How to Release Anger with the help of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Releasing Anger with EFT Tapping
In this article, you will learn about what anger is, what its causes are, its effects, and how to release anger and get to the deep-rooted emotions with the help of EFT. You will also learn how to resolve the emotions beneath your anger. This alternate therapeutic technique has been clinically proven to help people work on their anger issues.
Have you ever said something you didn't even mean? Have you had those days when something got you so angry that you ended up venting it out in a harmful way? Instead of thinking it through, you acted impulsively, and in the heat of the moment, you gave in to your anger and lost control.
Later, when you came back to your senses, you reviewed the situation objectively and guess what? You ended up hurting your loved ones over something irrelevant and silly. The anger lasted for a few seconds but the regret takes forever to leave; and regrets can control your mood to ill-effect and make you miserable and depressed. Now, if you think you are a horrible person for hurting others and you judge yourself, think again.
What is the main reason behind your impulsive nature? What made you so angry? You were not born with it. Anger is not something that naturally represents your actions. Something triggered you and that made you angry. What are the events that led to this situation?
Or perhaps you had a client who came to see you, and you were not sure how to support them in releasing their anger to feel calm and peaceful.
Anger is a basic human emotion that most people go through - it's absolutely normal. We all know what anger is, and we've all felt it at some point in our lives. From time to time, we're all annoyed, frustrated, or offended. We've all experienced anger - whether it was a minor inconvenience or a full-fledged fit of rage. It’s how we manage our reactions, and behaviours that stem from anger, that can be the difference between creating positive change, or perpetually needing to deal with the unwanted consequences of an angry outburst.
Surprisingly, anger often arises from interactions with individuals we care about or love, such as children, spouses, and close friends. People express anger in different ways, for example:
- Keeping your cool
- Banging the desk
- Raising a clenched fist
- Throwing things on the floor
- Breaking things
- Displaced anger
- Complaining and gossiping
- Abuse and harassment
- Maiming another person
- Hitting a wall (1).
But when this anger starts to cloud your senses, that is when you should consider working on it. Some degree of anger will be with us for all of our lives. So, this is the question to ask: “Is my anger working for me?” When the anger is mild and causes no major inconvenience, it simply highlights your annoyance and it can lead to problem resolution. But when the anger is intense and leads to major harm, it puts you at risk of bad relationships, health, and possibly legal consequences. This is the time when you should consider asking for help and working on yourself.
Sometimes, anger is just the tip of the iceberg which is visible on the surface. The root cause may be different and the showcasing of the same would be different.
There might be other underlying emotions below that surfaced anger. The emotions underlying anger may be:
- Frustration (2).
A person might show anger to mask the above emotions. People tend to hide their vulnerability with the display of anger and similar emotions (3).
There are also occasions when people might naturally express their anger, for example when they:
- Feel threatened
- Lose their patience
- Are not appreciated for their efforts or opinions
- Have experienced some loss
- Are in a physically painful situation
- Experience emotional distress
- Are triggered by previous incidents
"Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration."
The leading cause of the formation of anger is, a person’s environment. Other causes may be:
- Poor social relationships
- Disturbed family situations
- Abuse and bullying
- Underlying medical conditions
- Financial issues
- Issues in intimate relationship
- Overwhelming requirements of your time and energy (4).
Fuelled by different emotions at different times, or by a combination of emotions, people tend to burst out their anger.
For some people, even a slight trigger inflates their anger. It happens so frequently that they regret it after a bout of anger. They put themselves in a difficult situation and pollute the atmosphere as well. It harms them physically as well as mentally. It takes a toll on their well-being; disturbing their peace. Suppressing anger appears to make chronic pain worse, while expressing anger reduces pain. Relaxation is a great tool to deal with anger, since angry folks tense their muscles and develop headaches and stomach-aches.
Learning to control one's anger can be difficult at times. If your anger appears to be out of control, causes you to do things you regret, hurts individuals around you, or is affecting your personal relationships, seek therapy for anger issues.
CONSEQUENCES OF ANGER
According to some studies, inappropriately expressing anger, such as holding it in, might be hazardous to your health. Suppressing anger appears to exacerbate chronic pain, whilst expressing anger appears to alleviate it. There's also evidence that anger and hostility are linked with heart disease, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers and strokes.
Anger has a lot of harmful, long-term consequences. On the other hand, it is a part of our evolutionary heritage. It's a natural aspect of the fight-or-flight response. It had survival benefit in the past, and it still has certain advantages today.
Anger can be a healthy reaction to injustice. Anger played an important role in social movements for equality for blacks, the elderly, and women, among others. Its alerting feature is one of the advantages. Anger signals to others that they should pay attention to us, that we are disturbed, and that they should be cautious of their words and actions. It isn't necessarily a bad thing to be angry. Being enraged might assist you in communicating your problems. It may inspire you to take constructive action. The goal is to learn to control your rage in a healthy way.
Anger can feel wonderful and righteous at times. When we watch a film or a play in which a character suffers unnecessarily, we may become enraged. When good triumphs over evil, anger is replaced with a sense of fulfilment. For millennia, playwrights have been aware of this. Anger, in a similar spirit, gives life a particular vitality. Imagine a world where there is no anger. However, excessive anger might be detrimental.
PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH REVEALS WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE PRONE TO ANGER THAN OTHERS
Anger proneness has been investigated in terms of ideas, physiological reactions, and physical activity. Some people are easily stimulated and respond fast to negative stimuli in terms of physiological reactions. Bad odours, heat, and irritating noises quickly enrage them. Others take longer to react and appear unfazed by similar stimulus. Genetic diversity plays a significant role here.
