We all get angry, but what do you do with that anger? Is it healthy to express your anger? If so, in what way? Should you punch a pillow, or a punching bag? Or should you just hold it in, grit your teeth and smile through it? Tony breaks down the article “7 Myths About Anger (And Why They’re Wrong)” by Amy Morin https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201512/7-myths-about-anger-and-why-theyre-wrong and tells you exactly what you can do with your anger.Head to http://tonyoverbay.com/magnetic and get on the waitlist today to be the first to know when the next Magnetic Marriage Cohort begins!Please subscribe to The Virtual Couch YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/TheVirtualCouchPodcast/ and follow The Virtual Couch on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/virtualcouch/
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[00:00:01] So a couple of weeks ago, my wife Wendy and I decided that we wanted to go see a movie and where we live in California was at the time relatively still closed down and just up the hill and across the California state lines that Nevada and Nevada had movie theaters that were open in limited capacity. But more importantly, they had popcorn with movie theater butter. So we looked at the calendar and we set our sights on going to a movie. Didn't matter what movie, but we were going to a movie in Reno, Nevada, and we were just eager to go and do and again, truthfully eat movie theater popcorn. So on the way up the hill, the traffic really wasn't that bad. And at one point we were just talking and and having a fun time. And we watched as this little fast gray sports car just zipped right in front of us. And I am talking right in front of us to the point that our car itself slammed on the brakes because we had some sort of auto cruise control that kept us at a safe distance from the cars ahead of us. And as that car cut in front of us, I said something like, that guy seems like he's in a hurry. And then Wendy and I continued our conversation and then is a bit of adrenaline, ran through my veins because I'm human.
[00:01:09] 20 or 30 seconds later, I change topics of conversation. And I just said to my wife that I felt like situations like those when a car cuts me off in traffic are almost like my mindfulness midterm exams. So I never have suffered true road rage. But I would absolutely be lying if I said that there weren't times where something like that would happen and I would immediately see Red and I probably would have driven fast right behind the car for a while to, I don't know, show him that I was mad. And I have processed so many stories in my office, people who have actually pulled people over or who have gotten into fights or have cut people off or have done a brake check or followed people for miles and miles out of their way as their anger just completely ruled their emotions. So changing your relationship with anger is a process, and it doesn't come easily and it doesn't come without intentional work on recognizing and admitting when and why you react with anger. So story number two, and before I jump into story number two, let me just say that the true irony of story number one, as it as we were heading up the hill to Reno to stay for a night and watch a movie, we received an email that theaters less than five miles from our home.
[00:02:19] We're opening up that very day, but everybody needs a little road trip now and again. So back to story number two, Rusty Eyer and I met each other in what could have been sixth grade, seventh grade. And we played basketball together many, many times and recesses and I think junior jazz leagues or junior alto hockley's. But Rusty was a good friend and he was a really good basketball player. And Rusty grew and grew and grew while I didn't. And then he moved out of our boundaries, our school boundaries, and ended up playing for rival Jordan High, the Jordan Beat Diggers. I was an alcoholic. So during our sophomore year of high school, we played Jordan and admittedly I was kind of cocky and I thought I was pretty tough. And Rusty fouled me at one point. And I remember I jumped up and I ran over and I was just I was mad and I got in his face or truthfully, I probably like his belly button. And I remember Rusty just kind of swatted me away like a little bug. And I went flying across the gym floor and I jumped up and I and I realized at that moment, oh, Rusty could crush me.
[00:03:23] Now, Rusty meant no harm. I had run up to him like I was going to do something with that simple suwat. I honestly vowed right then and there that I needed to get rid of my temper. And I swear to you, it left me and it really never came back for the most part. And I have told that story. So many events, corporate events, youth firesides, with clients in session, talking about making a decision and then never looking back. And I will never forget Rusty. And unfortunately, I learned at a high school reunion, actually my twenty year high school reunion. So that was quite a quite a number of years ago that Rusty had passed away far too soon. And I wrote about him in my twenty year high school reunion recap at that time. And his wife, Nikki, had reached out through an email a few days after that. So again, this would have been almost twelve years ago. And she thanked me for sharing his story then. And I'm happy to share it now that twelve years ago she shared with me that she read my then blog entry on my twenty year reunion to her and Rusty's kids, and she said that through some tears they had a really neat way to spend their night remembering their dad.
[00:04:21] So with that in mind, I really am grateful that Rusty either tossed me across an old gym floor some thirty five years ago. So once again, I hope his family stumbles on this podcast and someday they know that he truly was a great guy. That's done a lot of good for a lot of people, even just in the stories that I'm able to tell.
