Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Hindu Prince Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism

Every conscious being throughout their lifetime is going to experience the feeling or emotion called anger, but few will understand what anger is.

Anger can be a very good emotion. It is equivalent to the physical feeling of pain. Both are necessary to let us know when we need to take action. But what kind of action should we take? How much action is appropriate?

In either of those situations, be it physical or emotional pain or anger we are feeling we want immediate relief. Most of the time, if not all of the time, ANGER IS A RESULT OF FEELING VICTIMIZED OR REMEMBERING BEING VICTIMIZED. Thoughts such as the following are at the root; “look what you did to me!”; “How could you do that?” “Look how you hurt me”; and “You disrespected me”. These thoughts may be running through your mind not only causing your feelings of anger, but perpetuating their continuation.

Some people who hold anger in turn to alcohol, drugs, or food to escape feelings of anger that they hold on to. Using any of the above to anesthetize the feeling, much like if you had a physical wound and could not bare the pain.

Some people release the pain of anger outwardly in uncontrolled rages. Physical fighting, verbal abuse, aggressive driving are all in an effort to release anger by striking out at the person or projected person that are perceived to have victimized them.

The mind at the moment of anger seeks to heal it. Anger takes the mind out of homeostasis or balance. When people are out of balance they cannot function at their best. This is the same principle that holds with the body. It seeks to heal a physical wound so there that pain goes away and the body can perform again.

It is time to learn to achieve balance again and to let go of anger. Release it to the nothingness from which it came. I say this because anger is an emotion, just a word we have made up to describe an emotion we have made up. We have anger over our perception of things around us. If we perceive we are a victim, we are going to get angry, either at ourselves and or others.

This perception can be changed.

Lets take some examples:

1. Someone yells at you over the phone. You may perceive that this person is disrespecting you. Your anger ensues. Instead of engaging or getting angry in this instance you may think about the other person and how they may be having a bad day. They may have gotten ten calls in a row that were difficult. They might have heard that their child is sick. Remember, if they are angry, they are feeling like a victim in that moment. They feel someone has done something to them. They are seeing the world as a victim would and projecting their anger onto you to regain control and not feel victimized. You can get awareness in the moment this is happening you can control your anger and realize that this person is in pain and trying to get out of it. You do not have to take this anger in, you can let it go right past you.

2. Someone cuts you off in traffic and gives you the finger. I think this has happened to all of us. Maybe we have been in both roles in this scenario. People use their cars and trucks as a projection of their inner thoughts and feelings. If someone is angry, they are going to drive the car in an angry manner to release their anger. Many times people feel angry at the world and therefore take this anger out on strangers. Remember to use the same technique as above. think about the person, who they are and why they might be feeling angry and feeling like a victim themselves. Think about the last time you felt angry while driving and what you did and why? This would help you to understand the other person better and not get angry.

Remember – We are always in a struggle for balance in life between unification and separation. When we feel we have been victimized this creates a feeling of separateness within us. We dehumanize the other person. We separate from them. In both examples I show how we need to make them human again and become one with them again. Become more unified with them again. When we do this our minds are back in balance and we feel better!

(Metaphysical / spiritual thought on Anger)

While we are a conscious being – meaning we are able to observe and have relationships (Time/Space) we must achieve balance in order to remain happy. Too much separateness and we may feel feelings of guilt, anger, shame, depression. If we experience too much unification and we don’t feel anything at all, we cannot relate to anything because we have become everything.

End all conflict with love! That is self actualization

People who require anger management or have problems managing their anger may have had the following issues:

1. They have developed a way of being called learned helplessness

2. They were not given proper coping skills

3. They modeled parents or parental figures that were maladaptive

4. They have a personality disorder and cognition is skewed

5. They have an organic brain disorder and cognition is skewed, dissociative or divergent from reality

Anger management only works with individuals who are primarily not psychotic

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Image: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/freedigitalphotos.net


Dr. Zen Lewis has over 20 years experience in psychotherapy, counseling, education and public speaking. Dr. Zen’s Psychotherapy Services offices for Therapy Services are located in Los Angeles and Burbank, CA and various locations in South Florida. 

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Blessings to you.