Learning to control my anger

Postby Michael09876 » Tue Jul 13, 2021 12:37 am

over the past few months, I have been working on my anger by meditating and calming myself down internally by asking myself " is it worth it?" I used to get soo upset when I'm at work when I'm put under pressure. If anybody has any advice, I would love to hear it.
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#1

Postby Leo Volont » Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:05 pm

Michael09876 wrote:over the past few months, I have been working on my anger by meditating and calming myself down internally by asking myself " is it worth it?" I used to get soo upset when I'm at work when I'm put under pressure. If anybody has any advice, I would love to hear it.


Hi Michael, This is Leo Volont. Yeah, I got a lot of advice. Look below and you will see that I have two general essays on Anger Management. The Primary one is "Anger Management Long Term and Short Term", and then the shorter "Make A New Personality for Yourself"... or something close to that. When writing a response you lose sight of the Main Menu Page. But, I have been the primary responder on this page for a while. My advice is based on the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy School of Psychology (founder Aaron Beck) or the Rational Emotive Behavior School (Founder Albert Ellis). Those schools have been around for decades now and so all the Self Help Books that are any good at advising about Anger Management are some kind of Cognitive or Emotive Behavioral Therapy. The best popular author I found is Ronald Potter-Efron who in addition to his popular books has a few College Text Books out there and so he is taken seriously in the Community.

Yeah, Meditation could help but on in the context where your cortisol levels are super high because you have been under constant stress. You see, the amygdala gland secretes cortisol under stress and then it takes about 24 hours for the cortisol to metabolize away but until then you are a bit jumpy and so it is easy to trigger another crisis episode the secretes more cortisol and it it sets up a catenation of repeated anger episodes and you stay wired all the time, and if the amygdala is kept THAT active then it just starts constantly seeping cortisol. What can you really do for such a person that STRESSED OUT. Yeah, people like that write in and they have jobs and nagging wives and brat kids, and so you CAN'T tell that the ONLY THING that might work is to just GET AWAY and be alone until their BRAIN can get back to baseline and their amygdala stops literally seeping tension. But, yeah, that is where Meditation might help.

But, you really need to look at Cognitive Behavioral Control. You need to disarm the Triggers. I am still touch to insults. Everybody that is used to taking responsibility gets territorial, and territoriality is a huge trigger. The best way to avoid anger, really, is to go somewhere where you know nothing, or you know everybody knows more than you do, where you have no responsibility, you are in charge of nothing. If you get insulted you know you deserve it. You have no territory and so nobody can step on your toes. If you have no Status then nobody can threaten what you don't have.

Relationships, well, those are almost guaranteed to be Trigger Points. SO MANY EXPECTATIONS. Frustration also causes Anger. People Idealize their Relationship Partners and every disillusionment is a Trigger.

I found One Trick all by myself... suggested half way by Ronald Potter-Efron. You see, when the amygdala is releasing Cortisol the first muscle group to tighten up is the Jaw Muscles. If you can RELAX them before your MIND knows it's angry they you can STOP the Cortisol. Apparently we evolved the ability to TURN OFF accidental PANIC attacks, you know when we at first think the stick in our path is a SNAKE but then notice really quick it is a Snake, well, we can say OH with a Wide Open Mouth... your jaw can't clamp and so there is the Relaxation of the jaw muscle. BUT it only takes less than TWO SECONDS before the Cortisol HITS your Brain and so you have to catch the first tightness NOW and relax. You can practice feeling what the first Cortisol feels like. Pay attention here. You Take A Pin and you prepare to stab the top of your hand with it. As soon as you are really serious about stabbing your hand... THERE you feel your jaw tighten... RELAX. Don't screw with the exercise because that is CORTISOL our enemy.

But, yeah, Michael, I wrote enough to let you know that I'm not blowing you off with a few references. BUT now I am telling you to read those two essays I wrote. Then, I check this page every day. Let me know what you think. Take care man.
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#2

Postby Arne Pedersen » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:52 pm

Hi Michael,

Feeling controlled by our anger is a really difficult place to be. In my 20s-30s I was unconsciously controlled by my anger. I broke a lot of things, hurt myself, and hurt a lot of relationships. The thing that began to help me the most was to start learning to love and accept myself in the moment with what I was feeling, rather than push away and resist everything. Over time I learned where my anger was stemming from, which was the lack of unconditional loving acceptance and encouragement I needed when I was a child that I did not get, because even though my parents were doing the best they could, they were doing so from their unresolved childhood traumas.

If you try to control anger it is just pushing a ball of misunderstood and unexperienced emotion under the surface of your awareness where it cannot be processed, like pushing ball after ball under the water and trying to hold them there, that over time they will become harder to keep under control when you get stressed with too much to deal with and all those balls together come exploding up above the surface... just as the anger does.