[00:04:37] But coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch, we're going to talk about anger and we're going to cover seven myths about anger and why they're wrong. And this is an important episode today. Anger is something that I talk about, I would say it's fair to say, on a daily basis. And so this article we're going to talk about an article by author and therapist Amy Maurin about seven myths, about anger and why they're wrong. And we're going to talk about the. Add in so much more coming up on today's episode, The Virtual Couch.
[00:05:13] Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode.
[00:05:15] I should have looked. I think it's 253 of the virtual couch. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified Michael Hamako, Trijicon Alibaba, but creator of The Path Back, an online pornography recovery program that's helping people reclaim their lives from the harmful effects of pornography. If you or anybody that is trying to put that behind you once and for all. I feel like I'm rattled right now. But I am determined not to rerecord this intro. But go to Pathbackrecovery.com. There you'll find the short ebook that describes common mistake that people make when trying to turn away from pornography once and for all. Again, that's Pathbackrecovery.com and my magnetic marriage course with Preston. Buckmeier has finished.
[00:05:53] The first round is complete. We are going to be announcing a new date of when the next round of the magnetic marriage course will be launching at any moment. So if you head over to Tony Overbay, dotcom magnetic there, you can sign up to find out when that next round is going to launch. And it was phenomenal. It was. I will I will have so much more to talk about with that. Interviews with people, testimonials, all kinds of things. So plenty more coming up there. But the first one sold out in a few hours, which was kind of a trip. Now we're going to have a lot more people in this next round. But please go to Tony Overbay, dot com slash magnetic and you will find out more about when it is available and head over to Instagram and find me a virtual couch there. And Tony Overbay, licensed marriage and family therapist on Facebook, and I have started to engage a bit more with the newsletter. So if you even aren't interested in the magnetic marriage course, there is a place where you can sign up on Tony Dotcom to find out about things that are coming up. Exciting things. And I will I will leave it right there. So today's topic is anger, and I love busting pop psychology myths. And so one of the myths that I hear so often and I talk about it on occasion, is this myth that the way to deal with anger is to punch a punching bag or hit a pillow or go scream outside or any of those type of things.
[00:07:13] And while I understand them and I have been doing therapy long enough that even when I started working in the first nonprofit that I did when I was in grad school, I believe maybe my brain has made this or inflated this story more than I really maybe more than it really was. But I feel like every office had one of those Bozo the Clown punching bags. And so I I swear to you that I remember receiving training or maybe it was just passed along by other therapists that the Bozo the Clown punching bags were in there so that if somebody got really mad, then you just had to take it out on Bozo the Clown. And I remember at the time thinking, yeah, makes sense. Or have them scream into a pillow or punch a pillow or any of those kind of things to express their anger. And I remember the more that I got into doing therapy, the more that that just kind of didn't make a lot of sense. And I remember at first, without having any data to back this up, feeling like what you were really teaching your brain, the more I learned about the way the brain works and the brain is, it's a series of habits and patterns. The more that you engage in a pattern or a habit, the more your brain thinks, OK, this is what we do. And so your brain actually then has it's almost like a software program that preloaded.
[00:08:23] So when you are starting to get angry, it wants to skip some steps. And once you get right to the end, you know, when your brain really believes this is what habits are all about. Right. But when your brain really believes that this is what we do, we start to get angry, then we get really angry. Then your brain's like priming the pump to say, all right, this guy is getting angry. He's going eventually hit a pillow or punch Bozo the clown or chase somebody down in traffic or really yell at somebody else so that he can then be finished being angry. So it kind of tries to start to get you there quicker. So it really made sense that wouldn't we want to start to train our brain, that when you start to get angry or your mood starts to get elevated, that you would do far better to start to calm yourself down, in any way that that would work, whether it's a good old mindfulness breathing exercise or whether it's going outside or getting in touch with your feelings, your emotions are trying to hear the sounds around you or the smells or that sort of thing, because then what are you teaching your brain? You're teaching your brain that when we get angry, eventually this guy is going to calm down. So let's go ahead and start calming down. So it seemed to make so much sense.
