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In the Heart of Anger



Welcome,


May this blog be a companion to our latest gathering recording > Evolving


Today, we embark on a journey into the depths of anger, exploring its nuances, impacts, and potential for growth and healing.


We begin by setting our intention - to allow anger to sit with us, to acknowledge its presence within our ancestral lineage, past experiences, and higher selves. By embracing anger in this way, we contribute to the healing and evolution of our bloodline and collective.


"Anger is the part of yourself that loves you the most. It knows when you are being mistreated, neglected, or disrespected. It signals that you have to take a step out of a place that doesn't do you justice."


What Affects Our Reality?


Our experience of reality is shaped by various factors:


- Genes / Epigenetics: Ancestral influences and genetic predispositions play a significant role in shaping our emotional responses, including anger.

- Subconscious Beliefs: Many of our beliefs and attitudes are formed at a young age, often before the age of 7, and can influence how we perceive and react to situations throughout our lives.

- Life Experience: Our experiences, both positive and negative, contribute to the development of our emotional landscape, influencing how we navigate and express emotions like anger.

- Environment: Our surroundings, including our sensory experiences such as nutrition, sound, and energetic vibrations, impact our internal state and emotional well-being.

- Internal Health: Our overall physical, mental, and spiritual health can influence our emotional resilience and capacity to process and manage anger.

- Final Evaluation: Our internal world is a culmination of these factors, leading to an ongoing evaluation of our safety, well-being, and perception of future risks.

Understanding these influences allows us to navigate our internal landscape with greater awareness and compassion.


Physiology


Our genetic makeup and epigenetics play a significant role in shaping our emotional responses, particularly when it comes to anger. Neural circuits within our brains can be wired to trigger aggressive responses more readily in certain individuals. Dr. Huberman's research sheds light on how these circuits function, indicating that certain parts of the brain can be awakened to elicit aggressive behaviors.


Moreover, the sensitivity of estrogen receptors on the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) contributes to the regulation of aggressive behavior. In women, estrogen levels are produced by androgens such as testosterone, which are produced in the adrenals, ovaries, and other areas of the body. The process of aromatization converts these androgens into estrogen. Activation of VMH receptors has been linked to aggressive behavior, as observed in studies involving mice. This aggression may manifest in various forms, such as swinging arms, biting, or attacking.


Contrary to common belief, testosterone itself is not directly associated with aggression. Instead, it often fuels competitive behaviors, whether in pursuit of financial success, physical health, charitable endeavors, or even striving to appear the best-looking. In essence, anger serves as a mechanism for preserving life when a threat is identified.


Subconscious beliefs


Our surrounding emotions are deeply influenced by our upbringing and early experiences. Reflecting on our childhood and the behaviors modeled by our parents or caregivers can provide insights into our current emotional patterns.


Consider what you observed from your parents or caregivers regarding emotions.


  • How did they express anger, sadness, or joy?

  • Were these emotions openly discussed and validated, or were they suppressed or ignored?

  • During times of intense emotions, how were you supported or disciplined?

  • Were you comforted and held with care, or were punitive measures?

  • Did you feel safe in your environment growing up? Were there instances where you felt unsafe or threatened?

  • Did you feel emotionally supported and understood, or were your emotions ignored or invalidated?

  • Were you ever in physically or emotionally abusive relationships where your emotions were used against you?


Senses


Our senses play a crucial role in shaping our inner world and influencing our emotional responses. When we experience anger, various sensory stimuli can impact how we perceive and express this emotion.


Reflecting on a time when you were angry, consider how your senses were engaged:


- Sight: What visual cues triggered your anger? Was it someone's facial expression, a particular gesture, or an environmental factor?

- Sound: Did certain sounds contribute to your emotional state? Perhaps it was the tone of someone's voice, loud noises, or even the sound of silence that fueled your anger.

- Smell: Were there any specific scents or odors present that intensified your emotions? Sometimes, unpleasant smells can evoke strong emotional responses.