I would suggest learning a simple awareness practice where you are taking deliberate daily time practicing sitting with what you feel. Just sit in a comfortable safe place and focus on your breathing. Pay particular attention to your inner felt sensations of your ribcage expanding and contracting and the feeling of air moving down your windpipe. Then practice expanding this awareness to practice noticing the physical sensations through your whole body. With practice this will build your ability to allow and accept what you feel, and when you do this, through the experience of being with what you feel you are creating a state of acceptance and ease, which will begin the process of releasing the patterns of resistance that hold the patterns of anger in place and you will start learning how to process and let feeling go rather than try to push under and control them until they bust up as anger. Ultimately by doing this practice of being with what you feel, you are practicing self love and acceptance, and this will help you feel more loving and accepting of life rather than angry at it.


Also it can be helpful to contemplate what you are truly angry about that may be stemming from your past. Look at your thoughts and patterns of anger and see if they remind you of anybody long ago? Or if you hear someone in your head angry at you as though another persons voice is making you feel angry of expressing anger to you. The reason I suggest this is because if when you were younger, if you didn’t get your needs met in all the healthy ways you needed to learn to be confident in who you are and to express yourself healthily as you feel through your emotions, then you would be working out these imbalances now with resistance in all your current retionshiops and life, and your outbursts of anger are the messengers that are pointing you to the places you need to bring in some self acceptance and self love to heal those unresolved traumas from the past.

If you have any questions about this awareness practice just ask, as I know it is a lot of work, but over time it works!
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#3

Postby Leo Volont » Mon Aug 16, 2021 11:17 pm

Hi Arne,

Arne, what you describe with your advice is just another form of CONTROL that you are criticizing the established Anger Management Methodologies for. If you have a different way of using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, well, fine... the more the merrier, but your technique has a great many weak points. The Meditation Atmosphere doesn't carry over into active social life, and triggers can come fast and by surprise. Actual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works with practice and rehearsal, and how to deal with Cortisol when it starts pumping. No, Arne, the Therapies AREN'T pushing down the Anger anymore that YOU are pushing down the Anger. Listen to how you described it: "The thing that began to help me the most was to start learning to love and accept myself in the moment with what I was feeling, rather than push away and resist everything" .... Arnie, that is you doing Cognitive Re-Appraisal. and it's generalized. In actual Therapy we get Angry People to keep a journal of ACTUAL Triggers, and then the situations are re-created. Practice practice practice with getting people to APPRAISE more productively... like a Coach telling a Hot Head Kid to think with his Brain and not with his Azz". Arnie, saying AUM may be a good stop gap in the absence specific situational strategies, but I can't see how it can be argued that specific situations strategies are as bad as you describe.

Maybe some of the utility in Mediations is that it just LIMITS exposure to society and Meditators self isolate. Really, its AVOIDANCE, and I won't knock it. For people just starting out in Anger Management AVOIDANCE is the one sure thing they can count in if as soon as the Cortisol hits their bloodstream they know to react simply by leaving the room. No, Arnie, they are not "pushing down the Anger". Anger is Response to Cortisol. Cortisol metabolizes after 24 hours and the Anger is gone. Arnie, you must be self aware enough to know that, right? Yeah, if you have time Arnie, take a look at my general essay for people seeking Anger Management Help, "Anger Management Short Term and Long Term".
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#4

Postby Leo Volont » Mon Aug 16, 2021 11:32 pm

Oh! Arnie, I see what you are doing now. You posted your business card under the comment. You are dumping on the Anger Management Establishment because you are some New Age Scammer selling Snake Oil. Jeeze, Arnie, maybe you can sell us some Crystals and wouldn't Aroma Therapy really calm us down? Arnie if you want to extend your Business into Anger Management then you could at least read up on it first and not just BS your way through with the New Age One Size Fits All Approach. Yeah, I guess everybody needs to pay their rent somehow, but this Forum is about real advice and your hocus pocus is just a distraction, isn't it? The time they waste on intoning Aums and contemplating their navels they could be putting into actual tried and true therapeutic techniques, you know, like the kind that that are available in many Self Help Books written by actual certified Health Professionals and Therapists (yeah, I warn new Members to check to see the credentials of the Anger Management Books they buy, and to only buy the New Age Stuff when they've read everything else because it'd be good for a laugh and they can use what they KNOW to critique the Hocus Pocus and see in contrast how their own practices are indeed more effective. So, yeah, namaste Arnie.
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#5

Postby Guess » Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:57 pm

I have personally found that uttering or whispering a word constantly may help channel that energy and help you relax.
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#6

Postby Guess » Sat Aug 21, 2021 9:09 pm

Another method might be when you go for a walk or for exercise, during the exercise breathe out quickly and above your normal breathing and only outwardly(when breathing out, but not breathing in), so the concept being channeling that energy out of your body. My guess is both these techniques would have another effect on your body (probably negative?).
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#7

