avoid conflict for fear of consequences
- Easily annoyed, frustrated and irritated
- Blow things out of proportion
“He who angers you, conquers you.”
Anger is a strong emotion, and although a natural feeling experienced by humans, the effects are most often unpleasant. Anger is a natural response to any trauma, grief or loss. To gain insight and understanding of the anger you’re possibly experiencing, I recommend reviewing the explanation on this website of Stages of Loss.
Anger can also be triggered as a result of unresolved fears, insecurities or emotional hurts, be these real or perceived: an internal reaction that is perceived to have an external cause.
Most angry people usually blame or justify their angry arousal or reactions on someone, or an event rather than acknowledging they have an irrational expectation or perception of reality i.e. a result of ‘what has happened to them’. Angry outbursts can also be as a result of trying to impose control over people or situations ‘it has to be done my way’ or ‘its my way or no way’. And, if these situations don’t unfold the way they expect, they become angry.
All too often anger, especially in its strongest forms, impairs one’s ability to process information thus an angry person may loose their objectivity, discretion, empathy or thoughtfulness, and may therefore cause harm to others, hence the term ‘blind rage’. Distinction should be made between anger and aggression whether verbal or physical (direct or indirect) even though these two emotions usually influence, aggravate or intensify each other.
Anger is a form of reaction or response enabling people to deal with threats. Indeed, anger may be necessary for survival and through a triggered ‘fight-or-flight’ response this could be expressed either passively or aggressively. Passive ‘flight’ response is repression and denial of anger for safety purposes. While ‘fight’ response is associated with aggressive behaviour, and the use of verbal or physical power of anger to abuse and hurt others.
Anger, rage or wrath can also be described as excessive and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. These feelings can manifest in different ways including impatience, annoyance, fury, revenge and vigilantism. Anger in its purest form presents with self destructiveness, violence and hate, which may provoke animosity for years or decades, often persisting long after the person who caused a grievous wrong is dead! Mahatma Gandhi said “It takes ten generations for healing to become real. Given time, we will end the demand of, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ fearing that the whole world may wind up blind and toothless…“
Anger may be viewed as an uncivilised or immature response to threats, loss, grief, denial, frustration or violation but conversely keeping this anger ‘bottle up’ isn’t healthy either. Likewise, remaining calm under provocation maybe admirable but this conditioning or ‘denial’ could result in an inappropriate expression of uncontrolled outbursts of repressed feelings or misdirected anger. A more appropriate response would be to address the provocation or situation immediately, yet some avoid conflict for fear of the consequences. This inability to react appropriately fuels repressed anger. Consequently, ‘bottled up’ anger can lead to persistent negative or destructive thoughts such as self criticism, blame, and guilt, and in extreme cases physical conditions, nightmares or even violent actions. Unresolved anger may aggravate or cause depression, and also fuels feelings of prejudice, jealousy, paranoia even in ordinary every day situations. Displays of anger can be used as manipulation.
On a positive note, anger is one of our most primitive defence mechanisms that protects us and so can be a beneficial or constructive emotion. Anger can motivate, give strength or courage thus preventing us from being dominated or manipulated by others. Potentially anger mobilises psychological resources bolstering determination towards achieving a desired objective i.e. correcting an injustice or addressing grievances, communication of negative sentiments, protecting loved ones etc. Anger supplies vital energy and impetus, therefore is not always negative.
Physical side effects of Anger:
Apart from psychological effects there are some physical side effects too. Frequent angry outbursts may put your health at risk, so too will suppressed, ‘bottled up’ or unresolved anger. Although physical responses vary from person to person, some well documented symptoms include increased heart rate, blood pressure, chest pains, severe headaches or migraines, indigestion, ulcers, body temperature changes (flushing or sweating), fists clenching, teeth grinding, prickly sensations or numbness and muscular tensions.
Chemicals like adrenaline and noradrenaline surge through the body, and if the nervous system is constantly overexerted this could lead to a weakened heart, stiffer arteries, and the risk of a heart attack or stroke increases. There is also potential for liver and kidney damage as well as high cholesterol. It has been discovered that people eat too much when they get angry: weight gain or obesity may result. Some scientists think that chronic anger may be more dangerous than smoking and obesity as a factor that will contribute to early death. Depression, anxiety or panic attacks may also occur as a result of unresolved anger.
Anger Management: releasing anger is essential and key for a healthy mind and body, relaxed lifestyle and improved relationships. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT ‘tapping’), also known simply as ‘tapping’, is a stress release technique that effectively aids the release of the root cause or source of anger, either present or historic events i.e. trauma, childhood, abusive relationships, unfulfilled potential etc.
EFT ‘tapping’ effortlessly yields inner peace and wisdom from even the most heinous of situations. To quote a client who resolved her anger issues: “EFT has been a life saving gift, and as a result I now feel a deep all pervading peace; it has been liberating. Thank you so much for helping me!”
If you are suffering the consequences of UNRESOLVED ANGER or resentment, jealousy, guilt, remorse, shame etc, and wish to find an effective, gentle and peaceful resolution, talk to someone. You don’t need to struggle with your anger any longer…
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“Hi Bridget. It’s been hard after our session with regards to T(name withheld) and I. Guess we had to go our separate ways. It’s getting better, I’m finding my way and I feel I’m much happier, stress free and more focused. I’ve been around family and friends to help me move forward. I really appreciate your help and guidance.” Six weeks later: “2017 has been an amazing year. I no longer have any anger issues. I did get rid of all the negative people in my life. It’s made me a better person and also, brought someone amazing into my life. I really am impressed with the progress I’ve made over this year. Thank you for being apart of my transformation. Thank you Bridget!!!” Douglas, Johannesburg (One session only)
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