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Anger | Our Secondary Emotion

We have all experienced anger, getting mad, frustrated or irritated by circumstances or those around us. But it seems as being angry is becoming a pretty normal state to be in. The Gallup World Poll, 2018, asked people about their feelings for the majority of the day before, over 1 in 5 Americans (22%) said they were angry. There is a lot in the world to be angry about but what if this seeming rise in anger is simply because we don’t know how to process that emotion?

Anger is different from our other emotions because it is usually an expression for a root emotion that we are experiencing that we can’t or don’t want to express, things like:

  • Shame

  • Sadness

  • Fear

  • Embarrassment

  • Disappointment

  • Guilt

  • Powerlessness

  • Hurt

Perhaps, a bully shamed you at school in front of friends and that shame expressed itself as anger or someone cut you up on the drive home and your powerlessness to do anything about it or respond results in anger.

Realizing that anger isn’t really the issue can often cause the emotions and the blood pressure rise that comes with it to dissipate pretty quickly, leaving you space to work out what is really going on and to process and let go of that emotion. Easier to say than do when you are in the heat of the moment but taking the age old advice to count to 10 and touch base with what you are really feeling can turn it from and angry day into an angry hour or even just a moment.

I realized that if any thoughts immediately affect my body, I should be careful about what I think. Now, if I get angry, I ask myself why I feel that way. If I can find the source of my anger, I can turn that negative energy into something positive.”
Yoko Ono

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