Faces and Responses of Anger
Have you ever felt that red hot angry energy that builds up in you and creates the sense that you may explode at any moment? How about that seething inner burn that feels like it is frying your nerve endings? How do you know when anger is building in you?
How do you respond to angry feelings?
Maybe emotional outbursts or frustrated crying jags are your preferred style of anger management. Those may be a bit healthier than more passive responses but they are not optimal for our health and well being. We may know what different kinds of anger feel like, but we often don’t realize that there are very definite and possibly long term serious effects on our bodies and minds—never mind on our relationships and lives if we do not channel the energy/chemistry of anger properly!
A common approach to many stressful symptoms or negative feelings is to endure and wait for time to pass for relief. This gives us the illusion that we are “over it”. What in fact generally happens is that the emotion sinks down deeper into the recesses of our minds and bodies –only to come out and play another day or to sneakily wear away at our health, temperament and relationships.
Toxic VS Healthy Anger
Imagine a continuum with toxic anger on the negative end and healthy anger on the positive end. Examples of toxic anger are easily seen in news reports. Further along on the continuum is a less volatile type of anger that is characterized by injustice collection. The predictable companions of this form of anger are resentment and bitterness. Another mode of anger, usually accompanied by profound silence, is the type that is turned inward contributing to a core of self-loathing and hatred.
For some people anger and its accompanying chemistry becomes addictive and helps them to feel alive, important or protected.
Fortunately, anger does not develop into an extreme toxic, addictive or permanent state for most of us. However, since it is something that we all experience, it is helpful to understand, manage, and learn from and about this powerful emotion.
Nervous system imbalances, hormonal disruptions and stress related biochemistry can be involved in both the origin and maintenance of anger. Red flags for these situations are: compulsive features, too much intensity for the situation at hand, and out of control qualities.
Psychological and cognitive understanding alone does little if anything to release a person from negative reactivity. Techniques that address mind and body allow for our very human emotions to be processed and released therby benefitting our health, inner peace and relationships.