The Contradiction of Anger: A Double-Edged Sword

Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences in their lives. It can surge through us with a powerful intensity, often making us feel justified and validated. There’s a peculiar sense of satisfaction that comes with expressing anger, as if we are reclaiming a piece of our power. Yet, this fiery emotion holds a contradiction within it.

There is a Hungarian band, Napoleon Boulevard, who poignantly sings, “My heart’s almost torn in half, my rage is tearing it apart, beautiful as a dream can be, too bad it hurts so much.” This lyric encapsulates the paradox of anger: while it can feel so right in the moment, it carries a heavy toll on our mind and body.

Anger’s Impact on the Sympathetic Nervous System:

When we get angry, keep in mind that anger can feel like the emotion of disappointment or “slight annoyance” we don’t recognize as anger, our body’s sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear. This part of our central nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. It prepares us to face a threat by increasing our heart rate, tightening our muscles, and releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. In the short term, these changes can help us handle a dangerous situation. However, when anger becomes a frequent or prolonged state, it begins to wreak havoc on our physical and emotional health – our craniosacral system stops working optimally.

Chronic anger can lead to a host of health issues. The constant release of stress hormones can cause:

  • Cardiovascular Problems: High blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks, and strokes are all linked to sustained anger.
  • Weakened Immune System: Prolonged stress weakens our body’s ability to fend off illnesses.
  • Digestive Issues: Stress can lead to problems like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Sleep Disorders: Difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep, leading to chronic fatigue and other related issues.

Emotionally, anger can be just as damaging:

  • Increased Anxiety and Depression: Anger and unresolved rage can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Relationship Strain: Anger can drive a wedge between us and our loved ones, leading to isolation and loneliness.
  • Reduced Cognitive Function: Chronic stress affects our ability to think clearly, make decisions, and concentrate.

The Beauty and Pain of Anger

Returning to the lyric from Napoleon Boulevard, we can understand anger as both beautiful and painful. It is beautiful in its raw, unfiltered expression of our deepest emotions and desires. Anger can act as a powerful motivator, pushing us to stand up for ourselves, to strive for change, and to overcome injustices. It can fuel our passions and drive us towards our goals with an intensity that few other emotions can match. There is nothing wrong with this, however, our central nervous system is being affected in the fight or flight (sympathetic side) no matter what we are angry about, hence this beauty is accompanied by pain.

The physical and emotional toll of unchecked anger is profound. It tears at our hearts, much like the song suggests, leaving us fragmented and wounded. The key is to find our balance—acknowledging our anger, expressing it healthily by changing our perception about the very thing that triggered it, and then experience the new point of view with gratitude – this is what is normally called “letting go”.

Craniosacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release

As a wellness coach specializing in craniosacral therapy and somatic emotional release, I see firsthand how unprocessed emotions, particularly anger, can lodge in the body and disrupt our well-being. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that helps release tensions deep in the body, allowing the entire body to relax and self-correct. This technique can facilitate the release of emotional trauma stored in the tissues, a process known as SomatoEmotional Release (SER).

During a CST session, I may gently palpate the client’s craniosacral system to detect and release restrictions. This not only helps alleviate physical discomfort, but also promotes emotional release with the use of imagery and dialogue. By working with the body’s natural rhythms and energy, CST can help clients process and let go of deep-seated anger and other  emotions that trigger the sympathetic (fight or flight) side of our central nervous system.

The Power of Curiosity: Shifting Perception

Talking about changing our perception, an important insight to consider is that we are often not upset for the reasons we think. Anger is frequently a surface emotion, masking deeper, unresolved feelings such as fear, hurt, lack or sadness. By approaching our anger with curiosity, we can uncover its true origins. This requires a willingness to look beyond the immediate trigger and explore the underlying issues that fuel our rage.

When we become curious about the root causes of our anger, we can begin to shift our perception. Instead of seeing a situation as purely aggravating or unjust, we can ask ourselves what deeper needs or fears are being activated. This shift in perspective allows us to address the real issues at hand, leading to more meaningful and lasting resolutions.

