- Written by Morene Philpott
It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
Anger and its cousins irritation, frustration, and annoyance are natural emotions experienced by everyone.
Feelings that evoke the well-known "fight or flight" response prepare us to defend ourselves physically and psychologically from conflict. Back when anger corresponded to real threats, this response could be lifesaving, but today it pushes our bodies into overdrive mode, overloading us with stress hormones.
It is still our right to feel our feelings, to feel angry or irritated, as they are natural emotions. The problem with all the excess stress hormones pumping through our veins is it makes us feel overdramatic and probably counterproductive by wanting to punch out the boss (fight response), or quit on the spot (the flight response of running away).
So, what do we do, since Canadians are the nicest and most polite people in the world?
We tend to stuff that excess emotion inside of us. Now our bodies have to respond or react to the additional stimuli we are feeding it.
When there is a cumulative buildup of stress hormones not properly metabolized over time, excessive stress can lead to disorders of our autonomic nervous system (headache, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure and the like). It can also cause disorders of our hormonal and immune systems (creating susceptibility to infection, chronic fatigue, depression, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and allergies.)
Louise Hay, best-selling author of inspirational, self-help books including Heal Your Body states INFLAMATION is resistance to what is happening, a buildup of angry emotions.
So next time...
Help your body go through the full flight or fight body response, avoiding the buildup of stress and properly metabolizing the hormones.
Take a break and go for a walk, breathe, get support, meditate, be kind to yourself.
We can also put ourselves in the eye of the storm, feel 100% what we are feeling but avoid engaging in the drama. The bonus of being in the eye of the storm is that awareness comes, gently whispering what to do next.