Postby Leo Volont » Sat Aug 21, 2021 11:51 pm

Good Morning Guess,

Yeah, when getting involved with the Anger Management Community we really do encounter a lot of New Age Style recommendations that suggest that all we need to do is relax. Well, yes, that concern is not entirely misplaced. You see, what really causes Anger in mechanical terms is the release by the amygdala gland of Cortisol... I used to think it was Adrenaline, but if you think of it LIKE adrenaline then your thinking would be getting about the right picture. What happens is that if a person is TRIGGERED then there is a Cortisol release which causes a BLOW UP which is really a short term event BUT the Cortisol does not immediately go dissipate. Cortisol that could energize a significant blow up could take over 24 hours to metabolize away, and until then the person will BE Stressed Out. There is not much Breathing Exercises can do with that. But, OUTSIDERS looking in THINK that this Cortisol Reaction is the Angry Person's baseline, and tha tis a mistaken assumption. But it is because of this Mistaken Assumption that we hear so much concern about RELAXING, but the damage has already been done at this point. But, YES, the person would be on tenuous ground while there is still residual Cortisol in the System because it makes them easier to TRIGGER again. People get caught up in a Positive Feedback Loop where they are REALLY screwed if they can't manage to STAY DOWN for at least 3 days in a row (really, after a Blow Up people should be able to treat it like the Flu and just call in Sick until their Blood Cortisol Levels drop... treat Anger like a Medical Condition). BUT if an Angry Person can manage to shelter from subsequent Triggers and stay 'down', then, honestly speaking, Angry People are just as calm as everybody else. Angry People can be known for their otherwise cheerfulness and good humor... you just don't want to TRIGGER them. Now all the relaxation techniques in the World can't address these Triggers. That is why the Scientifically Based Anger Management Community has gone over to Cognitive Behavior Therapies or Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapies. The New Age Meditation Approach is really too generalized. The Working Therapies actually work with a person's real world Triggers, you know, what 'pushes their buttons', the stuff that they find insulting or frustrating. The Therapy consists in examining the emotional and intellectual appraisals that generate the sense of frustration or the sting of insult, and attempt to reconstruct the thinking and evaluation process that cause the Trigger. Yeah, it is mostly "the worst thing that can happen for you is to get angry" but that needs to be an Initial Thought, way up front in the process so it can defuse any Trigger. Once there is a Trigger, well, there we get the Cortisol and the Horse Is Already Out Of The Barn. Yeah, there are ways of dealing with a Cortisol Release, and it isn't easy or obvious -- read my essay "Anger Management Short Term and Long Term"... it is usually high up in the listings and easy enough to find. So, effective Anger Management Therapy involves a kind of daily practice in reviewing journals in regards to your history of anger and going over your mind what your Thought Process Should have been, and to do Rehearsals for the Future. The Best Self Help Books don't talk about breathing exercises and doing OMs, but present the anatomy of the most common kinds of Anger Episodes, deconstructing them and suggesting various ways they could have been everted simply by a difference in how the situation was mentally and emotionally appraised. At least the "All You Need To Do Is Be Relaxed" Faction is not as bad as the "Anger is Natural" Faction, which really isn't Anger Management at all. Really the ONLY TIME Anger can help is in a Life or Death Defensive Struggle, an actual FIGHT. The Cortisol makes you impervious to pain and energizes you to put fear on the back burner. It is like waking up in a Camp Ground and some Bear is ready to eat your partner... then Anger is good. But, in relationships and social situations or at the Office, ANGER is always a bad thing and there is NEVER a good reason for it. We can always return to the basic premise of Anger Management and that is "An Angry Response Is Your Worst Choice".
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#8

Postby cropkingseeds121 » Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:01 am

On my own experience, the moment I got angry I can't control myself. I don't care who I am talking with or what can I do when I'm angry. And because of that I always try to stay calm and understand other people because I'm afraid of what I can do if I get mad at them.
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#9

Postby Leo Volont » Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:37 pm

cropkingseeds121 wrote:On my own experience, the moment I got angry I can't control myself. I don't care who I am talking with or what can I do when I'm angry. And because of that I always try to stay calm and understand other people because I'm afraid of what I can do if I get mad at them.


Yeah, 121, I think the best way for not getting Angry is to prevent one's self from even engaging with the Problem and the person's involved. Ignore it. Especially keep in mind that one should never swear -- if you use a cuss word, well, you just blew it, because Cussing is the first release of Anger and it is like the damn has already been breeched.

However, sometimes the Triggers for your Anger are meant to be personal. If you are insulted to your face, well, some level of engagement may be necessary. But in a situation like that, you need to put yourself in a kind of Dispassionate Gamer's Mode, that is, you need to THINK about how you need to PLAY the situation. Particularly, keep your voice calm. Don't follow the Provoking Person's lead, and take the initiative.... change the subject.
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