The Dark Roots of Anger
Do you find yourself reacting to a situation in a way that is totally out of proportion to what just happened around you? Do you ever lose control of your emotions and when you calm down are full of feelings of guilt and shame? These are signs that past trauma is taking control of you in stressful situations and forcing you to react to minor upsets as though they are life threatening events.
Healthy Anger versus Uncontrollable Rage
Anger is a part of who we are. It need not be destructive and in fact carries the potential for transformation. Without it, we could not be assertive or impose personal limits. Anger teaches us not to tolerate the intolerable. While we all lose our cool once in a while, what happens when we become scared or disconnected from our own personal expression of anger? Why do we loose our composure when facing the force of another’s anger? How does this play out in our life, relationships, families and careers?
Like many things, the expression of anger is something we pick up as a child. If our carers showed us healthy ways to express anger – for instance by showing they were angry and yet also quickly made amends and reconnected afterwards – we would have come to see their angry response as a constructive learning experience. If we were blessed in this way we are now probably quite comfortable in expressing our anger ourselves, and can easily negotiate other’s angry outbursts towards us. However if anger was repressed, or wielded like a sledgehammer by our parents or carers, we probably see anger as a raging force best left alone, that when unleashed overwhelms us and leaves us feeling bewildered and limited once it passes.
The key to coming to terms with anger is to learn to recognise the signs when we are becoming angry. Our memory can keep us stuck in old patterns, but if we can learn to recognise and observe the beginnings of the arousal of anger, and remain calm and aware, we can learn to short circuit these old patterns and negotiate the situation more skillfully.
How being open to new experiences and information helps us overcome the patterns from our past.
Our body may also be nursing a deep trauma that triggers a feeling of threatened survival, which makes us want to fight, fly or freeze (numbness) and overreact accordingly. The good news is that there are now well respected techniques, such as TRTP, that can help us redesign our mind/body experience and bring us to a calmer place. Here we can not only tame our anger, but build a future self with confidence.
Neuroscience teaches us that neurons that fire together, wire together, so there is hope for change. Similarly, those who nurture relationships, be it family or community, are also more likely to thrive and achieve their life goals. I can help you to build new habits that support, rather than hinder, your ambitions. Together we can employ techniques that can rewire your brain, rekindle your hope in humanity and help you to build a future that you will truly want to live in.