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Anger - what "to do" about it

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by rabbit, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. rabbit

    rabbit Peer Supporter

    Indeed, despite thinking you know what's making you angry, there's more digging to do... because once the anger is conscious, it's not going to show up anymore as TMS (I've got this right, yes?)
    I'm still making progress in figuring out what I'm unconsciously angry about, or how much more angry I am about something / at someone than I realized .... Perhaps this is an over broad question, but what does one then DO? The flaw is in the question itself, as one of my problems is feeling like I always have to make a fixed decision about what I am going to do or not do. Has anyone else encountered this problem? How do you deal with it? Part of me thinks, OK, if the anger about x or y or z is causing the TMS then I have to decide to do [or not do] something about it. For example, talk to the person I'm angry at, choose not talk to the person I'm angry at. I do not know how to let the anger just be...probably because I'm scared of it... It's easier to try to control it by doing or choosing not to do something than letting it just be than being scared it will then sneak up on you at the wrong time....
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    My understanding is all you have to do is be aware of and accept your anger--feel it. You don't have to act on it or express it to others to keep it from causing TMS. There are other reasons to try to address your source of anger, if possible, that may improve your quality of life. But for TMS recovery it is about awareness and acceptance in my opinion.
  3. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a great question. I have struggled a lot with it. When I first started working with a TMS therapist via skype we would go into some detail about what to do with the anger, how to express it, feel it. For instance, if I am really angry at my husband, do I need to tell him about it? That's problematic for me(although I am sure my husband would disagree) but part of the reason I have trouble feeling anger is that somewhere along the line I learned it wasn't safe. My therapist would say that it was enough for me to just sit and imagine yelling at my husband and all the things I would do to him if I really let my anger go. This is in the fantasy realm so I could get as violent with it as I wanted. An angry day dream so to speak. I am not sure how well this worked for me. I also tried and still do write a lot when I am angry with the goal to really express it and let it out. I have a mad journal on my computer. This has helped. And just knowing that I have difficulty allowing myself to really feel anger has helped too. Ellen is so right about awareness and acceptance. And yet, there have been times this last year when I have really gotten angry and lost it, thrown all caution to the wind so to speak, and it has surprised me several times how good and painfree my body felt afterwards. And yet the answer cannot be to let yourself become an angry, out of control screaming lunatic. I am a very action orientated person so if something makes me angry I do really want to do something about it. But it truly is not necessary to act on the anger or solve what is making you angry in order to recover from TMS. The key is to FEEL the anger and for some of us that have not been doing that for a long time, we have to train ourselves in order to do it safely and without damaging important relationships. I am still figuring it out but getting better. Try to notice what you do when you get angry. Do you talk yourself out of it? Do you rationalize why you don't need to be angry? Do you get mad at yourself? Cry? Feel sad? That's directing the anger inward and it needs to go out. Its not enough to think about how angry you are, you need to connect with it physically, feel it, and allow yourself to express it in some way. That can be in a fantasy just telling someone off, or writing it out or screaming in a pillow. I didn't even realize that I hadn't been feeling the anger until I've learned better how to do it.
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Yes, conscious anger does NOT cause TMS.

    You also don't have to find the why and who of anger. Understand that it exists. Dr. Sarno said that they found it "utterly fruitless" to try to express the rage away, although "everyone invariably asked how to do it."

    You're over thinking it which is what your deeper brain wants from you. Don't give it more worry and attention. Come to awareness that you indeed hold anger due to your personality. It is present in you, and mostly unfelt. This is the beginning of healing. From there change is inevitable.

    You can't heal if you can't change You can't change if you don't know that you need to. You don't know that you need to change unless you realize something is wrong. You don't know something is wrong until your body tells you. The chain reaction of errors begins to resolve through recognition. Healing comes from release. The release takes belief, courage, and a willingness to let go. Those that refuse to let go make it more complex, but they have a deeper need for their pain.

    It's never about healing the body, never.
    Balsa11, Ren, clairem and 4 others like this.
  5. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Rabbit,

    I love your discussion here:
    It just shows your (my) personality compulsion to apply pressure to figure out, be afraid, try to avoid or fix what we're afraid of...

    I think just feeling it, and being in the associated fear of it is a great practice...you are doing what you can to make friends with it, hard as that might be, based on your history.

    Then we have Steve's piece which is essentially: Use your awareness of the anger to release your TMS.

    To me, you have a great, specific awareness of the anger and the fear of it. So you have a very visceral sense of anger and the urge to avoid it or fix it. How wonderful that those impulses mirror Dr. Sarno's theory that the anger is "dangerous." Conscious or not, I use my awareness of rage, when I can, to connect the dots with the "pressures" down below, and the real cause of TMS symptoms. As Steve says.

    Sarno is saying most TMS work is done with learning, thinking, "connecting the dots, and repetition, but he also says some people need to feel more, often through therapy. It seems like you're already there.

    Anne's discussion of "right action" related to anger is thought provoking too. Do we need to do anything about it or not? When we are being walked on by being a Goodist, then out of compassion for ourselves, don't we want to change? I think expanding who we take ourselves to be, and expanding the limits of how we operate in relationships can only be a benefit in dealing with TMS, because we are strengthening real autonomy, inner autonomy. We are re-capturing a sense of inner center and strength, which is only gained by working relationship stuff. Then we can apply that strength to our TMS practice. We become more "steadfast" with ourselves, as we work boundaries (which for me relate to anger) in relationships.

    Andy B.
  6. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    So true!
  7. jlm

    jlm Peer Supporter

    In my case undealt with anger will keep coming back and raising it's painful head time after time. I thought I was doing well journaling, tearing things up, burning negative letters, etc, but old 'stuff' kept repeating until I discovered Nick Ortner and Tapping. I was familiar with EFT andhad tried it several years ago, but it didn't resonate with me the way it has now. I 'cleared' an issue today that I had worked through with Dr Schubinger's process, but it returned when I was having a massage Thursday. Apparently, a lot of repressed emotion is stored in the hip area. Sometimes I don't immediately know what the issue it, but my body will tell me in a few days. There is something about tapping repeatedly on the meridians of the body that releases stored negative emotions, but only if you start with the negative, which as a people pleaser is hard for me.
    Most of the people involved in my issues are deceased, but even if they weren't, I don't think I would confront them about old issues. I have become more willing to confront people on current issues so they don't become repressed. That has been very hard, but worthwhile.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Jim, my best strategy for dealing with anger is to laugh it away.

    I journaled and discovered that most of my anger came from my parents' divorce when I was 7,
    which left me with feelings of abandonment and insecurity. And from my older brother who used
    me as a punching bag. They had all three passed on before I learned about TMS, but in journaling I
    learned they had their own TMS. My father had back pain and my mother migraine headaches,
    mostly because they worked hard but still had financial difficulties as I was growing up in the
    1930s Great Depression. We're in another one now, although politicians, the media, and rich people
    won't admit or just don't care. But that helped "trigger" my repressed anger and insecurity from my
    boyhood. As for my brother, he resented my folks having him "look after" my sister and I when we
    were kids. He wanted to be out playing with his pals. I can understand that now and forgave him
    in my mind. Forgiving him and my parents healed my back pain two years ago.

    When new pains or anxiety come along now, I find I can free myself from them by laughing.
    Laughter sends healing forces to the body and mind.

    I have given up trying to be a big people pleaser. Most people don't appreciate it anyway,
    they just take, take, take, but rarely give. Some people can eat us alive.
    If I care to please just 25 percent, it's more than most people give.
    Balsa11 likes this.

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