Cultivating Healthy Emotional Habits

In addition to CST and SER, adopting certain practices can help manage anger more effectively:

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices help us become more aware of our emotions and reduce the intensity of our anger.
  • Physical Activity: Exercise is a powerful outlet for pent-up anger and stress.
  • Communication Skills: Learning to express feelings calmly and constructively can prevent anger from building up.
  • Therapeutic Techniques: Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help in re-framing negative thought patterns that fuel anger.

By recognizing the dual nature of anger—its capacity to both empower and harm—we can take steps to harness its energy in positive ways while mitigating its detrimental effects. In doing so, we can move towards a state of emotional balance and well-being, where anger will no longer need to serve as a catalyst for growth or be a source of suffering.

In the end, anger, like all emotions, is a part of the human experience. “The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.” – ACIM

It is how we handle anger that makes all the difference.

There is Plenty There

I love sitting in my kitchen watching hummingbirds enjoying the nectar in the feeder hanging outside the sliding door.  I find them to be fascinating. One day as I was sitting there waiting for one to show up, I saw two of them flying by. One was chasing the other.  The pursuite went on for about 3 minutes, as one wanted to feed and the other not wanting to share.  The one that wanted to feed was flying in a circle until he found safety behind a flowerpot.  It was funny to watch the pursuer flying around now searching for the one hiding.  He finally decided to fly to the nearest tree and stand guard.  The one behind the flowers thought the scene was safe and came out from hiding.  He flew to the feeder and a second later the chase started all over again. They both disappeared and came back alone a while later.

A thought occurred to me… “If they only knew they had plenty of supply, they would both be sitting on the ledge of the feeder enjoying the unlimited amount of nectar they are both entitled to, because of who they are.  Lovely birds we welcome back each year. We supply them with food for our enjoyment and theirs as well.”

This happening reminded me of the teachings of Wallace Wattles in his book – The Science of Getting Rich – as he says:

“There is no limit to the supply of Formless Stuff, or Original Substance. The universe is made out of it; but it was not all used in making the universe. The spaces in, through and between the forms of the visible universe are permeated and filled with the Original Substance; with the Formless Stuff, with the raw material of all things. Ten thousand times as much as has been made might still be made, and even then, we should not have exhausted the supply of universal raw material. No man, therefore is poor because nature is poor or because there is not enough to go around…….. Thought is the only power which can produce tangible riches from the Formless Substance.” 

We may lack in our awareness now, but unlike the hummingbirds, we have the mental ability to connect our awareness to the Original Substance as Wattles calls God, the Universe, Source etc…

What is one idea, belief or opinion you would be willing to see differently today, so you could experience more abundance in any area of your life?

 

 

A Thought on Being Productive

A couple years ago I was working late at night and was sitting in an ambulance waiting for a call. The night was slow, we had just a few calls to respond to. As my partner and I were sitting and waiting, I started to get antsy. I was feeling bored.  First I thought I was just going to take a walk, but I decided to take my time and get into my happy place instead. I noticed that feeling antsy was my signal that I wanted to feel something better than bored. I asked what I would love. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be productive. At that moment I could not think of anything I could do to make that happen, so I sat back and meditated. Later on I realized sitting back and meditating is also an action, just not the way I believed being productive would ease my boredom.

In my meditation, memories of my childhood came in mind. Particularly my dad and grandfather. I heard their words: “being a productive member of society” fairly often. They were hard workers and I hardly ever saw them sit and relax. I saw myself believing in their words and learned to live the same way.

I turned to my Inner Wisdom to show me what “productive” means. I received a beautiful feeling of relaxation and with that the words:

“Feeling fulfilled without having to do”. 

My boredom was gone instantly, I felt happy and fulfilled for the rest of the night without another patient to attend to.  

The following morning this daily quote was sitting in my inbox from the Hicks Foundation:

“Your action has nothing to do with your abundance! Your abundance is a response to your vibration. Of course, your belief is part of your vibration. So if you believe that action is part of what brings your abundance, then you’ve got to unravel that.”

If you would like to explore your path to “feeling fulfilled without having to do” or become a better listener of your Intuition, my Life Coaching (online or in person) programs can help. You’ll be glad you made the call.