Do you feel angry sometimes? Do you listen to your emotions? Lots of people don’t or they listen to them and then disregard them, stuffing them deep down inside for fear of actually telling people that they are feeling hurt or angry or that they feel sad because of an experience they have had or by their interpretation of an event.
However Emotions are your compass – like your gut instinct they should not be ignored! Your emotions tell you when something feels good or when something feels bad.
Now for a long time I thought that being angry wasn’t good. I’m sure you have been taught either by your parents or your teachers that being angry is a bad thing, its seen as a negative emotion. You should control your anger. You can even go to anger management classes to learn to control your temper.
But I’ve come to realise that being angry is not necessarily a bad thing….
It can mean that you feel threatened or that you don’t feel safe about a particular experience or around a particular person. We experience anger because our brain is trying to keep us safe and rather than trying to control it, maybe we should be looking at why this experience or person is making us feel in danger. What is it about the situation you are in, that is really bothering you to the point of making you feel angry?
When you are angry you are activating part of your brain known as the the limbic system. The limbic system is the part of the brain involved in our behavioural and emotional responses, especially when it comes to behaviours we need for our survival such as feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight responses. It includes your hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus and amygdala. When you are angry or frightened you are triggering the amygdala which in turn triggers the hypothalamus, which is a key area for many of the things your brain does without thinking, including fight or flight.
Fight or flight is your survival mode. When you are in danger or you feel threatened in some way, you will either feel angry so you can turn around and fight for your life or you feel frightened and you can run away. You can also freeze in situations like this which is when you don’t fight or run away but simply freeze and do nothing.
In olden days, fight, flight or freeze quite simply kept you alive. You either fought that sabre toothed tiger (fight) or your ran away as fast you could (flight) or you stood completely still and hoped that they didn’t notice you! (freeze)
In today’s situations that may look like having an argument with your partner because they have suggested you go and meet their parents but you don’t feel ready for it (fight), or you are asked to a party and either don’t go or go and leave early because you don’t feel comfortable around the people there (flight). Or you get asked a question by your boss and your brain goes completely blank (freeze).
Funnily enough when I was younger if I felt threatened by someone or something I would run away and cry, but over the years I’ve some how decided to turn around and fight instead.
So next time you get angry, ask yourself what did you feel threatened by? What were you perceiving as dangerous. My anger seems to show up when I’m not feeling in control about a situation in my life (I so do love being in control!!) and so now I can work on that (I’m using my good old friend Tapping (aka EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique).
Looking at anger with a different perspective can help you to move forwards in life. When you are angry you are generally highly motivated to do something, to take action. So what are you going to do?
And if you would like to feel calmer and you want to try tapping along with me to release some of your anger I have a Tap-Along for Releasing Anger session in my free to join Holistic Health 101 Hub.
Just click the button below to sign up for free 🙂
Until next time, take care of you