TOO MANY THINGS
can go wrong every day!
PREVIOUS: Anger Triggers (external)
SITE: “Anger: Moodjuice Self-help guide”
WOMEN’s anger has to do with close relationships, hurt from being let down by family members & friends, or that these people expect too much without giving anything in return
MEN’s anger tends to be more abstract, about strangers, objects that aren’t working correctly, & larger societal issues that prompt concerns about right / wrong
CHILDREN’s anger tends to be about goal blockages & objects, like a toy taken away or having to stop playing at bedtime….. (MORE….)
More Anger Triggers – from other people or circumstance. These may not all apply to you, so focus on the ones that do & go back to Part 1 to see what might be under your anger/rage (Add your own triggers):
Noise — construction, babies crying, dogs barking
Overload –– when too many stressors are happening at the same time & our coping capacity is exhausted (caregiver of the disabled, sick or elderly)
Pet Peeves — laziness, sloppiness
— violation of personal rules/ values
— social irregularities, political issues
— not being able to fix or change someone/ thing which hurts us
(so we don’t have to leave)
Stealing — lover or mate taking $$ or other things / ID theft / break ins
Stupidity — rules that make no sense
— not using / not having common sense
— government incompetence or deliberate harm
— favorite sports teams losing
— discrimination because of race, religion, gender, age, looks….
— lateness, repeated cancellations / being let down
— knowing you can’t depend on someone you need (disappointments)
STUFFING triggered FEELINGS
All life is made up of an ebb & flow of energy, expressed or contained. We take it in – food, love, nature, art, affection…. We let it out – exercise, emotional expression, sex, sports, talking… a cycle of building & discharging vibrations, which only stops in death. Relaxed muscles are in low energy, while high energy that’s not moving tenses the muscles. Anything that blocks output keeps us tense.
Often people who are very afraid will unconsciously hold their breath. Their lungs are always over-inflated, making them sigh a lot.
One result is that most people get more & more anxious when their energy gets too high or too low. Then they have to find ways to dampen it or pump it up (over-eating, compulsive sex, fighting, smoking, drinking….).
• Our society (& especially unhealthy families) teaches us to ‘control’ what we’re allowed to express, & how much. We’ve been taught to be afraid of showing anger, loneliness, fear, mourning, insecurity, joy, excitement (except @ sports or concerts)….. to “calm down” & contain them rather than letting them out in healthy ways.
The energy of each unexpressed emotional experience gets stuffed into an imaginary POT. One way to tell how full it is – is by noticing tension in our muscles – tight jaw or shoulder muscles, having IBS, overall stiffness….
Al Turtle’s charts picture that each ‘provoking’ external event, at it’s simplest, can be 5 units, with a corresponding emotional response of 5 units, & then up from there: trigger 50 = response 50, 500 = 5000…. He calculates that by the time we’re age 20 most of us have at least 35,000 units of backed up energy in our bodies, which can take anywhere from 20 to 80% of our calorie intake to maintain in the Pot. No wonder we’re tired. This is another way of saying that suppressing emotions takes a great deal of effort, piling up until we implode (depression) or explode (rage).
Re. Anger – usually the amount of anger felt is proportional to the provocation (trigger), so the larger the input, the larger the output. A child will explode as much as it needs to, then it’s over & they stop.This is normal – except in adults – who have learned to deny so many of our feelings.
When we have a very full POT, it doesn’t take much of an external trigger (5 to 10 units worth) to set off a very big response (100 -1,000 units)! So a little thing that “justifies” a little anger often results in a huge amount of expressed rage.
RELIEF – The ONLY things that relieves suppressed emotional energy is its appropriate expression, as a way of completing the emotion. Nothing else works.
Emptying the POT (a little at a time!) actually gives us more energy because we are releasing the effort of holding it all in. Many of us are not aware of how hard we’re working to sit on feelings because consistently tight muscles become numb after a while. That’s why doing emotional-release body work is so important as part of Recovery.
NEXT: Anger & ACoAs