Unheard emotions can lead to both physical and psychological symptoms. There are several emotions that we who work with psychological treatment often encounter problems with. One of the most prominent is anger. Maybe this partly depends on cultural norms and thoughts of proper adult behaviour, that anger is only for children until old enough to control oneself. Displays of anger in a threatening way and angry actions are also regulated in the law. No wonder it is avoided.
But there is a huge difference between hearing and feeling an emotion and acting out an emotion. It is not ok to act out anger in a frightening way – that can be traumatising to see for both children and adults. It can also be lethal for the angry person. Research has found a connection between rage and heart attacks. Rage often precedes a heart attack and may even be the trigger, with a dangerous period of up to 2 hours after an outburst. The urge to act out anger is less needed when older since we then have the mental capacity, not necessarily the ability – that has to be developed, to moderate feelings. Hearing the emotion in itself moderates its intensity.
One important anger management strategy, in addition to the stress reduction techniques already posted, is to refrain from reacting for 8 seconds according to research so that the brain has a chance to make a more intentional response where consequences briefly have been processed. To maintain wellbeing, it is important to have contact with all emotions, even anger.
Hearing anger is necessary to get ones needs satisfied and borders protected, some of the biological functions of anger. Unheard or unacknowledged anger is behind many problems with anxiety and stress. Not hearing anger can create problems with boundaries, health and possibly anxiety. Not maintaining boundaries is a common cause behind stress and exhaustion.
Hence, next time you hear your anger try this: name it, feel it in the body, listen to the desired impulse, say it to yourself in the head, not necessarily aloud, and the feeling will likely disappear with a healthier result.
#angermanagement #anger #feelingsexercise