[00:09:28] And so that's why I wanted to put together an episode really on anger. And I found this article called Seven Myths About Anger and Why They're Wrong by Amy Morrin. She's a licensed clinical social worker and she's author of the book Thirteen Things that Mentally Strong People Don't Do. So let's hit each one of these seven myths and then I want to throw some commentary out. So the first myth that Amy talks about is that anger is a negative emotion. She says it's not bad to feel angry. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. And in fact, a lot of really good things can stem from anger and angry feelings can lead to positive change. Yeah, she talks about many social injustices, have called for people who became angry. What if Martin Luther King Jr. had never felt angry as
[00:10:12] an example, so anger, I want to look at that as a negative emotion, anger is just that. It's an emotion. So I find that a lot of people and this is where I will probably have a recurring theme today when people say, I know I shouldn't get angry. And again, I will say every day of the week that no one likes to be should on, not even our own brain. So when we tell ourselves what's wrong with me or I know I shouldn't be angry, I like to reframe it. I'm doing it right now as I'm holding my hand up in the air as if I am holding some something to show someone else. And that is your your thought or your feeling. So instead of saying I, I know I shouldn't feel this way, I love reframing things to say, check it out. I'm feeling angry, because when you look at feelings that way or emotions that way, when it's more of a oh, check it out, I'm getting I'm getting charged right now or man, check out the sadness I'm feeling, then you can kind of step back and take a look at that emotion and really take a look at it from all angles. And you can see. All right, what's leading to this emotion, what's leading to this anger? And it has taken me however many minutes this is into this episode to reference my very favorite therapeutic modality, acceptance and commitment therapy, which we will again refer to from this moment forward in this podcast as ACT and Act talks about you have those feelings and emotions because you are a human being and because you are the only version of you that has ever walked the face of the earth.
[00:11:32] So if you are angry in a situation, it's not that anything is wrong with you. There's no I know I shouldn't feel angry or what's wrong with me for feeling angry. It's a I'm a human. I've experienced life up to this point in a certain way that no one else has. So check out this anger. I'm feeling angry. I'm noticing that I'm feeling angry, and an act there's some really neat techniques to be able to take a step back. So instead of I'm angry, it's I'm feeling angry. I notice I'm feeling angry. I notice I'm feeling angry because I'm feeling what a lack of control in this situation or I'm feeling unheard or I'm feeling like this is the only way that anyone will listen to me. So when you really look at that, anger is not a negative emotion, but anger is an emotion, then it's a little bit easier to kind of step back and say, check out this anger.
[00:12:19] So that's one of the first myths that I think I would that I love that we're debunking. Or one of the first myths about anger that we're discussing is that anger is not a negative emotion. Anger is an emotion. And so it's not bad to feel angry, but it is the first step in trying to realize why am I feeling angry right now? You know, let's let's kind of look at all the data. And that's one of the first steps to being able to learn to change your relationship with anger or have a different reaction when something that has previously caused you to feel anger happens like take the example I give at the beginning of this episode, a person cutting me off in traffic. I used to feel very, very angry. Now I realize, OK, the person cut me off in traffic. It's not that they think that I am a horrible person. It's not that they purposely saw our car and said, I know what I'll do, I'll cut that person off. And that what really ticked them off because I don't like that person. There was none of that. I mean, I can only imagine or they could only dream if I was that special that I had that kind of control over the universe.
[00:13:18] But I don't I'm driving. They cut me off. That's interesting. Was it scary? Yeah, my my body thought it was because the adrenaline came rushing in about 30 seconds after I noticed the event because I'm human. And would it have benefited me to go chase that person down and give them the what for teach them a good lesson? I don't believe so. But being able to change my relationship with that anger and being able to be fully present, we were able to work through that within seconds. There wasn't really anything to work through. It was more of a noticing things. And when you really look at the concept of emotions in general, we have them all the time. We have several tons of emotions even in every given minute. So at that moment, I chose to not engage in that emotion. And this is one of those fun things I love where I know I've done episodes where I kind of take on a little bit of that, hey, just choose to be happy in the morning and you will I feel like that is a great start, that I'm going to make the choice to be happy. I'm going to focus on happy things. I'm going to set myself up with with some good old happiness, confirmation bias.
[00:14:21] I'm going to look for the things that would bring me joy instead of looking for the negative aspects of life. But in the same breath, I can choose to be happy. And then when negative things happen throughout the day, when I do find myself losing my patience or my temper or control or someone does something external that affects me, and instead of if I realize that I'm not happy in that moment feeling like, well, what's wrong with me? I chose to be happy. It's another example of why we had emotions throughout all all throughout the day so we can be hanging on to this this happiness throughout a day and then something can happen that will cause us to not feel happy. And instead of saying, well, there goes the day, it's fascinating to be able to step back and say, OK, now I'm noticing anger or now I'm noticing fear or now I'm noticing hope. And so that's a. I feel like that's one of the best ways that you can realize that I have a lot of emotions, so I'm not going to I'm not going to chase after this one. I'm not going to chase after anger right now because I don't find it very productive.
