Anger is, used correctly – a positive force with a great survival value. With anger, you create space, mark territory, and keep your distance. When you feel anger, the body prepares for defense by secreting the energizing hormones adrenaline and norepinephrine. Anger is thus a vital feeling that can save your life if you are exposed to a dangerous situation.
An unrested feeling creates illness
You've probably heard that there's a link between anger and high blood pressure. When anger is pushed away and swallowed down, it accumulates in the body and creates disease. It can be compared to a pressure cooker. The longer you leave the lid on, the higher the pressure inside. This is not specific to anger. All emotions need to be felt and expressed. Otherwise, they will cause different symptoms when they are neglected. Anger, for example, doesn't just cause high blood pressure. Research shows that constant anger increases the risk of dying in cardiac arrest, weakens your immune system and can lead to depression.
Valuing emotions as positive and negative
Many people get scared when a person is really angry. Probably it is a fear that the anger will be just uncontrolled and that the person who is angry will do something that he or she will later regret. It is also one of the reasons why many people hold back their anger. What happens when you really let out everything you feel? Can you control the boiling anger you have inside you?
Dealing with anger
There are three main destructive ways to deal with your anger. The first thing I described above is when you put the lid on. It makes you hugely tired in the long run. The second is when, on the contrary, you scold everything and everyone and always let your anger out unhindered. It hurts you and your surroundings. The third way is called passive aggressiveness and involves withholding your response and becoming dismissive while denying that you are angry. It also doesn't benefit your relationships.
Getting to know your anger, befriending it, and learning to express and direct it properly is incredibly liberating. It allows all parts of you to fit and the anger can become the positive energy that it originally was. It gets to fulfill its purpose and it feels incredibly liberating and empowering to be angry from time to time.
Always being angry
Are you often angry? There is probably a different feeling behind the anger. Sadness, shame, loneliness, frustration, disappointment or humiliation. Maybe you're angry because you're not standing up for yourself. It may also be that you carry around anger from your childhood or earlier in life that you have not been allowed to express or address. As long as you haven't made up with it, it's there inside you and every time you're exposed to a similar situation, the old memory, memories that you may not even remember are triggered. But the body remembers, and the same feeling arises over and over again.
Get to know yourself
By going back to your previous years and looking inward, you can understand why you react the way you do in different situations and what feelings are your true. When you understand why you react the way you do, the feelings don't become as unpleasant. It will be easier for you to act in a constructive way. As I said, being angry is essential. Anger expressed correctly makes you strong and takes you forward, it strengthens your self-esteem.
Anger expressed in the wrong way hurts your surroundings and also you because you become isolated and afraid to hurt others. Perhaps you are therefore trying to avoid being angry, which only leads to the anger going out in the wrong places instead. You can't have as much anger as you want. Besides, you're going to walk around and be angry most of the time, it's going to be a hell of a life.
Volatility of emotions
Emotions are often referred to as fleeting. A feeling that is fully recognized and expressed is transient, it lasts for a maximum of 90 seconds before being replaced by another. On the contrary, a feeling that is locked in and swallowed down will torment you in different ways until you settle with it, acknowledge it, and give it space and expression.
A feeling can always be linked to a need. What do you need when you're angry? Maybe it's the absence of feeling respected? Then you need respect. When you understand yourself and what it is you really feel, you can also connect your feelings to needs. Needs cannot be met without you becoming aware that they are there. As long as you don't meet your needs, they will signal with the help of different emotions. It will be a catch 22. A feeling is always a good feeling because it tells you something.
Act instead of reacting
Once you understand why you react the way you do, you can more easily act constructively on the feeling. The difference between reacting and acting is that a reaction is an unconscious spontaneous response to stimuli while an action is a deliberately premeditated decision about how best to deal with what comes up. The difference in what it follows is usually that a reaction is neither thought out nor constructive while an action is both.
On our courses in self-knowledge and inner leadership, you will have the opportunity to explore your full spectrum of emotions. Under safe conditions, you may open the lid and release what you have closed inside you and understand your luggage. You get tools to manage and express your feelings so you can be more true to yourself and others.