Managing Your Anger – When NOT to Trust Your Thoughts

anger

Have you ever felt so angry you completely lost control?

My subscribers can download a short guided anger meditation below.

Some people think they don’t have an anger problem because they don’t use physical abuse against others. However, these people fail to take into account the kind of damage that verbal abuse causes -- and trust me, the wounds are just as deep as any blow to the head that might happen in a physical fight.

Anger is a very normal reaction to a harmful threat that varies in intensity: from mild irritation to hostile rage. The key words here are “harmful threat,” because very often, anger is an automatic response to a more subtle or even unconscious emotion - fear. We often express anger when we are fearful or hurt because we don’t want to feel or reveal these more vulnerable emotions.

Understand, though, that this reaction often happens at an unconscious level of awareness. In fact, we can become so skilled at hiding our feelings that our anger becomes a habitual response to any uncomfortable feeling.

One of the most common pieces of advice that we hear when it comes to feeling angry is that you have to manage or control it. Some people mistake control for suppression, though - a mistake that rarely has a good outcome in the long run. Even if you try, you can’t deny or suppress anger for long, as it is wired into you as a response to a threat. Furthermore, suppressing it only aids in disguising it as something else, which further distances you from your own true feelings. We lose touch with what is driving our anger, and we simply believe it is an external circumstance that is triggering our behavior.

This, of course, is not true. Often, the external circumstance triggers a memory, but our response is like a reflex that is so fast, we don’t have time to examine the source of our feelings. Anger becomes a knee-jerk reaction to situations that threaten self-examination of painful memories. Learning to trust your instincts certainly is an invaluable skill. However, you need to become aware of the tricks your mind - and your anger - play on you.

Remember: When you are under stress, it may be difficult to see the difference between anger and fear.

Dealing With Fear

The first question to ask yourself when you are angry: What is making you feel angry, and how is it a threat to you?

Most of us stop the question after determining what is making us angry. The second part of the question is critical because you need to know what you are afraid of if you are going to shift your anger response needle. Are you worried about your reputation? Is your intelligence being challenged, or perhaps your worth?

Many times, an old story is driving your reaction inappropriately. What I mean is that often, the threat is not real — or if it is, facing it will be the only way you can change it.

No one enjoys dealing with fear or anger, so it’s important to be able to distinguish the two in order to respond appropriately. The best line of defense against anger is to practice remaining calm. Easier said than done, I know, especially when we are not certain when to trust our thoughts.

When Not To Trust Your Thoughts

In most difficult circumstances, you probably have a good idea about what is truly right or wrong. However, it's a good idea to try to recognize the situations where you tend to have trouble thinking clearly. That way, when these situations do come up, you can start working on solutions, instead of giving in to anger and outrage.

You probably shouldn't trust your thoughts in the following situations:

  1. When you're under stress - People often don't recognize how detrimental stress can be to a healthy mindset. Stress can cause you to make unwise decisions and think too quickly. Stress can take over your body and produce hormones that alter your thinking patterns.
  2. When you're feeling anxious - Anxiety can lead to erratic, irrational thoughts. If you are feeling anxious, it’s time to examine the origin of your fear. Remember that an automatic response to fear can be anger, so identifying how and why you feel threatened allows you to challenge the reality of any threat you may be feeling.
  3. When you're having repeated negative thoughts - Sometimes, you'll have a bad day or even a bad week. Having a tough time can cause a negative thinking pattern that can lead you to think unreasonable or even absurd thoughts that make you feel threatened and angry. It’s time to focus on the positive to start rewiring your thinking patterns and break your habitual reactions.
  4. When you're having thoughts that seem real but are rather unreasonable, remember that it's not coming from you. Rather, it's coming from the build up and repression of years of emotional denial, negativity, stress, anxiety, or even past circumstances. That's precisely why you cannot trust those thoughts!

Dealing With Your Feelings

You now know that negative thought patterns can arise from stress, anxiety, fear or even the past. Crippling fear, unfortunately, hurls many strong negative feelings your way. But it's how you deal with them and proceed with your thought patterns that make all the difference. Strive to take time to cool down and relax your mind before making important decisions.

One way to know if your feelings are accurate is to wait a few days before making a decision or taking action. For example, if after a week of thinking something over, you still think the same way, then it's probably an accurate assessment. Of course, before anything else, you would have to ensure that your mind isn't under attack from stress, anxiety, negativity, or fear.

Healing From Fear that Underlies Your Anger

If you find that you're frequently in fearful situations, you can concentrate on healing those feelings. When your mind begins to race, take in a large dose of oxygen. Believe it or not, deep breathing is a signal for your mind to relax and think clearly. You’ll be amazed at how powerful this simple action can be.

Also, remember that you're not the only one experiencing strong emotions of fear and anger. Talk over your concerns with an objective listener. Don’t feel shy to ask for help — but if you feel uncomfortable talking with a family member or friend, consider the help of a coach or counselor.

The most important thing to remember is to avoid taking drastic actions that arise from anger. Take your time when making decisions, breathe deeply, and seek the help you need to overcome the grips of emotional drama.

If you need immediate help form your feelings of anger, I invite you to watch & listen to a FREE Anger SOS meditation. It is guaranteed to dial down your anger in 15 minutes. It's FREE TO ALL MY SUBSCRIBERS who want to receive regular tips, lessons & practices for being their BEST SELF. Add your name below and I'll say Thank You by sending you the meditation.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...

Anne

Wow, extremely helpful. I woke up feeling angry today - not fun, ugh. Just happened upon this meditation and the anger has released significantly. I am feeling once again first hand how anger is impermanent and so good not to act on. Thank you!!

Beth

Really felt like release of anger. Great use of breath. Loved the drums. And she added a closing chime.

Michelle

Wow.... that was different! That is the first time I have used the breath in such an effective way.

Gina

Very effective visualization and rhythms that move anger through your body. Thank you!

 

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