Why do we get angry? Anger is often associated with frustration – things don’t always happen the way we want and people don’t always behave the way we think they should. Anger is the by-product of not feeling in control and not have our needs met. You may be feeling protective, frightened, disappointed, worried, embarrassed or frustrated, but may express these feelings as anger. Anger releases tension but only gives relief in the short-term.
In fact, men and women often express emotion in different ways. Often men find it harder to express or understand the feelings underneath the anger, like hurt, fear, sadness or grief. For women the reverse may often be true – the anger gets buried through internalisation, emotional eating, ruminating, or other coping methods of expression.
Anger is a symptom of vulnerability In the diagram below, it shows how a person may be feeling vulnerable, sad or powerless, but may act out in a more powerful way with anger. Anger is useful for expressing the unexpressable, such as shame or embarassment.
When is anger a problem? Anger is a secondary emotion. If a person avoids fully feeling a primary emotion (such as sadness) and uses anger instead, it causes problems with relationships, jobs, authority, parenting and life in general.
Anger is also a problem when other people around you are frightened, hurt or feel they cannot talk to you or disagree with you in case you become angry.
Anger involves verbal, emotional, physical or psychological abuse.
Anger is triggered easily.
People close to you are worried about your anger.
Anger is leading to problems with personal relationships and work.
You think you have to get angry to get what you want.
Anger seems to get bigger than the event that set it off.
Anger is chronic: It lasts well after the triggering event has passed.
You are becoming anxious or depressed about your anger.
You are using alcohol or other drugs to try to manage your anger.
You are getting angry with the people who are closest to you, not the people who sparked off your anger in the first place.
Why am I angrier than ever before? The human nervous system is part of the reptilian brain and part of our survival design. The fight or flight response in humans is automatic. When anger gets set off more often than in the past, it is because you have become hypersensitive and the mind has created short-cut highways to anger. This can be because of worn neurons (stress) and fatigued adrenal glands, a lack of serotonin ( or GABA), a bad diet, or new automatic highways designed to protect you faster. However, those highways will need retraining to change.
Get some help in understanding your motives and emotions. Cal Ghita today on 0439 888 070