by Dr. Brenda Shoshanna
Anger tells us many lies. One common lie is that once we are angry, there is little we can do to stop feeling that way, we must act it out. Like a person overcome by alcohol when we become drunk with anger we feel as though it has us in its grip.
Nothing can be further from the truth. We always have a choice about how to handle the feelings that arise. One by one we will now turn around some of the lies anger tells and gain true control.
Anger Is A Choice We Make
Believe it or not, anger is a choice we make. We feel justified in being angry, and this justification stokes the flames and keeps the problems alive. Once this justification sets in, we basically choose to hold onto our anger until we can get revenge.
Now, here is a lie anger tells frequently. It leads us to believe that revenge is sweet and once we get it, we’ll feel good and things will be in harmony. Actually the opposite happens. Revenge does not hurt the person we are angry with. Our wish for revenge, our rage, lives inside us and poisons our own lives in many ways.
Dr. Deepak Chopra has said “The most common and direct cause of illness is anger.” It is toxic for us and this toxin spreads to all aspects of our body and minds. Some of the effects of this wish for revenge include illness, high blood pressure, heart attacks, aging, lack of love, continual irritation and is the fuel for the number one illness in our nation depression.
In Order to Choose Out of Anger
In order to take specific steps that will stop anger on the spot we must first truly realize the terrible toll anger takes upon us. Rather than feel we have a right to be angry, that revenge is sweet or that our anger is making us powerful and strong, we must face the fact that this anger we are harboring is destroying our own happiness, health, clarity, peace, relationships, creativity, happiness and overall well being. The best gift you can give yourself is to let go of anger, one kind each day.
Another lie anger tells is that when you are angry you are filled with power and strength. However, the rush an individual gets from anger is counterfeit, a substitute for real strength. After the anger passes, and the consequences of the anger set in, the person usually feels weak and depleted. Often there is considerable regret for words spoken or action taken rashly.
Real strength includes the ability to refuse the false rush anger brings us, to have the power to see the entire situation for what it really is and respond with clarity and compassion. This is seldom an outcome that anger brings. It is the anger itself that keeps a person out of control. It clouds their judgments, creates enemies where friends used to be, and generally keeps the person who holds it in a prison without bars.
Another lie anger tells is that the angry person is definitely right and everyone else is wrong. A false sense of decisiveness is created. It becomes easier to take action (though the action is almost always off base). When anger subsides a person can see the larger picture and has available many ways of handling a situation that they do not have when under they are filled with rage. Suspiciousness and paranoia, which arise during, anger, and may well be unfounded, recede.
From Sarah: When I discovered Dr. Shoshanna, I quickly got her permission to reprint her articles…she’s amazing, and you’ll love her book “Save Your Relationship.” Just go here to read more about Dr. Shoshanna and get quick, new help for your anger–>>