UNLOCK YOUR ANGER AND FIND THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS
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Abe Brown | Author, Getting You to Where You Need to Go | President, Certified Coaches Federation
The 3 Definitive Truths about Anger & Your Mental Health
It still amazes me how we don’t talk more about anger and its relationship to our mental health. I believe that holds us back from finding our happiness.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the key to my struggles with anger, depression and anxiety was that I couldn’t accept it. I eventually realized I couldn’t sit back and continue to live with it. I boldly concluded that I needed to do something about it.
Anger is such a powerful and invasive emotion, that if we don’t begin normalizing the dialogue, it will continue to do a lot of harm to our families and communities. Regrettably, there’s still so much violence taking place throughout the world, all stemming from our egos, the burning need to be right when we argue, along with mismanaged forms of anger.
Anger has its consequences. Anger begets more anger and is often a symptom of greater mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety.
Sure, there’s a lot of great ideas on how to manage anger, but it’s so much more than just taking deep breaths and screaming into pillows.
The best way to manage anger is to take a closer look at it.
Let’s take a deep dive:
#1 – Anger is a perfectly normal and healthy emotion
If this fact should have a disclaimer behind it, it would read, *in the event of real danger. That’s right, it’s perfectly normal to get angry as a defense mechanism. If you’re getting attacked by a cougar for instance, you’re likely going to get angry and fight back!
#2 – Buried or Suppressed Anger can be linked to past trauma
But what if the danger is a lot less obvious and you still get defensive and angry…for example: You’re the punchline of a harmless joke that your friends make and you respond by getting angry and upset at them. Their intent wasn’t to harm you, but you took it defensively none the less. This incident could have been a subconscious trigger from a past trauma you experienced such as being bullied as a child.
#3 – Anger is a Secondary Emotion
If you peel the onion, you’ll discover that you typically feel another emotion prior to getting angry. Let’s take the example with the cougar. When it attacked, you likely felt fear at first, followed by anger when you eventually decided to fight back.
There’s a wealth of information to be learned about anger and how it affects your mental health. Other than physical health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease, mismanaged anger creates an unhealthy cycle with your mental health, often fueled by depression and anxiety.
And round and round they go:
…AND even greater depression.
Throw in a mix of anxiety in there, and it becomes a formula for some difficult days.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all get angry from time to time and if we can learn to understand its root cause, solutions become much clearer. That’s how I learned to go from being angry and depressed, to happy, loving and free.
So there you have it, an introduction into anger to help you begin to untangle the complex web inside and to create some space for a beautiful and inspiring journey ahead.
Also remember to check out Discovery to get a ton more insight about mental health. There’s plenty of helpful tips in there that I’ve used for my wellbeing that you can also apply to your life.