Our lives are freighted with frustrations. One at a time we might manage, but when they accumulate, it becomes overwhelming. Nerves fray.  Sometimes we are shocked at our mean, vicious, and aggressive thoughts.  We hurt most deeply the ones we love the most.
So what is really happening?  How do we manage these urges, thoughts, and impulses?  How do we re-gain control of our anger?

Late to work.  Cut off in traffic.  The Boss has already sent three e-mails telling you what’s not done.  Co-worked didn’t follow through and shrugs her should when you ask, “Why?” Coffeemaker broken.  Copier jammed.  System down – IT unavailable. Daughter calls – forgot her school work – wants you to bring it to her.  Break for lunch – long line – guess fast food won’t be so fast today.  No ketchup for the fries. Back to the office – two more e-mails from The Boss. Twenty voicemails blinking for your attention. Stacks of files mounting on your desk, not yet processed.  Where did you put that memo from last week?  Need to call for dishwasher repair at home – after pressing 47 buttons, you’re on hold 18 minutes, listening to elevator music ad nauseum.  Still looking for that buried memo.  Two more e-mails from The Boss.  At break time, you wonder how your mother is adjusting to assisted living.  You push the discomfort away.  Back to the desk – more e-mails, phone calls, filed, memos . . . is it 5:00 pm yet? Stop for gas on the way home.  The price is what???? Pump won’t come on – attendant doesn’t speak English.  Back on the road.  Late getting home.  Tailgated in traffic . . .

Our lives are freighted with frustrations. One at a time we might manage, but when they accumulate, it becomes overwhelming. Nerves fray.  Patience oozes away.  Energy drains. Tempers flare.  We want to scream, cry or smack something (or someone).

I Don’t Recognize Myself

Sometimes we are shocked at our mean, vicious, and aggressive thoughts.  We want revenge – ravenously wanting to retaliate, to get even.  At first it feels good – a pulsating power surge.  Makes us feel strong, important, superior.  But upon closer examination we discover we’re foaming at the mouth.It feels so primitive, so immature, for adults in a civilized world.

We are even more appalled (or should be) when we take it out on the innocent – the waitress-in training, the weary retail clerk, the elderly driver, our child struggling to finish the homework assignment, the new puppy who piddles in excitement when we arrive home.  We hurt most deeply the ones we love the most.

When we return to some semblance of sanity, we feel ashamed; out of control. We try to numb it out; dull the pain. Alcohol, TV, shopping, surfing the net . . . Exhausted, we collapse in bed.

So what is really happening?  How do we manage these urges, thoughts, and impulses?  How do we re-gain control of our anger?

Regaining Control

It begins inside. Stop.  Take a breath.  Step back to gain distance from the anger.  Observe.  Take time out/off if you need it.  Be patient with yourself.  Stay alert.  Be willing to find out what is REALLY going on for you.

Emotional Disguise

Anger is a secondary, protective, separating feeling which ALWAYS overlays our essential feeling(s). It is a protective response when we are feeling endangered.  Standing guard, removing us from that which we find distasteful or painful, anger is always fronting for at least one other emotion.

Here’s the Key

To get to the pulse of that primal response, investigate what emotion(s) your anger is protecting.It is frustration (being blocked), helplessness, shame, hopelessness, guilt, fear, hurt betrayal, disappointment, pain?  These emotions tell you the truth about what you need.

When the root emotion (i.e. helpless, shame, fear, pain, etc.) is recognized, attended to, and used constructively, the anger dissolves away.  It has served its purpose.

Using Your Words

Children are now being encouraged in our school systems to “Use your words.”  Meaning – identify and express the anger with words, not fists (or knives or guns).  It’s good advice for adults, as well.  Your words are not for blame. Your words are for expressing, validating, and clarifying your pain behind the anger for bringing release and relief to you.

Release and relief come not when we prove that we are right, but rather we know that we are understood. Pause now to consider the difference.

Old Agendas

Sometimes the same alarms keep going off.  We keep repeating the same patterns, only to heap more burning coals of self-condemnation on our already wounded heart and scathed mind.

The abuse we inflict on others mirrors our own self abuse. It blurs and becomes a toxic cycle – spiraling downward – pulling those around us into the vortex of our own suffering.

This may mean we haven’t yet gotten to the core of the issue, the root of the cause, or the heart of the matter.

How we see ourselves and the world around us was shaped in our history. How we manage our emotions – anger and pain – was learned early on.  Even the best-intentioned parents had their own struggles; their own crucibles in life.  Sometimes they didn’t always know how to navigate their emotions.  They taught from their own experience; we learned by practicing what they modeled.

Biochemical Components

Don’t be fooled or foolish.  Alcohol, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, toxins, allergens, lack of sleep or exercise, insufficient play and relaxation, and excessive stress dramatically affect our nervous and hormonal systems. When we are physically depleted, it is far more difficult to access/maintain of our emotional state.  Physical care is foundational to emotional care.

Access Compassion

If we held a magnifying glass over anyone’s life, we would see suffering.  None of us are exempt.

Develop compassion for yourself and others.  Listen to your inner longings, and listen carefully to others.

Remember we are all struggling to find our way.

Opportunity to Obstacle

You now have the opportunity to navigate in a different way – to learn how to effectively manage your own ager and pain, to negotiate frustrating issues more effectively in your daily life, and to pass on a different legacy to your children.
Seek the support you need.  Be patient with yourself.  Allow the truth of your experience to guide you to the freedom and relief you deserve.

Don’t give up.

  • Own responsibility for your anger.
  • Step back and observe.
  • Take time out, if needed.
  • Identify/feel the underlying emotion(s).
  • Express with words – your anger and your emotion(s) behind the anger.
  • Identify repetitive patterns – find the root.
  • Check health issues that might be affecting your emotional state.
  • Be kind to yourself, find what you need, be compassionate to others.
  • Develop new ways of understanding, expressing, managing and releasing your anger and your fear/pain behind your anger.
  • Remember you deserve a better quality of life.

I truly hope this information has helped you better understand the importance of using the emotion of anger well.

If you’re serious about changing, check out below:

If you really want to master this emotion of anger and truly make it an asset, I offer you two options:

  • Seriously consider attending one of my FREED from Stuck workshops!  Click here:

  • Contact me personally to set up an Initial Consultation.  Click here:

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