The first thing you should know is that when it comes to dealing with angry outbursts, willpower and determination is not always enough – although being determined to get on top of your anger is still a key part of overcoming it.
To understand what might help you to overcome your anger, it’s probably useful first to understand that all our negative emotions, anger included, contain a message or clue that we need to decipher. They aren’t just random occurrences, they are always sparked-off by something, either internal or external.
The message that anger is usually coming to teach us (broadly speaking) is that we’re feeling threatened by something or someone, and that we’re actually feeling very scared inside.
Sometimes, anger shows up to give us some very helpful warnings that we’re dealing with dangerous people, or unpleasant, potentially harmful situations, or that we’re feeling threatened in someway by something in our environment. (We often don’t realize what our body is trying to tell us via our emotions, but it’s often much more attuned to dangers in our environment than our more logical intellect is.)
This is the ‘fight’ part of the physiological reflex that’s called the ‘fight of flight’ response. It’s governed by the limbic system, or the so-called ‘lower brain’ (which according to Chinese Medicine, is in turn governed by the Triple Warmer Meridian.) You can learn more about the Triple Warmer Meridian in this article:
Unfortunately, the fight or flight response is often tripped-off far too much in people who are highly-sensitive to stress, or who have undergone some sort of previous acute trauma or chronic abuse (and a few other things, besides). To put it another way, most people today have a fight-or-flight response that’s permanently on high-alert, which means a lot of people are having a lot of anger issues.
Donna Eden’s book ‘Energy Medicine’ explains a great deal about the Triple Warmer meridian, and the role it plays in things like the fight or flight response, and I highly recommend it.
So now, what can you actually DO about your anger?
Human beings are made up of three parts, their body, mind and soul. In order to give yourself the best chance of uprooting anger, you have to tackle it across all three levels. Here’s how:
Physiologically, there are lots of things you can do to ‘retrain’ your Triple Warmer meridian, and your primitive brain, to get it to calm down and stop tipping you over into rage fits.
JEMI's Basic Guide to Balancing your Meridians (click the blue) describes a whole bunch of fast and easy-to-learn techniques to get your Triple Warmer to come off high-alert:
If you try a few of these techniques, you should see some big things start to shift, especially if you try to do them for a couple of weeks.
Exercise is also a very good ‘stress-buster’, and can help to remove the excess stress that’s building up in your energy system, and keeping you on high alert.
If it’s a very big issue in your life, that you might also want to give an energy psychology procedure like EFT (tapping) or the Tapas Acupressure Technique a try. These techniques are very easy to self-apply, but if you’re not getting anywhere (or you’re worried that your anger is rooted in something very deep and traumatic, and you need help to manage what might come roaring out if you let it out of its box) – then you can also find energy psychology and EFT practitioners all over the place, and even a short session could really help you.
If you want to self-apply, take a look at these links:
How to do TAT (JEMI article)
And also, pick up a copy of EFT for dummies, which is very easy to follow.
As mentioned, you need to take a look at who and what is threatening you in your environment – your anger is coming in response to a trigger, and is NOT random. Often, the triggers are internal negative thoughts (more on this in a moment), but just as often, especially these days, we can get tripped-off by threatening individuals who are mistreating us in some way and making us feel very wary.
Sometimes, we’re aware of their impact on us, but sometimes, we aren’t. If we’re getting regularly guilted, criticized, blamed, or otherwise manipulated by people in our environment, that can make us feel very angry, without really knowing why. This article can help you to work out who might be pressing your ‘anger’ button without you noticing:
The Seven Types of Negative People
The 'Anger Train' Visualisation
The following visualization can also really help you to ‘get a grip’ when you’re about to get overwhelmed by anger (it really helped me a lot).
If you can keep a lid on your anger for the first 5 seconds or so, and do this visualization instead of lashing out, the angry impulse will start to defuse by itself OVER TIME. It’s not a quick a fix, and it can take weeks, months and even years until you really start to see some big improvements. Which brings me neatly on to my last point:
Like many things in life, we can’t really get a grip on anger by ourselves (although we clearly have to make our best effort to do so, and to try all the other things described here.)
But even with the best will in the world, we’ll still occasionally get angry. That’s why we need to put God in the picture, and to ask Him to help us keep our cool.
There’s another ‘moral’ dimension to anger, too, and that’s to ensure that we apologise to anyone we hurt in any way when we’re having a rage fit. It’s not realistic to say ‘we’ll never get angry again’, but once we start to take responsibility for the damage we do when we’re angry, and to acknowledge it, validate the other person’s hurt feelings, and accept that our anger is truly unacceptable, THAT’s what’s going to give us the real motivation to change, and also minimize the emotional mess we make while we’re still working on it.
TO SUM UP:
Tackle your anger across all three levels of body, mind and soul as follows:
Body: Defuse the physiological fight-or-flight reaction by calming down your Triple Warmer meridian, and doing things like EFT, TAT or other energy psychology techniques; exercise regularly to defuse the stress build-up.
Mind: Work out who or what is making you angry, and what you need to do to stop feeling threatened, intimidated, manipulated or victimized. Try the ‘anger train’ visualization when you feel yourself getting angry.
Soul: Ask God to help you keep your cool, and apologise for and acknowledge your bad behavior, when you get angry, to avoid seriously damaging your nearest and dearest.
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