So, how do you heal anger when you want to rip someone’s head off?
- Mums Tips
- Parenting Skills
- Published on Friday, 26 July 2013 09:00
- Last Updated on 08 July 2013
- Adele Theron
- 0 Comments
What do you do when you are SO angry you want to rip someone’s head off? You actually think you COULD drown your kids or bash someone with your shopping trolley and you are not sure how to control it. In those moments, if another hippy tells you “you need to relax” or recommends that you try yoga or meditation, you feel like you just might shove a carrot into their mouth and light it.
What now? You are TOO angry for yoga or meditation – but it’s probably what you need. Right?
What if you are angry but never show the world you are. In other words your anger is DEEPLY repressed and it just needs a final trigger and you think you might lose it. What then?
OK, so you’ve realised you’re angry. You’ve always been angry. This is huge. Now you understand your problem, you can tackle it. All you need to do is…. what?
Chronic anger is dangerous. Not just because you could lose your temper inappropriately (a valid concern) but because of what it’s doing to your body. Repressed anger has been linked compellingly to everything from headaches to cancer.
First of all, let’s establish what we’re talking about. Chronic repressed anger may or may not look like anger. If you’re irritable and blow up at the slightest thing, or spend all your time seething about slights you know deep down a reasonable person wouldn’t give a thought, you might know you’re angry, but are probably repressing the cause. A buried trauma or the chronic, banal neglect of your legitimate needs as a child can both leave you imagining you have nothing to be angry about. When the anger erupts you blame someone else so it’s somehow not really your anger.
Or, neither you nor those around you experience you as bad-tempered or unreasonable – they find you gentle, understanding and helpful. Unfortunately, you can’t always help because you’re exhausted all the time, or in chronic pain, or have terrible period pains, or are frequently blinded by migraine. For women in particular, anger can be unthinkable – it’s not who we are. It’s not just that we can’t see any reason for anger – our self-esteem is bound up with the idea of selflessness and empathy. You’re not going to yell at loved ones because you understand intellectually that they’re not to blame, besides which, you feel things entirely from their point of view. (Except, perhaps, for those times of the month when you’re ‘not yourself’!)
Conventional medicine now accepts that chronic ailments can be caused by anger. WebMD, for example, lists its possible effects as headaches, digestive problems, skin complaints, high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also the prime suspect in chronic anxiety or depression, which can manifest as chronic fatigue or lead to alcoholism or self-harming.
Pioneering Dr John E. Sarno of New York University identified a strong physical link between chronic anger and chronic pain, most typically back pain. The brain alters blood flow to an area to create a physical pain intended to distract from frightening unconscious feelings. Chronic back pain can lead to awkward movements resulting in permanent injury. Psychologist John Bradshaw suggests this unconscious effort also has a muscular component which is behind the physical exhaustion many of us experience. Meanwhile, the constant quest against cancer has turned up some interesting results, with some studies suggesting people who find it most difficult to express emotions are more likely to develop thr illness. Shockingly, a University of Michigan study of anger’s affects on women observed three times as many deaths during an 18-year period among women with long-term suppressed anger.
None of which is helpful to hear if you’ve no idea what to do about it. Traditional anger management works to intellectualise the angry behaviour with a view to minimising damage to your relationships and the impact on other people. Unfortunately you can’t think your way out of anger itself. Respected spirituality and health guru Deepak Chopra believes repressed memories and emotions are stored in the body at a cellular level, but can be accessed and released to achieve physical healing. Only by actually releasing our anger can we rid ourselves of our anger. Cellular biologist and pharmacologist Dr Candace Pert has confirmed his findings. She went on to identify how emotions cause cells to release specific chemicals intended to temporarily block cell receptors, leading to permanent damage and disease from chronic emotional states. Safely accessing the cellular memories and resolving and releasing the associated emotions, on the other hand, allows cell receptors to stay open, maintaining physical health.
SO, tackling those irrational outbursts with traditional anger-management approaches (anger management classes, yoga, meditation, stress balls, therapy) could leave you feeling empty or not really fully ‘released of all your anger’. What you really WANT to do IS explode but it’s not really allowed. It’s essential not to blow up inappropriately at the people we care about, or at complete strangers – unfortunately a cathartic release could take years off your life.
This is why I created TANTRUM CLUB. It’s a club where you can get together and experience a complete and utter cathartic release which is safe and healthy. You can destroy things, break things and scream your lungs out. THEN we discuss what you are so angry about and work out how to strategise life in ways to avoid the build up of anger.
Read all about it here: www.tantrumclub.com/the-science-bit. The new programme of meetings for women creates a non-judgmental space in which to use safe techniques to release repressed anger. Only then, free from unconscious sabotage, do participants consider the causes of anger and the unhealthy behaviour it generates. Seeing things from the other person’s point of view is entirely optional…
I am training Tantrum Instructors at the minute and the best ones are those who KNOW all about their own anger and want to deal with it whilst exploring helping others process and deal with their anger too. You can lead your own local Tantrum Club so contact us to find out more…
Till next time
Lots of hugs,
I am a change management chick. I help organisations cope with big changes (mergers, acquisitions, large implementations) and I coach and support people through divorce and break ups. It’s all about using the energy of the change to transform lives!
I have been working since 2000 with some of the world’s largest corporations, as a change management specialist, helping people adapt to new situations and experiences created by mergers, acquisitions and large software implementations. The techniques I use and created to help companies and individuals adapt to change were used very successfully to aid thousands of individuals within 18 separate organizations.
I went through a divorce in March 2009 and was way too busy to have an emotional breakdown so used my change management techniques to develop a rapid and intense process to heal and experienced a complete transformation. The process I used has since evolved into a clear cut 21 day strategy for getting over a divorce, capable of dealing with the most dramatic of situations.
I believe that we are living in an unprecedented time of change. The real danger for society is that people resist, ignore or run away from massive changes in their lives and consequently do themselves long-term damage. Divorce can be a very destructive force and high powered, professional career women, like myself, don’t have the luxury of time to fall apart. We want an alternative to months in therapy – something which will hold us together whilst helping us heal around our busy schedules that will also enable us to build healthy, future relationships which are drama-free. Consequently, I have developed a clear pathway, revolutionising the way people view and process change, harnessing its energy to enable deep personal transformation – beyond mere transition.
I focus on providing three benefits to my clients:
• I help people create a solid support structure which grounds them, freeing them to sustain consistent high performance, whilst dealing with the change
• The clear, effective and simple process enables people to harness the energy generated by the change to transform their lives
• Results are experienced quickly and the personal transformation is deep and profound but my approach is not for the faint-hearted as I work within an intense 21 day period
How I currently deliver this is…
> Through corporate change management consulting and programs which I run
> Through one-on-one coaching with high powered career women.
Also, so that more women all over the world can access the breakthrough results I have achieved, I have written a book entitled ‘The Naked Divorce – 21 days to emotional freedom’ which will be published by January/ February 2011. I am also developing a series of audio and video divorce crisis programs which help women get over their divorce within 21 days. These programs can be accessed online and used around their busy schedules to maintain their high performance.
To sum this all up. I am all about helping people adapt to change quickly, whilst experiencing great transformation.
The best way to connect with me is by email or phone!
When I am not focused on change, I love motorcycling, India, Cuba, South Africa, english bull terriers, the beach, being a Pescatarian, triathlons, travelling, romance, dancing salsa, painting, singing at the top of my lungs and riding my motorcycle wherever I damn well please. Life is for living, so sieze the day!