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How To Calm Down From Unresolved Anger Quickly

by Evelyn on July 7, 2008

Is your life pretty much like a roller coaster? You may be in extreme joy one moment but in the next, your emotion comes crashing down like a tide. You practically have little control. What you feel is pretty much dictated by the experiences that life throws at you. If anything, anger is a negative emotion that you often find yourself with. Well, I can pretty much relate to the scenerio that I’ve just described; it depicted much of how my life was previously.

With introspection, one important lesson that I have come to know is that it is very possible to detach myself from anger. Before, I would be so identified with anger that I totally immerse myself in it. The more I connected with my inner feelings of hurt and frustration associated with the anger, the higher the intensity of my emotions.

Although I tend to stuff my anger inside, I would be stacking up in negative energy, ready to burst. It used to take me quite a while to calm down, after that. Then, I had no awareness that I could think of anger as a state; a state that I could dis-associate (a term popularly known in NLP language) from.

The Scoop With States

What, then, is a state? A state refers to the sum of your emotional experiences at any given point in time. A state can be positive, reflecting a sense of happiness, joy and peace or it can be negative, reflecting sadness, tiredness, anger or frustration. Common states are: a state of panic, a state of boredom, a state of bliss, in a mess; and of course, a state of anger.

States do not necessarily have specific labels all the time. Sometimes, when someone asks you how you feel, your answer may be I’m in a good mood or I feel out of sorts.

When you are experiencing negative emotions, it is easy to incorrectly assume that this state as your whole Being. You (or more rightly, your ego) feel threatened; it now becomes a fight for survival. When you become so consumed with your rage and frustrations, it is possible to lose all sense and the ability to think clearly. You do not realize that You and your Ego are separate, and that to feel better, it is possible to change state.

“The ego is not only the unobserved mind, the voice in the head which pretends to be you, but also the unobserved emotions that are the body’s reaction to what the voice in the head is saying.”
—- A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Anger Builds Upon Anger

Because negativity tends to breed more negativity, it is easy to go on a downward spiral when you get caught up in your emotions. At the office, you feel angry after a torrent of verbal abuse by your boss. Fearful of affecting your job security, you decide not to argue with him.

Unfortunately, after going home from work, your spouse reminds you about the mounting household bills. A fight soon ensues. For some peace and quiet, you decide to escape to your parents’ home, only to face more nagging. Your anger remains unresolved. As your frustrations intensify, you feel that it is not just those around; but that the whole world is against you! Negative energy builds into an internal volcano that threatens to erupt!

Why do You Need to Address Your Anger?

Anger can cause you to make unwise decisions, say hurtful remarks, destroy relationships and take drastic actions that you may regret later. It is an emotion that blocks your way to abundance. It is also listed as one of the Five Hindrances to Meditation, thwarting your way to peace and serenity.

“He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me. In him, who harbours such thoughts, hatred will not cease.”
— The Buddha

How to Create Anger Awareness

In NLP, we learn that it is very possible to change our internal state. The first step, obviously, comes with awareness. The more aware you are about your emotions, the more you can stop anger at its track should it arise.

Here’s a simple exercise. Simply close your eyes and get in touch with your emotions currently. What are you experiencing? How is your breathing fast or slow? How do you feel mentally stressed or relaxed? Do this exercise often so that you increase your sense of awareness.

States are often created by the way you perceive the world. In NLP, when you can change an aspect of your neurology and physiology such as rate of breathing, blood pressure, muscle tension, posture, you can alter your mental state. Once you are able to change your thoughts, you can also affect your neuro-physiological responses. It is a cybernetic loop.

How you perceive the world can be altered. The half-empty and half-full glass is a simple analogy of how you can perceive life differently. Going back to the anger example, you can choose not to bother with the honking of a car behind or choose to stop your car in rage, to confront its unreasonable driver.

Anger Warrants Investigation

I am not suggesting that from now on, you should simply ignore your anger feelings and perceive things positively. Ignoring a problem is never the solution. Anger unresolved is often a sign of an overload. It happens when you unconsciously accumulate an internal storehouse with anger. You collect all negative energy with the common theme of unmet expectations.

“There is a buildup of energy, but since the danger is only a mental fiction, the energy has no outlet. Part of it is fed back to the mind and generates even more anxious thought. The rest of the energy turns toxic and interferes with the harmonious functioning of the body.”
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

On the other hand, I am suggesting that you look at anger as a signal for investigation. As the above quote by Eckhart Tolle suggests, it may not just be anger but the physical symptoms of your body that may be telling of your bottled feelings inside.

