So what gets your knickers in a twist? What cooks your wig?
Are you about to have kittens? Are you all horns and rattles? Madder than a cut snake? Are you going to lose the proverbial? Get your dander up? Perhaps you are up in arms about to blow a fuse, a gasket and bite someone’s head off? You might be tempted to get someone’s goat and fly off the handle while giving someone a tongue lashing- but we urge you to ponder. Why?
Humans can be at times- how shall we put it? Complex. Some of the time they are in a state of ascerbic reaction. Or as this wordsmith puts it: arseholicism. Yup, it’s my word. Coming in a close second is anger. All the heavy stuff.
Underneath the surface of almost all humans is the need to be significant in some way.
The good old “default modes” we have learned, the sum of all our experiences and perceptions drives our behavior.
We are born as a fresh new being, shiny and new without any learned behaviors. Then the learning begins, and the filter kicks in. The filter through which we view the world is different for everyone. So what happens when one filter bangs up against another in opposition? Chances are it can lead to anger.
How does one deal with anger in an emotionally intelligent way?
Do you act in accordance with what makes other people comfortable around you? Do you behave inappropriately, blaming others for triggering you?
Anger can be traumatizing for the empath.
The air will crackle with it in tiny waves, you can almost taste it in the air. If you are not the passive-aggressive type, what comes next? An outburst or a big internal swallow where it can be like a bad seed ready to grow a vine?
So we did like all good ponderers do, we sought an international expert on positive psychology.
Aussie author and applied psychology coach Catherine Bell explained to us what anger is and how it impact our lives.
1. Anger can actually be beneficial for a few reasons:
a) It lets us know when boundaries have been violated. That is, we feel angry when someone has done something that violates our personal boundaries like physically hurting us, or emotional / values / ethical boundaries – like when they do something that we think is wrong, and it makes us angry.
In that way, anger can be very useful in showing us what’s important to us, and telling us where corrective action needs to be taken. When we strike back in anger without thinking, we often hurt the other person, which can be negative, but really all we’re trying to do is re-establish our boundaries and make things “right” again.
Anger, expressed appropriately, is assertive but not aggressive – it makes clear what is, and is NOT acceptable, and re-establishes firm boundaries.
b) It is useful also in fight-or-flight scenarios, where survival is at stake because it helps us focus our energy and power towards defending ourselves and our loved ones and re-establishing the “right” world order.
Unfortunately, we can tend to suppress anger, which just builds up over time, and instead of positively and assertively dealing with small boundary violations, we wait until that LAST time where we can’t take it anymore…and then completely overplay our hand!
Better to recognize anger for what it is, and use it as an indicator that it’s time to establish boundaries EARLY, respectfully and assertively, rather than waiting to go crazy and then regretting it!
c) It is a great motivator, and has a lot of energy about it – so can be harnessed for positive results. For example, the person who gets angry at themselves for putting on 5kg then uses the energy of that anger to motivate action, like exercise. But again, it’s all about balance – a little anger is great to motivate, but it’s not sustainable if it becomes your ONLY way to motivate yourself. Then, it becomes an unresourceful pattern.
I like it when I am (temporarily) angry about things because it shows me how much I care about this thing and that I’d better get on with doing something about it! I have learned to harness my anger to help me achieve great things with energy.
2. Unexpressed and unresolved anger can be very detrimental to our physical, emotional and mental health. Unexpressed or suppressed anger has been linked to a number of health risks including increased risk of anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, depression, heart attack, and stroke.
This is due to the chemical and metabolic changes that occur in our body when we feel anger and don’t find a way to healthily release it. From a social side, your relationships can be damaged too, as unexpressed anger can change our communication patterns and quality of relationships.”
So what comes next?
Well for this little Vegemite, time for more growth and a whole lot of grace, contemplation, and letting go of certainties. Some of the most challenging and stressful moments in our path can lead to the most magnificent vistas and mountain tops. Trust me on that one.
If you are a joy junky like myself, reveling in life and experience and love- the heavier emotions like anger can be harder to handle. I am enjoying the learning that strong emotions present an opportunity to identify and access positively for growth. Not suppressing. As always taking a pause to ponder and seek answers about our humanity should always win in the end. We are a complex design after all.
For more information about the divine Catherine Bell go to: https://www.belltraininggroup.com.au