AF Association
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Letting go of anger

Anxiety and anger. Sometimes close companions, on the road to AF. For the most part I have found ways to cope with my anxiety.

My anger not so much. My anger that I lost my career to manic depression, that God saw fit to take my daughter, my anger that as a society we treat our old people and the mentally ill with such disdain. With fat cat bankers, with social inequality.... well you get my drift.

I still get the adrenaline rush associated with unanticipated events, but have learned the methods to back up my SSRI in somehow modifying the delayed onset raised cortisol levels which I understand contribute to AF.

I am not quick to anger, have never exploded in rage and have learned to let trivial perceived hurt to wash over me, like the proverbial duck's back.

There have been times I wanted to punch you in the face, but I never have. My contained anger has sometimes precipitated AF.

I understand the methods underpinning anger management.

My questions are

1. Do you find anger impacts your AF ?

2. If so, what has worked best for you in defusing your anger?

3 Is it a mistake to bottle up our anger if it does impact our AF?

4. Could CDreamer tell me what I really need to know about anger management? 🙂

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I try to work my anger off at the gym or physical exercise its amazing how much more you can do using it...

Yes there is no doubt in mind AF is affected by anxiety and depression..

I too have anger issues unfortunately sometimes when i try to be calm in certain situations the anxiety takes over...

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Thanks stevie, I identify with all that. Pity we can't vent and rage like some, "get it out of the. system", probably a lot more healthy and anti-inflammatory as Sanjay Gupta might say.

Maybe I need a punchbag

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I learnt a long time ago to avoid 'anger' , you can't change anything with anger but it can change you. After a string of terrible events in my life which made me both bitter and angry (and almost certainly contributed to my health problems ) a neighbour who knew my history and had experienced some terrible events herself said ''You can allow what has happened to make you a bitter person or a better person, the choice is yours. When you get up each day asking yourself will I be bitter or better today''. So I learnt to do that and let the anger and bitterness go before it destroyed my life.

Dr Gupta the York cardiologist explains in his excellent videos about the connection between emotional stress -hormones-inflammation- heart disease

If I start to feel angry I walk away from the situation to defuse the anger ....

If I am anxious I use breathing exercise and distraction.

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doodle68

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I watched the videos and found both to be a helpful summary of current thinking. and very helpful to me personally.

Dr Gupta is charismatic, charming and highly persuasive. I have not yet found evidence that he is so much of an original thinker, and his claim to be putting forward a radical thesis for atherogenesis is somewhat disingenuous.

For all that, he is a fantastic resource for information about lifestyle factors in heart disease and his supreme communication skills must make his videos essential viewing. I might have missed it but if not, exhaust fumes in our cities are now identified as a major cause of vascular inflammatory change.

I now understand why he is so popular with so many ladies on the forum 🙂

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Woooo......... that’s a biggy Badger.

In my humble opinion there is anger and there is rage - 2 different animals.

You are right anger and anxiety are frequent companions because very often anger is the secondary emotion - it covers the primary emotion - usually fear. For many it is much more acceptable to demonstrate anger than deal with their fear, Dig beneath the surface of Anger/Fear and you reveal the hurt, the sadness and loss which can be so overwhelming that it Is more acceptable to be angry than to be sad.

In many ancient cultures it was said that there was only two emotions - Fear and Love. When you can’t love you are left in fear and unfortunately many people live much of their lives in fear.

Depression and anger are often two sides of the same coin - anger is high energy - depression is low energy.

It is the underlying emotional needs which need to be attended to.

Anger can be helpful, it has a useful place in society, it can right wrongs, it can let others know that you need something - she who shouts loudest etc. it gets things done!

But surpressed or turned inward - it can be damaging.

I would say that anger is red hot, unexpected high energy boost which can explode like a volcano - it can be that energy appropriately channeled, that drives you through a recent loss or hurt such as bereavement or divorce. It is visible and often useful - when it has a purpose appropriately channeled - it helps us get our needs met.

Rage is about things you can’t do anything about and wounds that often can’t heal.

Rage can be more dangerous - it is white, often cold and always originates from a deep emotional wounding in life. Rage sometimes is acted out through pre-meditated and often criminal acts of violence such as rape. You wouldn’t always know someone was rageful by just talking to them whereas you would normally see body language signals in someone who was angry. With rage there is a need to hurt others.

What you describe seems to sit somewhere between the two, you say you sometimes want to but don’t act out - and you describe an internal struggle which you cannot find a resolution to.

Anger management is not my speciality subject but I think it is more about finding the right person for you rather than the style and I suspect that person would need to be highly intelligent and able to challenge you in a safe manner, so someone very experienced.

The greatest tragedy in life is to lose a child and the second is to lose what made you - you, which is often what you do.

My hope for you is that you find someone who you can open up to. x

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I wrote my post before this much more helpful one posted but I'll leave it to show support 💜

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CDreamer

Any words I might have would be superfluous.

I do not remember ever having received such eloquent and focused information and advice in all my years of Jungian analysis and cognitive behavioural therapy.

Thank you.

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You are very, very welcome and thank you for those very kind words. If my words have helped the tiniest bit.....x

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Gestalt was my training - it is more eclectic and expansive than either Jungian analysis or CBT - you went to each polarity - Gestalt sit in the middle of the continuum but draws theories and practice from both.

