The Cycle of Change: Anger
Following on from last months cycle of change article about denial, the next stage of change and grief is anger. Now remember that these stages don’t just relate to grief in the traditional sense. You can grieve an old way of being because change can be scary and to let a part of ourselves go (a habit, a look, a space) can cause us to go through the grief cycle.
Anger is the space where we get angry at the people around us, at the inanimate objects around us (printers, kitchen cupboards that squeak, chairs etc). Sometimes though, what we’re really angry at is not the other person or the object. Sometimes, we’re angry at ourselves. And it depends on what cycle of change we’re going through as to why we are angry at ourselves.
Take weight loss for example, sometimes people can be angry at themselves for letting themselves get to that point, in the case of changing career, we can get angry at ourselves for not following our heart sooner.
Anger is an emotion that is what we like to call the presenting emotion. It’s not necessarily the actual emotion in that it is often a culmination of other emotions that haven’t quite been dealt with yet. Because it’s often a pent-up emotion, it tends to “explode” and we feel like it comes out of nowhere.
Anger can be taxing on the body, mind and spirit. It’s a heavy thing to carry around with us and it causes the body physical stress too because of all the stress hormones circulating in response to our constant state of stress.
Consider how you tend to respond to stress.
- Do you typically run and hide? Or
- Do you tend to go into fighting mode? Or
- Do you freeze, much like a deer in headlights?
Based on your answer to the above, that is also your answer to how to diffuse your anger.
If you tend to go into flight mode, get walking or running to work it out of your legs. If you tend to go into fight mode, then take up a boxing class to get the pent-up energy out of your arms. If you’re freeze person, try meditation to calm to centre you.
If you tend to go into a little of each then try a little of each of the above techniques. It’s all about getting the energy to shift out of the body in a way that is comfortable for you and your body’s natural stress response.
Once the anger clears, then you’ll feel much calmer and clearer to deal with the next phase of letting go.
Stay tuned for next Month’s article in the Cycle of Change Series about Bargaining & Depression.