We say things all the time that we think means we anger is a right. Don’t you think I am justified in being angry? I think I deserve to be a little upset. It is my right to be angry about this. I am entitled to be as angry as I want. In one sense, we do have a right to be angry. As autonomous beings with emotions, we have a right to feel whatever we feel and act how we choose to act. There is a catch- anger is not a right. It is a choice. Every time we feel angry we have an opportunity to choose to continue feeling angry, acting on our anger, or choose differently. We don’t deserve to feel angry and our anger is not justified. Anger, like all emotions, is a choice. Anger is a survival mechanism. When we get angry, we are acting on an old evolutionary part of our humanity which evolved over time to protect us from predators. Anger is a kickstart to our stress hormones, which are part of our fight-or-flight-system. Adrenaline and cortisol go surging through our veins, prompting us to take action. This system is why we feel prompted to yell, scream, throw something, take action, and not stop until we get out anger satisfied, when we get angry. We feel threatened when we get angry, like our livelihoods are being risked. Underneath the surface of our anger is a trigger which makes our sense of safety feel threatened. Anger is our mind and body’s way of telling us we are approaching something difficult. Though we may be approaching something difficult, it is rarely unmanageable. Managing anger takes time and training. We have choices when it comes to our anger to help our body calm down first and then proceed to calm down our mind. First, we can take a moment to pause. The stress hormones flooding out system want us to take action. One of the best things we can do is not take any action and just take a moment to breathe. Acting against our instincts, we give ourselves time to breathe and think. Next, we can reframe the story of the situation in our mind by asking ourselves what this anger might be about and how we want to proceed. Lastly, we can let go of the anger and move towards a resolution, if one may be present.
Oceanfront Recovery knows that when you can change your story, you can change your life. Our residential treatment programs offer a full continuum of care to help you make the transition to independent living. For information, call us today: (949) 207-9899