Understanding Anger – Part I
Two types of people have anger issues – those who are always losing their temper, and those who never do. It might be strange to think of someone who never gets angry as having anger issues. But it is only when the anger is too explosive, that a person suppresses it completely. A healthy person will get angry every once in a while, when people are violating boundaries.
Anger is actually quite important. Animals use it to drive up their metabolism and strength when they need to fight to defend their territory or hunt for food. Anger is a gift from nature for ensuring survival. And today, it is killing us.
When we are angry, adrenaline is pumped into the blood stream, the heart starts beating faster and blood rushes to the limbs to enable faster running and stronger fighting. Sensory perceptions are enhanced to more effectively deal with the increased stimulation – because obviously, you need faster reflexes if you’re fighting or running. Anger is here to help you survive in the face of a life-threatening situation.
Now the problem is, we (falsely) perceive nearly everything in life as a life and death scenario. I remember sitting in a hostel dorm in Portugal, watching a girl cry because she didn’t know what to wear to the pub. She didn’t want to repeat a dress and the others were too flashy. ‘I just want to die!’ she wailed. She wasn’t joking, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. But don’t we all do this, just in other ways?
When we perceive a situation as life and death, anger kicks in because it thinks your life is in danger. Blood rushes to the extremities, compromising normal functions like digestion and repair. Add to this the overexposure we have to media, which means over stimulation, and the body is raising the ‘temperature’ again, to be able to cope. That is why city dwellers are so much more stressed than village folk – the traffic, the noise, the zillion people, and the fast life send the body into fight or flight mode.
We will understand what happens energetically during anger, in the next article – Continue to part 2: Anger and Energy