- Taste: Although less common, taste can also influence our emotions. Consider if any tastes or flavors were associated with the situation that angered you.

- Touch: How did physical sensations contribute to your anger? This could include tactile experiences like feeling tense, hot, or experiencing physical discomfort.

Once you've identified the sensory triggers of your anger, you can employ grounding techniques to navigate through the emotional intensity:


Next...


- Grounding: Start by tuning into your body and identifying where you feel the anger physically. Is it a tightness in your chest, a knot in your stomach, or tension in your shoulders?


- Mantra: Repeat a calming mantra to yourself, such as "I am here, let's see what's really happening." This can help center your focus and alleviate some of the emotional turmoil.


- MOT (Meeting Our Needs): Assess whether your basic needs are being met. Are you feeling physically nourished, rested, and safe?


- Emotional Check-In: Take stock of your overall emotional state. Are there other emotions underlying your anger, such as sadness, loneliness, jealousy, or frustration?


- Recall: Reflect on when you first noticed the anger arising. What triggered it, and what did that initial emotional response look like?


- Curiosity: Explore the deeper need that may not be met beneath the surface of your anger. Is there an unfulfilled desire or boundary that needs attention?


External Projections


Anger can be influenced by societal expectations and gender norms. Research indicates that women are often penalized for assertive behavior, including displays of forceful energy. In contrast, men are frequently praised for similar assertiveness. This discrepancy highlights a societal bias against women expressing anger, rooted in deeply ingrained gender stereotypes.

Many cultures perpetuate the belief that anger is incompatible with femininity, reinforcing the notion that women should be passive and accommodating.



The origins of this bias can be traced to historical gender roles and patriarchal structures that prioritize male dominance and control. Women who deviate from these prescribed roles risk social censure and internalized shame.


What thoughts arising for you? Do you hold beliefs about anger and women?


Roots of anger


The roots of anger can be traced back to its origins as a survival mechanism that has evolved over time. When faced with a threat or perceived danger, the body's instinctual response is to activate the "fight or flight or freeze" response. This physiological reaction prepares individuals to either confront the threat head-on, flee from it, or in some cases, remain still and play dead as a last resort. Learn mire in membership on the vagus nerve.


In close relationships, our response to triggers often reflects deeply ingrained patterns shaped by past experiences and learned coping mechanisms. For example, if someone's go-to response in their closest relationships is to withdraw or avoid conflict, it may stem from a subconscious desire to protect themselves or others from the potentially damaging effects of their anger. This response could be influenced by past traumas or experiences of abuse, where expressing anger led to negative consequences or felt futile.


Reflecting on personal experiences, one may uncover a complex interplay of emotions and behaviors. For instance, someone may recall instances where they felt trapped and unable to protect themselves from harm, leading to feelings of anger and powerlessness. In such situations, the body's response to danger may involve a surge of adrenaline, followed by a release of pent-up energy through physical actions like throwing objects or lashing out.


Exploring these moments of intense emotion can be a means of processing and releasing stored tension in the body. Over time, unresolved anger and trauma can accumulate, leading to physical and emotional distress. By acknowledging and addressing these experiences, we can begin to heal and break free from the cycle of anger and reactivity. This process may involve seeking support from trusted loved ones, therapy, or other forms of self-care and healing practices.


Anger V Rage


Anger and rage are both intense emotional responses, but they differ significantly in intensity, duration, and expression. Anger typically manifests as a strong feeling of displeasure or hostility in response to a perceived threat or injustice, ranging from mild irritation to intense frustration, and is often expressed in a controlled and assertive manner. In contrast, rage represents an extreme and overwhelming outburst of emotion, characterized by uncontrollable fury that can lead to aggressive or violent behavior. While anger is generally temporary and can be managed effectively, rage tends to be more prolonged and can result in destructive consequences.


Calming the nervous system


Practicing techniques to calm the nervous system can be invaluable for managing intense emotions like anger.


