Anger – Triggers (Part 3)

angry robot

can go wrong every day!

PREVIOUS: Anger Triggers  #2

SITE:Anger: Moodjuice Self-help guide


MORE Anger Triggers, set off by OTHER people or circumstances
🚹 Noise • construction work, babies crying, dogs barking
🚹 Overload when too many stressors happen at the same time, so our coping capacity is exhausted (caregivers, working mothers….)

🚹 Pet Peeves lazy, sloppy, dirty, chaotic people or places
• violation of personal rules/ values
• social irregularities, political issues
🚹 Powerlessness
• not able to fix or change someone/ thing that hurts us (so we don’t have to leave)

🚹 Stealing • lover or mate taking $$ or other things / ID theft / break-ins / business frauds
🚹 Stupidity rules that make no sense
• not having or not using common sense
• government incompetence or deliberate harm
• favorite sports teams losing
🚹 Unfairness
• discrimination because of age, race, religion, gender, looks….
🚹 Unreliability
• broken promises, lateness, lies, repeated cancellations
• being let down when needing someone specific (disappointments)

Life is made up of energy ebb & flow, expressed, contained or withheld.
We take in – food, love, nature, beauty, affection….
We let out – art, exercise, emotions, sex, sports, talk…
…. a cycle of building & discharging vibrations, which only stops at death

🔻 Relaxed muscles are in low energy, but also anything that’s a road block keeps us tense
🔺 High energy that’s not moving tightens the muscles. People who are very afraid – will unconsciously hold their breath, so their lungs are always over-inflated, making them sigh a lot

When energy gets either too high or too low, people get more & more anxious. Then they try to find ways to dampen it or pump it up (over-eating, compulsive sex, fighting, smoking, drinking….)

• Our society (& unhealthy families) tell us what we’re allowed to express emotionally, & to ‘control’ how much to let out. We’ve been taught to be afraid of showing anger, loneliness, fear, mourning, insecurity – even too much joy or excitement (except @ sports or concerts)….. told to “calm down” & contain emotions rather than letting them out in healthy ways.

The energy of each unexpressed emotion gets stuffed into an imaginary POT. One way to tell how full it is – is by noticing the tension in our muscles – tight jaw or shoulders, having IBS, overall stiffness….

⬅️ Al Turtle’s CHARTS start by assigning each ‘provoking’ external event as 5 units, with a corresponding emotional response of 5 units, & then going up from there: trigger 50 = response 50, 500 = 500….
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 body, which can use up tp 20 to 80% of our calorie intake – just to keep it all inside the POT.

No wonder we’re tired – 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 in proportion to the provocation (trigger), so the larger the input (stressor), the larger the output (emotional intensity).
A child will explode as much as it needs to, then it’s over, & they stops. This is normal.
But adults have learned to cut too many of their feelings off. Then we end up with 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 would “justify” a little anger often results in a huge amount of expressed rage.

RELIEF – The ONLY thing that relieves suppressed emotional energy is venting it appropriately – as a way of ‘completing’ / ending the emotion – so it does’t hang around. Nothing else works.

Regularly emptying the POT  – a little at a time, in small doses – actually gives us more energy because we’re releasing the tremendous effort needed to hold it in.
Many of us are not aware of how hard we’re working to sit on emotions, because consistently tight muscles become numb after a while. That’s why doing emotional-release body work is so important as part of Recovery.
SITE : Polyvagal Theory, a Ladder of  Nervous States the mammalian autonomic nervous system provides the neurophysiological substrates for adaptive behavioral strategies.

BOOK: “The Body Keeps the Score” ˜~Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. (Overview & chapter summaries)

NEXT: Anger & ACoAs,  #1

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