Anger more than any other emotion causes the most significant damage to the greatest number of people. Past or present, direct or indirect, the ripple effect of anger is far reaching. Anger manifests itself through a great variety of expressions; some are easily recognized, while others are more disguised. It affects many levels of our being, has a powerful impact upon the mind and the body, and can greatly influence behaviors. Anger has a tendency to be directed in destructive ways, often leaving great emotional and physical damage in its wake.
Most people have been taught in one way or another that anger is bad, wrong, unacceptable, and needs to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, this creates a very powerful subconscious conflict since anger is a built-in reaction everyone experiences at certain times in life. In truth, the anger itself is not the problem. The problem is first, that society tells us to not allow it. This is a grave misunderstanding and has caused many people to stuff their anger away inside. When this happens, the energy of the anger doesn’t go away; it builds and strengthens until it finds release. Since anger is to be avoided, most people have not had the opportunity to work with their anger appropriately. Anger is a normal human emotion, one that serves to protect us from a threat. This fight or flight response is a part of our survival instincts.
The problem with people and anger relates to the idea of how we greatly misunderstand and misdirect the energy. Fighting is unacceptable, for good reasons. It is easy to see why anger often gets stuffed away since fighting is not approved of but the energy does still find a way out. The energy continues to seek release whenever and however it can. This tends to create more problems.
For example, let’s say you have a bad day at work because your boss gets mad at you. You feel angry and disrespected. You are unable to say anything and you certainly can’t run away from the situation. You stuff your feelings away inside. Once you’re at home, you find yourself yelling at your kids. This happens because the suppressed energy is seeking a way out.
This complex idea, the storage and transference of the energy of human emotion, was beautifully and simply presented in a children animated film. In this story it was the monster’s job to scare little children while they slept. The monster’s competed to see who could generate the most fear because the energy created was harnessed and stored for running the town’s power plant.
Anger, like fear, is energy. It gets created, stored and then transformed. The energy of anger is strong. The ways in which it seeks release are unlimited.
“Anger must be understood and dealt with more naturally and effectively for creating physical health and emotional balance. The cost of denying this normal part of life is very high, greater than we realize. When anger is left uncontrolled, including when it is ignored, rationalized or denied, it can, and often does, provide fuel for illness. However, when the energy of anger is constructively directed and transformed, the physical body responds in healthy ways.”
There are plenty of people who are drowning in anger. Some are fully aware of this reality which is difficult to deny, since their angry words and actions are shared with the world around them. Other people live in denial of this truth, independent of all their angry behaviors which they blatantly demonstrate to others. Some people are aware of being angry, but they turn their anger inward, shutting down physically and emotionally. In the heat of a fight, they might withdraw from verbal communication or run away. Some people shut down sexually.
There is another response to anger which deeply affects our health. Many people are consciously unaware they harbor any anger at all, since the emotion is denied, rationalized, ignored or missed altogether. This has become a common response and it poses a serious threat to many people. As the pressure builds up inside, it often creates an implosion. The energy becomes internally explosive and it breaks the body down.
Story about Anger – Indirect Problem of migraines, insomnia and fibromyalgia
“Sadie” is a fifty-three year old woman with a history of chronic insomnia and migraines. She was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which makes sleeping even more difficult. Hypnosis allowed Sadie to review some memories from childhood. She recalled a time when she was being picked on by her older brother. Here is an example of how things got out of hand.
When Sadie was eight years old, her brother was twelve. He was a big guy and he had lots of friends. Sadie usually stayed home and often found herself being teased, emotionally tormented and physically hurt by her brother and his friends. It happened all the time and Sadie usually ended up injured and embarrassed.
On this occasion, Sadie found herself lying on the ground with a bloody nose; her leg hurt a lot and she was unable to get up. Her brother and his friends laughed and walked away. She felt scared and terribly alone as she lay there abandoned. How long would it be before someone found her? It was getting dark so Sadie dragged herself home along the ground. When she got back to the house, she was the one who got in trouble because her brother had lied once again. Sadie was too afraid to speak up for fear of her brother making her life even more miserable.
In addition to feeling scared, sad, embarrassed and in pain, when this memory was reviewed in hypnosis, Sadie became aware of feeling very angry. First, she felt mad at her brother for treating her so badly. Then her anger extended to her brother’s friends, especially one guy in particular, because she thought he was nice. She realized how angry she was with her mom as well, for believing her brother’s lies again. Her brother was so good at lying that everyone thought Sadie was simply clumsy and accident prone. This idea fueled more anger towards her brother.
Sadie found she was most angry at herself for letting it happen again. Why did she do this? Because she wanted her brother to like her. Each one of Sadie’s current problems dissipated once her anger and other suppressed emotions were acknowledged. They were understood, transformed, accepted with peace, redirected and released.
“When we learn to constructively direct the energy of our emotions, we create a more peaceful life and a more peaceful world.”