What is key to understanding is that the anger is not really You. Rather, it refers to a state that can be altered. It is often ego-generated. Here is a good perspective to adopt that has worked for me:

“Anger is only a natural reaction; one of the mind’s ways of reacting to things that it perceives to be wrong. While anger can sometimes lead people to do shocking things, it can also be an instinct to show people that something isn’t right.”
—Unknown

With the dis-association of Self from the anger, it is then possible to become calmer. Only in calmness, can clarity arise. Only then, can you objectively evaluate these questions: Why are you feeling this anger? What is it that is making you this angry? Did it arise because your expectations are not met? Is it possible that your expectations are too high? Are there more ways of perceiving the same issue? Could you have really made a mistake about the intentions of the other party?


In Summary and Conclusion: How to Calm Down Quickly

Preparation is key to dealing with unresolved anger. You need to first take time to meditate over your negative emotions. Get to know your emotions intimately before any instance of anger. Be in touch with your feelings. Note your ups, downs and in-betweens. Then, when a major trigger gets fired off, rather than Be in a state of over-reaction, look at anger as a signal for re-evaluating your limiting beliefs and expectations. Dis-associate yourself and understand that it is your ego at play.

You can then choose to use EFT or any NLP techniques, to address your negative emotions. As you gain in awareness and understanding, anger dissipates. Few things rail you as much, going forward. Peace and calm is the order of the day! Your thoughts become charged up with positive energy; there is also more love and abundance in your life!

“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
—- Chinese Proverbs

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{ 25 comments }

Daniel Richard | WE July 7, 2008 at 10:41 am

Evelyn! Great article there. :)

True enough, we need to first be aware that we are harboring anger (unresolved anger) and that we need to calm down quickly.

That last quote sums it all nicely too. Gotta have patience, which will save us from trouble.

Daniel
http://winningeveryone.com

Shilpan | successsoul.com July 7, 2008 at 11:06 am

Evelyn ~

Good points. I’d like to add one more. It’s your mental chatter that also acts as an explosive to this chemistry. One way to attack is to write down every thought that pops up in your mind. Few days later, analyze with calmness and you may see a pattern of thoughts or toxic emotions that you need be aware of. It’s sort of a security camera built in your heart…

Shilpan

Hunter Nuttall July 7, 2008 at 1:30 pm

“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”

That just about says it all, doesn’t it? It reminds me of the quote “You can no more win a war than an earthquake.” You can’t win with being angry either, can you?

Pentad July 7, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Wonderful post. Thank you!

Evelyn July 7, 2008 at 7:00 pm

@Shilpan, you’ve shared a good idea. I regularly keep a journal that I note down the emotions that I’m working on. It helps when I do emotional clearing work.

@Hunter, yes….I sure do enjoy powerful quotes like these. There is so much wisdom in them. Different ones strike us at different times.

@Pentad, you are most welcome!

Jeff@MySuperChargedLife July 7, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Anything that releases negativity is a good idea in my book. Anger and bitterness can often stem from failing to fully forgive others. Sometimes, we don’t even recognize that we are harboring bitterness toward another, but it can manifest itself as anger and negativity. Great post!

Evelyn July 7, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Jeff, good point there about anger being an outward expression of an inner inability to forgive ourselves. When I look at anger or any negative emotion for inner healing, I try to cover as many aspects about it as possible. The aim is to shred anger layer-by-layer, perspective-by-perspective, to reveal the core root. It has been a painful process at the start but I can only say that the rewards are tremendous!

Al at 7P July 8, 2008 at 12:54 am

“Only in calmness, can clarity arise.”

Hi Evelyn – that is a fantastic quote. When anger clouds the thought process, it’s time to intervene and to address the anger first. I will be remembering this quote for the future. Thank you!

Evelyn July 8, 2008 at 6:10 am

Hi Al, thanks for letting me know that you’ve found what I said useful!

All the best,
Evelyn

Jarrod - Warrior Development July 9, 2008 at 2:00 am

The ability to observe ourselves during the day is really critical in being able change our life and be happy.

So many thoughts and feelings run through us during the day, if we don’t see them and stay separated from these ‘states’ we inevitably lose our happiness.

:) Just felt like smiling :)

Barbara Swafford July 9, 2008 at 2:02 am

Hi Evelyn,

One thing I have found about anger is that if I’m tired, I’m more apt to experience anger (even when it’s not justified). For me, a nap will often do the trick. That and looking at the situation and letting it go.

