Overcoming Anger


Anger normally originates before the incident occurs. Naural process used in self treament of anger is to learn how the process of anger forms.

What are consequences of Anger?

The expression of anger can be one of the most damaging experiences in a relationship.

An angry response to any situation is unlikely to benefit you, as you may later regret expressing it, and so too may the person to whom it is directed, as they often resent being treated in that way. However the reason why a reaction is expressed as anger normally originates before the incident occurs. Anger is usually produced because the person concerned has previous unexpressed frustrated feelings about the situation or the person, which they can now no longer contain. A common way to express the frustrated emotion is through anger.


How Do We Become Angry?

Basically we are aroused by only two sensations, pain and pleasure. We all want to avoid pain and pursue pleasure. The emotional cycle which leads to anger begins in the present with our initial experience of pain or pleasure, and ends up with complex feelings which are "remembered" exclusively in the past. This cycle of emotions has been found by psychiatrists to follow this pattern:


  1. Pain in the present is experienced as hurt
  2. Pain in the past is remembered as anger
  3. Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety or fear
  4. Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within is experienced as guilt
  5. The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression.

Hurt is stored because the body retains a primitive subconscious ability to remember every incident that it experiences. This is called conditioning and it is part of the way we learn.

There are many causes of anger. An example is when we feel a person has "hurt" us and we are unable to adequately communicate our feelings of this incident. It is automatically stored in the subconscious mind. If we then encounter the same person at a later date this "hurt" is automatically recalled by our subconscious mind. We are reminded that this person is responsible for a past hurt through a change in our feelings as we begin to feel uncomfortable in their company. If we perceive them as hurting us again the response is likely to be expressed in the form of anger.


From this simple example it is apparent that we must learn three skills for self treatment of anger:

Firstly, greater self-confidence to be able to express ourselves when we become aware that our feelings may be hurt.
Secondly a method of dealing with hurt memories which have been subconsciously stored.
Thirdly the development of new responses to express emotions

In the Life Skills Seminar overcoming and self treatment of anger is dealt with by teaching and practicing:


  1. The conscious ability to relax and release stress any time, anywhere
  2. The ability to focus the mind
  3. The ability to neutralise and reprogram subconscious hurt memories
  4. The ability to develop mind/body exercises to overcome anger
  5. The ability to develop greater self confidence to express your emotions
  6. The ability to program new responses to express those emotions

You May Ask "How Effective Are These Techniques in Overcoming Anger?"

How about I let some of my seminar participants explain to you how they overcame anger ?

Ken MarslewAt 2:00am on 28th February 1994, Ken Marslew, was woken by a knock on the front door of his quiet suburban house. He saw two young police officers, not too much older than his 18 year old son Michael, standing there. Nothing could prepare Ken for what was to come next. The police officers told Ken that Michael had been shot dead at his place of employment - Pizza Hut Restaurant. Ken's first reaction was shock, then disbelief.

The memory of those first few days after the murder is a haze. Ken was numb with it all. Thoughts of rage, revenge and hate filled his mind. For the next four months, Ken "completely lost the plot" to use his words. One of the things that got to him was the realisation that the outrage in the newspapers and on television was so short lived. He noticed this with other vicious crimes that occurred at that time. The newspapers would be full of it for a little while and there would be public outrage, but then the focus would change to something else. No one seemed to be doing anything about maintaining the rage or taking any action to stop savage acts of violence like this.

Finally Ken realised that he had to do something about the malaise that was afflicting his life. He would do something ........ he would do something to maintain the rage ......... he would do something to try and stop the cycle of violence that occurs in our society.

Ken formed the "Enough is Enough" movement through which he would use his personal experience to gather people around him who wanted to become a part of the solution to violence in society.

In 1995 Ken attended one of my seminars. There must have been just a glimmer of hope that maybe; just maybe, I knew what I was talking about.

It is now several years since Michael's murder. I spent some time with Ken just recently and attended two schools with him where he talks to students about violence in society. Several points that came out of the day, one in particular being about anger.

Ken is angry. He is so angry at the idea that someone can just walk into a Pizza Hut and shoot one of the young kids who are working there. But what is the nature of Ken's anger? When I accompanied him to the school lectures I saw something inspiring. His anger is not the bitter and hateful type of anger, not sullen and waiting for an opportunity of revenge. He is angry, constantly tormented, and by the fact that someone should decide that to go into a Pizza Hut with a gun and threaten the staff was a normal thing to do. Ken's anger now drives him each day to do something about violence in society. He says he has transferred his anger into positive energy. "Sometimes it takes the anger about the fact that people are still violent to get me out of bed in the morning."

Ken uses the Peaceful Place method of relaxation every day. Some people report that after a bit of practise of Peaceful Place technique they can go straight to the alpha state almost immediately. Ken finds that he needs several minutes by himself to start the process and then some more time to go through the imagery and get into his Peaceful Place. The point for Ken is that he finds the discipline of using the technique valuable; Ken uses it every day and here are some of his applications:

- Releasing the negative side of anger. - With emotion, reinforcing his positive project.

Ken is one of the common Heroes around us in our lives. In turning his anger to positive energy he is doing wonderful work. You too can help him by working against violence in our society.


So What is the Next Action Step that You Can Take?

CALM makes suggestions on how you can develop your skills in dealing with Overcoming Anger and self treatment of anger using Sandy MacGregor's low cost Tapes, Books, CDs, Videos and Seminars which have been utilised by thousands of people successfully since 1990.


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