Did you know that when it comes to emotions, anger is simply the tip of the iceberg?
Anger is known as a secondary emotion. In other words another emotion gives rise to anger, however we may not even be aware of that initial emotion.
Think of a time when a driver on the road cut you off. You might have instantly felt angry, however this is not the only emotion you would have felt deep inside. The threat of being in an accident would have first triggered the emotion of fear.
What about a time when you were really angry with a friend, family member or colleague? What was really underlying that anger? Was it a feeling of rejection, loss of control, powerlessness, guilt, being ignored, unimportant or undervalued?
What about when you stubbed your toe and the first thing you felt was anger?
Steven Stosny, author of Treating Attachment Abuse: A Compassionate Approach, writes about the chemical explanation of anger and how it is a survival mechanism.
Norepinephrine is a hormone that is released during anger and acts as an analgesic.
Therefore, when you are faced with physical or psychological pain (or the threat of it), you feel anger and this releases norepinephrine, which helps to numb the pain.
Interestingly although anger is often viewed as a “bad” emotion, it is one that allows many vulnerable people to emotionally survive. In some ways it is also a protection mechanism.
So the next question many ask is how do I work through anger?
As always it comes down to awareness.
When you feel angry ask yourself what am I feeling below this anger?
Some examples may be: being told what to do by my boss makes me feel powerless. When no one listens to me or understands me I feel rejected or unworthy. When I stubbed my toe I was scared that it may be broken.
As we go deeper beyond our feelings of anger we are provided with opportunities to heal feelings that eventually turned into core beliefs. These core beliefs may be things such as feeling unworthy, guilty, rejected, ashamed, unlovable and so forth.
Once we become aware of core beliefs that no longer serve us – we are able to change them.
Change may also come through the support of other methods, for instance, affirmations, counseling, meridian therapies such as emotional freedom technique, hypnotherapy and many others.
Are you willing to see what lies beneath our anger? To be honest with yourself?
I am curious to hear what insight you come across or what things have helped you work through anger.
We often do not share with others that we experience anger however it is time to embrace those so-called “bad” emotions. It is by walking through the darkness that can we come out in the light.
What better way than to share with others and collectively be in the light?