Fury can leave us trapped in a tangle with no escape
Feeling of injustice, accumulated anger, tension ... Anger can leave us trapped in a labyrinth with no way out. She does it little by little and without us noticing, increasing frustration and discomfort. How can we break this circle?
The vicious cycle of anger is the basis of many self-destructive behaviors that break relationships and cause uncomfortable situations that, sooner or later, fuel regret. The impact of this psychological dimension is usually immense, if we do not manage it properly. What happens is that not all of us are qualified in this essential life competence.
Dante placed the sins committed by anger in the seventh circle. He in turn divided it into three more, somewhat smaller and made of stone because, according to him, this aspect of the human being leads us to commit multiple acts, such as insult or different forms of violence. This area of hell was guarded in turn by a mythological and imposing figure: the minotaur.
Few emotions have a more negative and adverse connotation than anger. However, from a psychological point of view, it is important to know that it fulfills its function and that it is indispensable in our emotional and behavioral repertoire. Because anger makes us react to injustices, to what hurts us or challenges our own values.
In addition, we all have the full right to experience anger, but we also have an obligation to know how to handle it. If we do it wisely, we will generate adequate changes to regain balance and feel better.
Vicious circle of anger: what is it and how to break it
We could say without mistake that anger has many similarities to fear . On a psychological level, both emotions make us run away from something or fight against that something. There is no middle ground. The mind and the organism are in survival mode because there is something that bothers us, that hurts us and that threatens our integrity in some way and, as such, we feel the need to escape or act.
However, few people understand this emotion. We tend to label anger negative without knowing that it actually holds great transformative power . In fact, it propels us to action and, generally speaking, acting is often an opportunity to change.
Well-directed anger can allow us to solve complex problems and situations. However, before doing so, we need to understand their anatomy and, specifically, the vicious cycle of anger.
Why do we feel anger?
Anger is a state that can range from simple annoyance to rage. It can be caused by disappointment , frustration, receiving an insult, the feeling of injustice, which violates our values and physical integrity, etc. Likewise, this emotion goes through an intense physical activation very similar to that of fear: the heart races, the muscles tense and what is more worrying, the brain stops thinking in a rational way to allow itself to be hijacked by emotions.
Now there is an important fact about anger that we must know. This emotion can gain intensity if we "feed" it, if far from managing it we let it gain in intensity . And in what way do we nurture or make this emotion bigger? Through the vicious cycle of anger.
Vicious circle of anger what is it?
The vicious cycle of anger is a trap that we create and strengthen ourselves through thoughts. Studies such as those carried out by the Texas Department of Psychobiology have an effect on the fact that this mechanism occurs when anger is very intense.
It is at that moment that said emotion acts as a cognitive numbing. We put aside our capacity for reflection and a series of very problematic processes ignite. They are as follows:
- On the one hand, there is the triggering factor , what causes us annoyance, anger or rage.
- Physiological dimensions. Psychophysiological activation is very intense, it stresses us, blocks us and places us in a very complex state in which we can end up hitting, screaming or even breaking down in tears .
- The accumulated emotions. Despite our physiological reactions, anger tends to build up; it integrates within us, altering our balance, distorting everything.
- Altered thoughts . When we swallow our emotions and do not manage them, thinking is altered and changes. That's when everything bothers us, when we start to lose patience , distrust, frustration and exhaustion arise.
- Distorted reality . When thought is suspended in negativity, pent-up anger, and discomfort, the external world changes. Everything turns gray, nothing attracts us, at the least we jump for nothing and almost anything makes us angry. Almost without realizing it, we experience anger and rage over anything.
Control anger before it controls you
As we can guess, the vicious cycle of anger can bring us inappropriate consequences. These states maintained over time lead to relational problems and very exhausting moods.
The mind that is trapped by anger needs to apply new approaches and appropriate strategies to resolve that emotional knot and move forward. How? These are some keys.
- Deep breathing or diaphragmatic techniques to reduce internal tension.
- Cognitive restructuring . It is time to watch your thoughts and stop clinging to certain ideas. More flexible thinking will allow us to stop reinforcing ideas that increase anger and fuel frustration.
- Problem solving techniques . It is necessary to integrate in the mind strategies to solve those problems that sometimes get stuck and make us angry.
- More assertive communication. We must learn to communicate, claim with respect, know how to listen, respect and defend our needs in an assertive way.
- Emotional management techniques. Knowing how to deal with emotions without them dominating us is a quality of life strategy.
Last but not least, any vicious cycle of anger can be broken by making changes . Meeting new people, starting different projects and introducing new hobbies into the routine will allow us to distract the mind and focus it on other aspects. Let's put these keys into practice and learn to navigate a little better through these emotional states.
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