Anger is a normal response to annoyance, displeasure, or hostility; it is natural and instinctive. Not all anger is destructive, however. Anger based on wholesome principles can be positive, healthy, and even necessary for survival. Nevertheless, there are other cases where individuals are unaware of the reasons behind their anger and do not have the restraint to control it – this is where this emotion becomes an issue.
Triggers For Anger
There are many triggers; stress, family issues, or financial problems, to mention just a few. Some people experience this emotion as a symptom of an underlying condition, such as depression or alcoholism. Various emotions often go hand in hand with anger, such as guilt, anxiety, frustration, rage, feeling overwhelmed, or irritability.
Interestingly, anger is also a defense mechanism triggered by genuine threats or by what an individual might perceive as a threat. The perception of threats increases when the individual cannot (or is not willing to) confront what triggers them and allows things to get out of control. What should a person do in such cases? Look within. The person’s intense emotions are likely due to other underlying situations that have not yet been addressed—feelings of being betrayed, grief, disappointment, or distress. Additionally, people who chronically worry or who are anxious and indecisive might often experience anger as well.
Physical Responses to Anger
Anger is also consistently associated with a physical response. The physical reaction varies from one individual to another. Some people experience teeth grinding; others sweating muscle tensions, prickly sensations, numbness, and temperature changes. Anger is typically noticeable by our facial expressions.
Interestingly, cultural norms also affect how individuals respond to anger. For instance, according to reports, some Asian cultures are more likely to experience irritation in a milder way than other cultures, such as Caucasian Americans. In either case, certain chemicals, such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, surge through the body at varying levels.
Anger and Grief
If grief is the reason behind the anger, it is vital to go through the grieving process and release the subconscious emotions that an individual is feeling. Anger is considered to be one of the stages of grief. Grief is generally experienced after a loved one dies, but interestingly, a grieving process also takes place after a divorce, a breakup, or even after losing a job. Grief is also accompanied by other symptoms, such as shock, numbness, loneliness, fear, guilt, or sadness.
Anger Triggered by Stress and Other Disorders
If a person is stressed, it is crucial to find healthy coping mechanisms and take some time for self-care. Anger can, however, also be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, an anxiety disorder characterized by thoughts that are considered obsessive and behavior that is described as compulsive and repetitive.
Studies also show that those who drink alcohol tend to be more aggressive. Alcohol abuse can impair the ability of the individual to make rational decisions. It can affect the impulse control of an individual, making it more difficult for them to control their emotions.
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that dramatically shifts the way you feel and your mood. It can lead to intense mood swings, which can range from being manic to depressed. During a manic episode, individuals might have racing thoughts, feel euphoric, be easily agitated, or engage in reckless and impulsive behavior. During a depressive stage, on the other hand, individuals tend to feel sad, tearful, and hopeless, lose interest in the things that they once enjoyed doing or have thoughts of suicide.
Not All Anger is Bad
As an essential defense mechanism, not all types of anger are unhealthy or irrational. If irritation is experienced in an appropriate situation, it can provide one with the energy and drive needed to protect oneself. Anger is typically there to send the message that there is something that must change. People who are ready to accept that change are also more likely to experience anger more mildly. Those who are willing to face challenges that lay ahead of them and don’t stick tightly to the belief that certain things need to go a particular way are more likely to adapt to new situations calmly and productively.
What then is the antidote to anger? Simply; Acceptance of change. While there are numerous causes, triggers, and reasons for feeling this intense emotion, one can make significant progress in managing the anger by accepting the situation they are facing. It’s critical to keep in mind that it’s not the problem we face, which is the main issue; it’s how we choose to deal with and manage the situation. As mentioned earlier, one trigger of this emotion is “perceived threats.” So before we allow our anger to boil over, we could ask ourselves some questions:
Why am I feeling this way? Do I understand things clearly? Do I have the complete picture, or am I missing something? Am I to blame in some way for what is happening or for what is being said? Will my anger make things better or worse in the long run?
Filling our minds with insightful questions such as these can keep our intense emotions at bay and can allow rational thinking to have a foothold on our thought process. We start to use our imagination, and we look beyond our feelings and perspective as we progressively begin to see the bigger picture. This process opens up new doors and new strategies to seeing and managing the situation. But most importantly, it helps us feel a measure of calm while in the face of a predicament that’s disappointing us.
You Can Be in Control
As we have discussed, several factors and underlying reasons can lead us to experience feelings of anger. So it is vital to discover and address these factors. One process that can help is an emotional therapy called EVOX. Extensive studies have been carried out on the emotional resonance and frequencies detected within our bodies. Every thought we have and emotion we feel is attached to a frequency that can be tracked and measured. Using computer software and the assistance of a trained therapist, you can map the emotional resonance within, identify emotional “blocks,” and can thus begin the process of addressing and unblocking those emotions.
We at the Budwig Center appreciate that significant emotional factors and experiences contribute to severe health conditions, including cancer.
So using therapies like EVOX, we can help our patients get a deeper analysis of their emotional state, make the connection between their past experiences and their current way of handling problems and disappointments, and then help them manage life’s challenges in a controlled and balanced way. Thus, providing them with the tools to manage anger and other distressing emotions while contributing to a healthier life.
For more information about EVOX therapy, read our article: The EVOX System – Emotional Perception Reframing.
You Can Do It
Although it is a natural and instinctive reaction, anger can be healthy or unhealthy. It is vital to acknowledge what is causing irritation and then address those issues. People who are more willing to accept change have a higher tolerance and can manage annoying, disappointing, or even hostile situations with calmness and control, leading to a happier and healthier life.
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