Anger and Stress Management: Why do we get and stay angry (even when we know better)?

Anger and stress management clarifies the reasons why we get and stay angry.

Anger starts when we feel we are not getting respect from others or when something is getting in our way to happiness. For instance, we trip over an object on the floor, someone insults us, our partner refuses to do something we want or the darn computer misbehaves. And basically we stay angry because anger is giving us power and is protecting our ego. We are afraid to give up this power because we may then remember that we are vulnerable.

We get angry because it hurts the image we need to have of ourselves (relaxed, pleasant, powerful, etc.) Suddenly our happiness seems to go away from us. So we don't have the feeling we are in control any longer.

Let’s try to go deeper and see how we can use anger and stress management as much as possible. The emotional response to this loss of control is fear. And the response to fear is anger. To me, fear is the cause of all evil (think of Hitler if he hadn't feared the Jews, or think of Bin Laden if he hadn't been afraid of the Americans). All negative emotions such as shame, envy, guilt, lust, jealousy, and anger are based on fear.

But where is fear coming from? There is a part within us that allows us to be at peace with ourselves, whether you call it your higher self or your self-esteem. When your fear is high, you have low self-esteem. Angry people have low self-esteem. This is why they argue, are stubborn, and don't forgive themselves or others. Anger makes us feel powerful. It gives us the illusion that we are in control, free, and independent. But in reality it makes us lose control.

In summary, we stay angry because anger makes us temporarily feel strong and powerful, and we are terrified of being vulnerable.

But when we finally accept to be vulnerable, we break the wall that was keeping us separated from others and from our true self, and the anger disappears. All it takes is the courage to be vulnerable... and eventually happy! This is what anger and stress management is all about.

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