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I wish I knew the answer to that one. I have a volcanic temper which I have nearly managed to control but ongoing anger is different and must effect your body badly. I can only suggest that channeling anger into a good cause must at least be positive. Belief in God helps me but I have noticed that some people turn on God when things go wrong for them.

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Can't get edit to work so I'll just add that when I studied psychology for my teaching qualifications we were told that anger arose out of fear so asking yourself what you fear is a good place to start......

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I have been told that we get angry when our expectations aren't met.

I have found this very helpful, so when I become angry I try to ask myself what my expectations were, whether they were realistic or appropriate etc.

Sometimes I realise that they weren't appropriate and simply change them - that can make all the difference.

Sometimes I realise that they were appropriate, but the other person didn't know them, or had different expectations, then communication with that person may bring a solution.

If the expectations were appropriate then using the energy of the anger to bring about change in the situation may help resolve things.

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Thanks, interesting take Polski. You've got me thinking, and typically looking for the flaw🙂

So cyclist draws alongside on the Steyning bypass and sprays sugar solution in my face and my 10 year old's face. We had differed on right of way.

He rides away. I want to run him over but don't. I felt my anger was appropriate, but had no means of resolving it. And meditation wasn't an option.

I did take one lesson from that. Be careful with whom you pick a fight.

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Thanks Buffafly

I sometimes wish I had your volcanic temper. My wife is Aries and always seems calmer after she has raged at me.

Her BP is 90/60, she takes no meds.

Mine a lot higher, with a cabinet full ☹️

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Be careful what you wish for 😀

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I have always felt that my two main antagonists for AF are being overweight, and anger. I'm working on both :o)

Most people who know me well, would say that I'm a placid and amenable person. In many respects this is true, however, I have also harboured a great deal of anger since being a small child. This anger has been quite specifically targeted at two male family members, and is challenging to overcome due to some ongoing situations.

The concept of choosing whether to be 'bitter or better' sums up self development very nicely! During daily meditations I try to identify any negative emotions, and release them. I believe that we are separate from nothing, so that whatever energy we create and direct towards others, is actually directed at ourselves too. Whenever I create negative energy towards something or someone 'external', ultimately it harms only me... and my heart.

I no longer resist or fight the AF when it occurs. (What we resist, persists). I thank my body for showing me those aspects of my self that still need untangling, still need my attention. In meditation, I welcome any ill health symptoms as an opportunity for 'betterment'.

Many spiritual approaches promote self love as the basis for all healing. Not self love in an egoistic manner, but in a way that we can genuinely accept and be unconditionally Loving to our self.

This might appear very New Agey and airy fairy, however, I have genuinely grown as a person throughout this process of dealing with AF. It has been a very useful signpost, a trigger for nudging me to deal with the repressed crappy stuff that was long overdue my attention.

I appreciate that not everyone with AF has it because of 'repressed crappy stuff' haha!

But here's hoping we can all benefit in some way from our experiences :o)

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WendyWu20

What a thoughtful and for me helpful reply. Thank you. I particularly identify with your experience of negative energy rebounding on self.

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And thank you for raising the anger issue in a (for me) timely manner.

I've been meditating for years; I regularly send out Loving vibes to those people who I feel have treated me less than lovingly. However, whilst this in itself is genuinely and freely given, it is sometimes not a true representation of ALL of my feelings.

It can be a feelgood experience to meditate, very warm and cosy, yet underneath there are still lurking some aspects of my anger issues that have not resolved. A bit like taking a 'happy pill' I guess.

So through the ongoing AF episodes, I am aware that underneath I'm still harbouring bitter attitudes to certain people. I knew this already, but I chose to focus on the bliss of the meditating experience, rather than those remaining dark corners. There is more negativity to release, but I do know I'm on the right track :o)

So 'onwards and upwards' to all of us... may we let our inner lights shine brightly, and transform all those wayward heart niggles into lovely regular heart rhythms!

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Organic psychiatry seems to have little time for the dark recesses of the soul. Some organic psychiatrists, my wife included , appear to have none. While I have great respect for the purveyors of "happy pills" as you reasonably describe them, and indeed would not be here today without said pills, I would be a diminished man without the wisdom of those who have shone a torch to help me through the dark mist that always threatens to descend again one day.

Narziss to my Goldmund.

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[Quote = WendyWu20 ''I no longer resist or fight the AF when it occurs. (What we resist, persists).'' ]

Neither do I Wendy :-) it it pointless to do something which causes extra stress to your body I try to stay calm with controlled breathing and distraction .

I suspect the last bad episode of AF with 'the full body experience' I had in November which lasted for 12 hours was caused by my getting agitated /frustrated when an item broke and I unsuccessfully tried to mend it then spent ages on the telephone being passed from one person to another trying to get a replacement .

I broke my rule of 'stay calm at all times '.

I was doing so well until then with only short episodes of AF .

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I agree with CDreamer that much if not all anger is due to fear. This can be fear of both small and large things (justified and unjustified fears)...for instance, I tend to go off when my kids do stuff that could result in them getting seriously injured, but I can also lose it simply because one of them is clumsy with a food or drink and I'm suddenly faced with the horrifying terrifying fear of having to clean it up. Sarcasm there, but my point is that it's not the consequences we fear that determine the magnitude of the response. There's a self-control component that functions like a valve. If you can master being in a state of mature anticipation of things suddenly setting you off, and just let the valve take over, it buys you several seconds of extra time to centre yourself and not lose control.

I am very sorry to hear about your daughter. and your career loss, too.

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