Life is too short to let anger pollute our daily lives.

sunny beach July 9, 2008 at 4:10 am

Cool article on how to calm down from any unresolved anger. :)

Irene | Light Beckons July 10, 2008 at 12:48 am

Hi Evelyn, I like how you relate awareness and calmness together. Too many people I know use anger as a way or excuse to create awareness — it’s like the louder they shout, the stronger they will make the point. Ego does that very well. Anger comes with an agenda that something needs to be proven, and that it must win. I have not seen anything that was successfully won or resolved by anger. Thanks for sharing this. :)

Evelyn July 10, 2008 at 9:01 am

Hey Barbara, same here too. Not having enough sleep makes me edgy. Like you, a quick nap is all it takes to get back my energy!

Irene, thanks for your feedback. It’s true that people often make known their anger. However, working on anger is not about having shouting matches; but about looking internally at your own issues. Only when you have conquered your own negative emotions can you truly say that you have won the battle.

Sunil Pathak July 11, 2008 at 11:00 am

“Anger is only a natural reaction; one of the mind’s ways of reacting to things that it perceives to be wrong. While anger can sometimes lead people to do shocking things, it can also be an instinct to show people that something isn’t right.”

Thats the best part of this article
before you try to calm down your self in anger try to figure out why you got angry at 1st place was it because something didn’t worked in your favor or its something that shouldn’t have happened?

if you work out that it will be easier for you to over come your anger and solve the problem once and for ever

Evelyn July 13, 2008 at 1:01 am

Hello Sunil, I’m glad that you are in agreement that anger awareness is key. Use anger as a form of signal rather than getting so embroiled over how bad one feels.

Thanks,
Evelyn

lakedawn July 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm

There are so many things to comment on that I must stick to one thing. I was very mentally off kilter with much anger and realized that if I did journal when I calmed down, I could go back and read it and understand the anger and where it came from and later how much progress I was making. Anger is an ongoing problem to deal with but with help and insight, I am making progress. Now, after finding out that I was bipolar, medication is now making it much easier. I realize I had been self medicating (alcohol) for many years and even now when I am feeling “good”, I know that I can’t stop my meds. Great article and comments. Ann

Miss. Bridget August 2, 2008 at 3:53 am

Dear Hunter Nuttail

I like the quote about “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”

I find you to be philisophical and that is good. I welcome your quote any time because they are unique and something to take in consideration.
Miss. Bridget C. Biggins
P.S. To Evelyn did you receive my blog in regards to anger I hope you did.
Sincerely
Miss. Bridget C. Biggins
Please tell me how things worked out.

Dot September 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm

Hi Evelyn,

I respect your beliefs on this subject and I think you’ve made some good points, but your approach isn’t one that I’m comfortable with.

I’ve done a lot of work on myself, and NLP has not been a tool that I’ve found particularly useful for me personally. Also, my psychologist says that EFT has been proven not to work, but unfortunately I don’t have a reference for that.

What works for me is digging into the subconscious to discover my hidden motivations, and then clearing up both the present-day problems and the problems from the past. Anger is healthy. Stewing is not. All IMHO, of course.

Evelyn September 9, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Hi Dot, I appreciate your comments. There are so many tools and techniques that work better on one person but perhaps less on another. While many have gotten great results with NLP, the idea is to find out what works for you.

I don’t let what others tell me if something works or not. I go try it myself. EFT is one that has worked well not just for myself, my husband, kids and personal friends I have worked with. The proof is in the pudding. The proof is what has worked for people whom I’ve shared with and the lives I’ve seen changed. If you go to the EFT website and sign up for the newsletter, you will find that there are thousands and thousands of testimonials.

Still, I’m glad to hear that you’ve got some things working out for you in terms of dealing with your anger issues. Bottom line is try it out for yourself and do what works.

Take care,
Evelyn

Chania Girl April 22, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Anger has been a part of my life for a long time and only recently was I able to begin to understand some of the things you’ve mentioned here. you say: “I am suggesting that you look at anger as a signal for investigation. ” A few years ago I began doing this in my own life. When I feel the stirrings of anger, I ask myself: What is causing this anger?

What this means for my own life is that I’ve been able to identify three specific “anger summoners.” When I can recognize one of these, I can understand how to deal with my anger. You know, I’ve actually “made friends” with Anger? I visualize it as a person and talk to it when it arrives. We speak like friends and reason together. This is so much better than just giving Anger free reign. I am choosing my actions instead of re-acting!

Random guy who happens to see this. April 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm

1 word: Excellent

Jim August 15, 2009 at 1:33 am

Well dont and a great insight. Anger is said to be the biggest enemy of the mankind. We lose job, lose friends, get divorced and top of all lose self respect and stop enjoying good health and abundance in life. This article is very usefull for everyone who want to be in control of himself

Nathan February 10, 2010 at 1:09 am

I really enjoyed this article, it has a lot in common with “The Sedona Method” imo. Thanks for the insights!!!

forrest smith January 12, 2011 at 1:48 am

helllo

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