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Anger Management

Updated: Jun 4, 2018

Anger gives us a false, temporary sense of control. It creates a shield that protects our sense of personal safety from a perceived emotional, physical or mental threat. But anger ultimately destroys our peace of mind and sense of well-being because it is a mask that covers deeper, unresolved feelings.

The angry brain.

During anger arousal, the brain produces norepinephrine, a stress hormone that works as an analgesic, and releases the amphetamine-like hormone epinephrine which gives us a shot of energy, the adrenaline rush that is evident during anger episodes.  This self-elicitation of anger to protect us from hurtful or undesirable feelings can be addictive and this is precisely the reason why it's so difficult for people to control their anger.

Anger and relationships.

In intimate relationships, anger is a "safe" way to attach by creating distance based on a fear of being hurt.  When caregivers were unresponsive, emotionally distant, or unreliable, the "adult child" may act with certain emotional detachment in intimate relationships as a way to protect themselves from potential insensitivity or disregard. They learn to disengage themselves through self-protective anger.

Common anger triggers.

Common anger triggers include feeling ignored, unimportant, rejected, powerless, unlovable, devalued, accused, sad or guilty.  When something or someone hurts us, we try to self-sooth ourselves by resourcing to criticism, dismissal, or any other outside stimuli that invalidates those feelings. 

What to do when anger overpowers us?

Remember that your brain is trying to protect you.  Turn inwards and resource to self-validation and self-acceptance.  Trying to maintain your mental and emotional balance is the most important thing. Build your self-esteem up in healthy ways. Temporarily disconnect  from whoever or whatever is making you feel angry or upset. 

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