Some data suggests that playing violent video games or listening to angry music with violent lyrics can increase anger and violence in some people. Players in violent videogames hear fast-paced, exhilarating angry music. They learn to be hyper-alert, act rashly, and kill their opponents. This results in reinforcement in the form of points, new weapon acquisition, access to higher levels of the games, and praise from other gamers. This slowly and gradually results in anger issues in most of the kids and teenagers.
BUT WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH THIS ANGER? HOW CAN WE RELEASE IT?
With the help of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), people can work to clear anger from the root cause, until they no longer feel triggered and are able to consistently feel calm and peaceful.
EFT is clinically proven to lower stress, anxiety, tension, depression, and past negativity to enable health, happiness, and vitality. It is also helpful in releasing surface or deep-seated anger.
People who get triggered easily are likely to have a past experience associated with it. The emotions start piling up, the suppressed feelings rise up and turn into anger even at minor issues.
EFT is capable of taking them to those past experiences and resolve them.
"Anger triggers are people, places, situations, and things that set off anger. Your trigger can provide clues about the emotions behind the anger."
What is EFT?
EFT is a method that offers healing from physical and emotional pain. Without the use of needles, this form of acupuncture uses the fingertips to stimulate energy points on the body (5).
To learn EFT for use as a self-help tool or to work professionally with others, the best way is to attend EFT Practitioner Training.
This treatment sprang from the idea that “the cause of all negative emotions is the disruption of the body's energy system” (5).
To learn more about EFT, get your free booklet now:
New to EFT? Learn how EFT Tapping heals
Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.
So how can you work with anger; either as an EFT Practitioner working with a client, or as someone familiar with EFT Tapping as a result of attending EFT Practitioner Training.
The Steps to Work with a Client to Support them to Overcome Anger
Know your client
Ask your client to share what they want to explore and what the outcome they are seeking is.
Get to the core
Then ask them, “Where in the body do you feel angry and what makes you angry?”
You can start tapping on the physical sensations associated with anger. For example, “Even though I feel angry in my head and it feels like it’s going to burst, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
Get to the root cause
Then you can start to explore previous experiences associated with anger by asking, “When have you felt angry before?”. Then tap on the past incident associated with anger using the Tell The Story technique, Movie technique, or Tearless Trauma. Keep tapping till your client can narrate the old incident calmly and with no charge.
Look beyond the surface anger
You can also explore what triggers the anger, by asking, "What has to happen for you to feel angry? What triggers the anger? What is it that you find unacceptable and you just want to blow your top?'
Then you can go deeper and explore root memories or limiting beliefs associated with anger. Here you might find that you explore deeper themes such as feeling let down, shame, embarrassment, rejected, hurt, or even fearful and anxious.
In many cases, the anger is the surface emotion covering what’s going on at a much deeper level. It can be a defense mechanism, to either keep people at bay or to get attention.
The final part of working with anger is self-forgiveness. Even though you or your client might get triggered which causes you/them to get angry, chances are that they might feel guilty or bad afterward. So once the client is ready for self-forgiveness, go ahead and tap with them on that. For example, “Even though I get angry and I judge myself for getting angry, I deeply and completely love and accept all of me.”
My client let go of the anger she was carrying over the years, using EFT.
One of my clients Divya, used to react very abruptly even at petty issues and then would feel guilty. This was a repetitive behaviour pattern in her life. She always regretted her behaviour. She would ask, "Why did I snap?" "Why did I react so loud?", "Why did I get furious at small things?", "Why do I feel irritated so much?" These questions would upset her.
Then she had a coaching session with her practitioner. They started tapping with the surface anger (like the tip of an iceberg), and later, the practitioner reached the core issue.
The core issue was ‘neglected childhood’. Her parents left her with her grandparents in her early childhood due to her mother’s health issues and she had profound anger towards them. The underlying emotions were loneliness, insecurity, lack of love from parents, lack of belongingness, neglect, and many more. These feelings amassed in her and get triggered even at very simple and small issues.
The practitioner worked with her to release all the negative emotions which she was carrying in her over the years. After a couple of session with the practitioner, the anger which was accumulated in her got released.
Now, my client, Divya, has started responding to the situations rather than reacting. This change in behaviour patterns brought peace in her life.
In short, if you get exasperated at the small things in your life and then feel guilty about it, you can learn EFT professionally and then apply it on yourself to let go of the anger.
What can also happen, is that there might be deeper layers of past memories and limiting beliefs that might be the root cause of the anger.
This is the reason we recommend learning EFT professionally, even for self-help. You will learn how to work in layers; initially on surface anger, then on the deeper issues and finally to clear the challenge from the root cause.
Once learnt, you have a system that you can use daily to feel calm and content.
Alternatively, you can also work professionally with a one-to-one Practitioner. Beneath the anger, there can be hidden emotions which can trigger an overwhelming reaction. A qualified Practitioner, who has attended EFT Training, will know how to keep you safe and support you.
So, whether you have surface anger or deep-rooted anger, EFT Tapping can help you clear it from the root cause to make you feel calm and in control.
The truth is once you get angry with someone, you have just given your power away.
The ability to remain calm in the heart of chaos, overwhelm, and being triggered gives you your power back; and I do not mean a shutdown. I mean genuinely owning your power and making a stand, knowing what you are feeling, and choosing how to react.
Dr. Rangana Rupavi Choudhari (PhD)
In summary, whether you are working with clients or seeking to overcome anger, you can do so with EFT Tapping. This clinically proven technique can get to the root cause of anger and the associated deep-seated emotions, leaving you and your clients feeling calmer and at peace.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is purely for educational purposes and does not, in any way, replace the requirement for medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment. Please seek professional medical and psychological diagnosis and advice for all medical and mental health conditions. It is advised to always book any consultations with qualified professionals.
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