Angry? We’ve all been there, but hold the phone—unclench that fist. Anger might seem like an obvious emotion to identify, but in truth, it can be a veil for things happening beneath the surface. Whether it’s our own reaction or someone else’s, there are times when anger responses perplex us, and we are left wondering what’s really going on.
Oftentimes anger is a behavioral reflection of an emotional trigger, Erica Spiegelman, Therapist and Addiction Specialist, explains.
“Why we get angry in the first place is because it’s an internal response to external stressors. Common emotions that are known to trigger anger are: shame, frustration, guilt, sadness, anxiety, embarrassment, jealousy, and hurt.”
So, it’s important to take a step back to really identify what is underneath the bubbling surface. Is this situation bringing up feelings of insecurity related to something in the past? Is your inner child responding? Or maybe your shadow? Whatever it is that is making you react in anger is valid and should be met with empathy and love, which gets easier the better we are at learning what pushes our reaction.
“We must deal with our emotions and learn what anger is so we can continue to work on being mindful,” Erica reassures.
The best measure of self-love when you are angry is to step away from the situation so you can assess what’s triggering you, and give yourself space to balance out your emotions.
“It’s good to get grounded first before addressing the issue,” Erica continues. “Learning coping skills, breathing techniques, emotional regulation strategies, and behavioral strategies can help to integrate these strategies to deal with your anger.”
Self-regulating can give you clarity and help you not just deal with the issue at hand, but the root cause behind it, as well as investigating where your triggers originate. Consider it a practice in self-realization.
The next time you feel the familiar heat of anger bubbling within, you can take a breath, and dig a little deeper to identify the spectrum of emotions hidden in the prism. It’s empowering to find clarity and color through the blaze, rather than just seeing red.
Maybe it’s time to have a therapeutic cry, and release. Or maybe you find yourself letting go, and the heat subsides. No matter what you find, understanding yourself better is the ultimate offering of self-love.