Jenks Hypnosis and Training Center, LLC

805 N. Fir, Jenks, OK 74037    (918) 298-6884
Located in Jenks, America, near the heart of south Tulsa

Quelling the Red Eyed Monster

Anger has a bad rap. It is often thought of as the enemy. We've grown up hearing phrases such as "Don't blow a gasket!" or "Don't get your pants in a tightwad." In other words, don't get angry. But why not!

Anger is a normal human reaction. It is the secondary response to a primary stimulus. (All that means is - when we get scared [or hurt or threatened] we get angry.) There are two types of stimuli that will trigger an angry reaction. First is emotional or physical. A response to a new experience or to a remembered event. Second is fear or threats of physical or emotional harm to one's well being. When a person becomes scared or feels threatened in some way fear is the first response; anger is the second. Almost every type of trauma - mental, emotional or physical - produces the secondary response of anger.

So is anger a bad thing? No. It is a healthy emotion that can give us strength and determination to protect ourselves or to fight against overwhelming odds. We humans are hard-wired to react to pain or threats with the Flight or Fight Syndrome. It is the energy that compels us to act. "Do I stay or do I run?" The question is an ancient genetic response programmed into our deepest psyche for self preservation. Anger tells us that there is conflict that needs to be resolved or avoided. It is a healthy, helpful way to express tension, to communicate negative feelings or to vent emotions. Have you ever vented your frustrations and anger to a sympathetic listener? (For me, that is usually me!) Afterward, you feel better and that is a good thing.

But buried, unresolved, unspoken, unaddressed anger makes us a danger to ourselves or others. It is physically upsetting and when prolonged or too frequent, it can have detrimental effects on your health. Over the long haul, anger stuffed into our bodies, make us ill. It is unproductive in solving complex problems, in fact, it can be your worst enemy. Anger is the primary emotion in dysfunctional families and severe relational problems. It interferes with our ability to think clearly and may incline us to act impulsively without thinking through our words or our actions. If you act in anger, it is usually something you regret later. Ever heard that saying, "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." That's anger!

So how do you circumvent the red eyed anger monster? Anger is a feed-back loop (commonly called a vicious cycle). An event happens. We become fearful or threatened. Anger kicks in as the secondary response. We respond (not always in the wisest of ways) which triggers a second event. And the loop continues. The way to tame the monster is to break the loop.

1. Identify and understand the provocations - those external events that interact with your thoughts and behavior to initiate your anger.

2. Change the thoughts, physical responses or actions that perpetuate your anger.

3. Initiate a healthier response to dealing with your anger.

Yes, I know. This is easier said than done but NOT impossible! Practice and intentional behavior is needed here.

1. Identify who you are angry with. Yourself, your actions or those of someone else. Also, recognize that it is the actions not the person which angers you. Figure out what about the event angers you the most. It is actually what happened or how that event left you feeling? "I feel stupid." I feel guilty for allowing this to happen." "I don't feel adequate to cope with this situation." Have you given up your self respect and replaced it with feeling of self contempt and worthlessness? Well Stop It! Nothing and no one can make you feel diminished unless you allow them to.

2. Remove yourself from the situation if at all possible - even if it is only by a few feet. Tell the person, "I am angry and when I have calmed down, I think we should discuss this." If you are unable to discuss it (or the other person won't discuss it) write it out in letter form. Use non accusatory language. (That is "When this happens, I feel . . ." instead of "You make me feel . . " Accusations are a trigger event. They are perceived as an attack and, guess what, the other person becomes angry and defensive and the loop is perpetuated. Not the reaction you are going for. Avoid sarcasm, innuendos, name calling and put downs. Again, these are trigger events and perpetuate the loop - not what you want to accomplish. Write out all your feelings. Use all the foul words, name calling, etc. then burn it and write it again. Do that as many times as you need to until your anger is spent and you can clearly, intelligently and concisely express your feelings.)

3. Know how to defuse your emotions. A long walk. Physical activity. (And good for you in so-o-o-o many ways!) Venting to yourself or a trusted friend.

Anger is a natural emotion. We all have it. We just don't all express it well. Only you are responsible for your feelings and emotional well being. You are in control of everything YOU do. You can't control situations. You can't control other people, what they say, do, feel, think. You control only how you choose to respond. And that choice is always yours. To say someone else makes you feel bad is a cop out, a failure to accept responsibility for yourself and your emotions.

Sometimes the anger response is deeply ingrained in our subconscious and we need help in changing the old tapes. Well, folks, here I am and I can help. Just give me a call and we'll talk about it.