Stop seeing red: hypnotherapy and anger management

Occasionally life can get the better of us, and despite our best intentions we see start to see red and fly off the handle! We’re human, and some circumstances do push us to the limit where anger is the only emotion we’re capable of expressing. Despite the fact that we know most situations are better resolved with a calm and collected state of mind, managing our responses can be very difficult for some people. People prone to explosive outbursts often harbour such a high level of latent anger that it only takes a minor incident for them to completely lose control.

For those who are generally in control of their emotions, there may be a more specific trigger that causes their anger to manifest, such as an incident while driving their car for example. Either way, the actions we commit unthinkingly in a bout of rage lasting several minutes can have repercussions for several years (or even for life). Becoming aware of what may be causing these bouts of rage is the first step towards resolving them and iving a more positive, healthy life.

Anger is actually a healthy emotion

Evolutionarily speaking, the human body is wired for living in a much more primitive society, where life and death situations occur on a daily basis. In this foregone era, the physiological effects we come to associate with being angry, such as an increased heart rate and a surge of adrenaline served a very important purpose: to keep us alive! Thanks to the conveniences of modern day society, our hard-wired fight or flight body responses no longer serve us in the way that they served our ancient ancestors. Thus, once we understand that our explosive outbursts are merely a subconscious reaction to external (or internal) stimuli, we are able to replace these unwanted behaviour patterns with ones that are far more socially appropriate. Hypnotherapy can be used to break the old dysfunctional behaviour patterns and solidify these new patterns in our neurology.

Latent anger and passive-aggressiveness

While some people are very overt with their outbursts, others tend to bury their negative emotions. Usually unbeknown to the person, these negative emotions often manifest as passive aggressive behaviour patterns. In terms of what is deemed acceptable by society’s standards, passive-aggressive behaviour is obviously tolerated to a far greater degree than explosive outbursts. However, for those on the receiving end of the sarcastic jokes, derisory remarks and hostile body language we come to associate with passive-aggressive behaviour, it can be extremely distressing and unpleasant.

While passive-aggressive behaviour is sometimes consciously deployed to get ahead in particular environments (such as the workplace), for the most part, these are simply ingrained behaviour patterns operating on a subconscious level. It should come as no surprise that highly passive-aggressive people often have low self esteem and generate these behaviour patterns as a way to externalise their inner discontent. For example, a person with self-image issues may crack derisory jokes at the expense of a colleague because it makes them feel better about themselves, whereas someone who already has a healthy self image does not feel the need to bring others down, and is more likely to spread positivity in their interactions with others.

Therefore, it is far more effective to use hypnotherapy to tackle the underlying causes of passive-aggressive behaviour (such as low self esteem) rather than the symptoms, because once the causes are corrected the behaviour will automatically realign for the better!

(Photo by catalin)