By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. - Mark Twain
Have you ever wondered where anger comes from? When our partner snipes at us for not remembering directions, or for taking too long to get ready, there are countless reasons to be angry.
At the same time, anger raises our blood pressure, can break blood vessels, causing heart attacks and strokes. Relationships suffer with unresolved anger and often end in divorce, like mine did. What is good about that? Absolutely nothing. So how can we navigate life and utilize anger in a healthy way. Do we stuff it? Or is there a way to peace some other way?
Each of us is the sum of all our experiences. Our childhood created a filter which we look through. This filter colors our experience of life. Which is why three people can witness the same event and have very different reactions to it. Some of us had parents who were angry and out of control. As a result, we have had to learn new ways of behaving. Changing deeply ingrained patterns is not always easy. However, following in the footsteps of a rageaholic and repeating the same patterns is not a productive or healthy path to be on.
What Is Anger
Anger is an emotional response to a thought triggered by a situation or event. The original purpose of anger in it's simplest form was to assist us to survive. Anger shows us when our boundaries have been crossed, or we have been disrespected.
How Can Anger Shorten Your Life?
- Rage and anger raise blood pressure, damaging blood vessels and the heart. Anger is the biggest predictor of stroke and heart disease, more than smoking, obesity and high blood pressure.
- Divorce happens when one or both people cannot resolve, and heal anger issues. Divorce causes stress. Stress causes all kinds of health issues. Men living alone, live shorter lives than married men do.
- Long-standing anger and resentment can cause cancer. Each angry or resentful thought we think that is angry creates acidity in our body. An acid environment left unchecked creates cancer.
- Anger clouds our judgment and we can make rash decisions while driving, causing an accident which can take your life.
- Often people with un-checked rage kill others. Jealous lovers, jilted spouses take their emotions out on their partner's new lover. Any physical violence in the name of anger is an excuse for immaturity, lack of personal responsibility and self control. We have been trained to believe that things that we "own" define us. Relationships, cars, homes, belongings are all material things. They are not who you truly are. This training, falsely makes us believe that when we lose what we thought we had, whether it is a relationship, a home or vehicle, that we are no longer who we thought we were. Yet each of us is so much more that the material belongings in our lives. We are powerful beyond measure, full of wisdom, beauty and talent. These gifts that we each have are far more meaningful than anything material.
My daughter's father, Rich Resuta was a man who raged out of control. He had a father who was an alcoholic, sex addict and an abuser. Rich witnessed his father punch his mother in the jaw when he was 8 years old. In a regression, this event was re-lived. As an eight-year old boy witnessing his mother helpless and bleeding in front of him caused tremendous trauma. He backed up against the living room wall trying to become invisible and stuffed his fist almost down his throat. In his conscious mind, the event never happened. Till the day he died he did not remember his mother being hit by his father. However, his actions belied his conscious memory. He could not control his rage. In the end, he died a very young man at the age of 52.
There are ways to navigate and heal deep anger issues. Hypnotherapy is one way. Neurolinguistic Programming is another. An acupuncture treatment and herbs can balance the spleen and liver which process anger physically in the body. Sometimes, our systems are out of whack and we don't even know it. The point is that most people cannot change their lives in a permanent way without help.
Noticing how quickly we go to what I call the "Dark Side," and get stuck there is the first step. Humans are programmed to be negative. In the absence of information, we see the negative first. We have to re-program our minds to see the light, the positive in any situation. Our teachers and family members did not teach us how to navigate our emotions. This is something that we need to train ourselves to do. Clearly, it is a matter of life and death. Changing our focus, can be done, we need to recognize what is at stake if we don't. (Read the 5 ways anger causes death again.)
To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain within ourselves, happiness would not be possible. Thich Nhat Hanh
Simple Steps To Take Now
- Be mindful. Mindfulness means being aware of the present moment.
- Breathe in. I recognize my anger. Breathe out, I smile to my anger.
- Sigh Loudly. An audible sigh can move a lot of energy quickly. If you still feel stuck - repeat.
- Smile. Smiling to yourself, allows you to embrace your anger. It can quickly change your mood. You are telling yourself, "I am here for you."
- Move your body. Shaking your arms, moving your legs, walking can all help you release energy that you are feeling in your body.
- Be there for yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, without reacting to it.
- Show yourself compassion. Compassion will open up your heart. Allow the energy to move through you, rather than holding on to it.
- Breathe. Inhaling and Exhaling three times deeply will help you to refocus. Breathing will help you clear your energy. It will also bring you into the present. Often we are reacting to a past issue that has nothing to do with what is happening in the present. Past situations often compound the way we are feeling right now. BREATHE AGAIN.
- See the situation differently. There are always two sides to every story. Can you put yourself in the other person's shoes? See the other person's perspective.
When we focus on what we don't want we often get stuck. Words like, "no, no way, I won't, I don't want," lead us back to a circle of woe that we are working to get out of. Instead, pick up a pen and write down what you would like to get out of the current situation.
Hypnotherapy, Neurolinguistic Programming and Energy healing can all help process anger. All of these are tools that I utilize in my coaching. Meditation, chanting and mantras are all great ways to help raise our vibration and get unstuck. If you would like to work on an issue and test the waters so to speak to see how working with me would be, I offer a tune-up session to first time clients of 20 minutes. You can e-mail me if you would like to set up yours. E-mail Jennifer