Firstly, creating a physical and emotional space from the triggering situation allows for a moment of clarity and prevents the escalation of emotions.


Taking slow, deep breaths, with an emphasis on exhaling for twice as long as inhaling, helps activate the body's relaxation response.


Engaging in a conversation with one's higher self or inner wisdom can provide a sense of safety and perspective, guiding one towards more rational and balanced responses.


Additionally, writing down one's thoughts and emotions can help externalize and process them, reducing their intensity.


Finally, owning one's emotions by acknowledging them and identifying the underlying needs or triggers can facilitate understanding and integration.


What tools help you?


Here are some helpful tips from me before we explore how to repair in relationship to deepen connection during times of intensity and confusion.


- Sunshine: Exposure to sunlight helps regulate melatonin levels and increases dopamine production, crucial for mood regulation and stress management.


- Menstrual Cycle: Monitoring for hormone imbalances is important for women's emotional and physical health. See menstrual revolution in course.


- Nutrition: Consuming foods rich in tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, and supplements can support serotonin levels and overall well-being.


- Hot Baths: Taking hot baths can reduce cortisol levels, helping to alleviate stress.


- Ashwagandha: Incorporating adaptogens like ashwagandha into one's routine can aid in stress management, but it's essential to use them responsibly with breaks.


- Avoid Stimulants and Depressants: Steering clear of substances like caffeine and alcohol helps regulate stress hormones and maintain a balanced nervous system.


- Stress Reduction Practices: Identifying personal go-to strategies such as mindfulness, physical activity, or creative outlets is essential for managing stress effectively and promoting overall wellness.


Conscious Communication


Conscious communication is essential for repairing and maintaining connections, especially when dealing with anger. Here are some key strategies to ensure effective communication:


1. Pause and Reflect: Before expressing anger, take a moment to understand the source of your emotions. This self-reflection can help you communicate more clearly and calmly.


2. Choose the Right Time: Timing is crucial; wait for a moment when both parties are calm and receptive to discuss the issue. Avoid addressing it in the heat of the moment when emotions are running high.


3. Use "I" Statements: Frame your expressions using "I" statements to express your feelings without blaming the other person. This approach fosters understanding and prevents defensiveness.


4. Be Specific: Clearly articulate the behavior or situation that triggered your anger, providing specific examples to help the other person understand your perspective.


5. Stay Calm: Maintain a calm tone and avoid raising your voice during the conversation. This helps create a respectful atmosphere conducive to constructive dialogue.


6. Express Needs and Desires: Communicate your needs and desires openly, focusing on finding solutions rather than dwelling on the problem itself.


7. Active Listening: Encourage the other person to share their perspective and actively listen without interrupting. This demonstrates respect and promotes mutual understanding.


8. Take Breaks if Needed: If the discussion becomes too heated, it's okay to take a break to cool off and regain composure. This prevents further escalation and allows for a clearer mindset when returning to the conversation.


9. Seek Resolution: Aim to find a resolution that respects the needs and feelings of both parties involved. This may involve compromises or finding mutually acceptable solutions to the underlying issues.


In summary, this exploration has highlighted two crucial points for managing anger and understanding its underlying causes.


Firstly, when experiencing anger, it's essential to assess whether it stems from unmet basic needs in the present moment or if it's an echo of past traumas or experiences.


Viewing anger as a protector of a previous version of oneself can offer insight into its origins.


Secondly, employing techniques to return to a state of peace in immediate moments of anger is crucial.


Additionally, carving out dedicated time during the week to reflect on past situations and explore their roots can facilitate healing and understanding. Being curious about what lies behind the door of our emotions allows for deeper insight and growth.


Lots of love,


Danielle


Books mentioned in the recording: The Body Keeps Score And You Are the One You've Been Waiting For, Richard C Schwartz







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1 Comment


Yema Del Mar
Yema Del Mar
Feb 11

beautiful, brave, and in-depth discussion of this sensitive and important topic!!

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