[00:15:24] Ok, myth number two is that anger is the same thing as aggression. And a lot of people confuse angry feelings, aggressive behaviors, and combine them as if they're one in the same. So while feeling angry can be a healthy expression, a healthy behavior, aggressive behavior isn't, aggressive behavior is again, a control issue. It's not something that is going to keep a conversation going. It's not going to be necessarily helpful or productive because there are a lot of ways to deal with anger without resorting to threats or violence or aggressive behavior. And this this causes me to think of primary and secondary emotions. And I know that I've had a couple of episodes where I will reference primary and secondary emotions. And as a quick reminder, a primary emotion there. They're fairly simple to understand. They are your immediate reaction to events. So there's going to be some precipitating event and that's going to cause you to experience an emotion. The example I love giving is when my kids went through this phase where they loved scaring me when I was young father, they were younger kids. You would come around, you would come around a corner, and all of a sudden a kid would jump out at you and scare you and you would immediately react. You would. And then you would say, OK, come on, guys, knock it off. That that's not funny. And so the primary emotion was actually surprise or the primary emotion was embarrassment of reacting the way that I did to my kid.
[00:16:48] And then a secondary emotion is then and this is why it gets turn's emotions into these complex reactions. So the secondary emotion increases the intensity of your reaction. So the secondary emotion is when you feel something about the feeling itself. So all of a sudden I'm feeling anger about being embarrassed. And so differentiating between primary and secondary emotions is a pretty powerful coping skill. So if you view anger as, again, an emotion and you can separate that primary or secondary emotion, maybe I'm angry because I feel injustice, or maybe I'm angry because I feel like something is unfair. I'm angry because I was embarrassed. Or so if you look at anger again as a secondary emotion, a lot of times separating that secondary and primary emotion allows one to avoid aggression. Let's go to myth number three is that anger management doesn't work. And I hear this one often have said on occasion that when you are a beginning therapist, a lot of times you're given some pretty interesting gigs. I think I was about to say bad gigs, but I don't want anyone to think that if they are going to anger management class or if they've been even mandated by a court or their some condition where they have to go to a 52 week anger management course, because that's that's what a lot of them are. They last an entire year and they're weekly.
[00:18:10] But anger management does work. So anger management not working is a myth. So when people lack skills to manage their anger, Amy Martin talks about their emotions, can cause problems and all kinds of areas of their life. And that's where I feel like when you look at anger as a control issue, a lot of people and I'll go gender stereotype, a lot of men really struggle with anger because they don't necessarily have the ability to use their words. Being a little facetious when we're talking about talking to kids, "hey use your words, buddy. Don't don't throw a tantrum. Don't pout". those the lack of being able to express oneself can result in the secondary emotion of anger. And at times that anger can just lead the person's every interaction. So what anger management does is it allows people to recognize better ways to cope. So, again, a lot of the relationship troubles or career issues or legal problems result from an unhealthy expression of anger. And so these anger management classes are going to a therapist or learn in mindfulness tools or all of the above can help individuals reduce aggressive outbursts. Myth number four that she talks about with anger is that anger is all in your head and anger involves a lot more than just your mind. And if you think about the last time that you felt really angry, she points out that it's likely that your heart rate had increased to your face, most likely grew flushed and your hands maybe shook.
[00:19:35] And that's because anger evokes a physiological response. And it's that response that often fuels the angry thoughts or aggressive behaviors. So learning how to relax your body or relax your mind becomes a key to reducing aggressive outburst. And here's where you might want to have your finger ready on that advance button on your podcast player. But I had someone literally yesterday in Sessions who I've worked with for quite a while, and I'm so grateful when people feel safe enough to ask these kind of questions. But it was the old question again about mindfulness and hearing me talk and talk and talk about mindfulness or talk of abouthe app Headspaces that I use to practice a mindfulness activity and saying, OK, I, I hear you say it all the time, but I really don't understand, is it trying to clear your head of thought? And it is absolutely not trying to clear your head of thought. And the reason I bring it up with this myth number four of anger being in your head is when Amy Mirin talked about a physiological response, is that your emotions are designed to lead your logic. And that's one of these amazing things about the body. And it is such a go to bit for me now to talk about. But it was a very real experience in my office where one morning I opened the door.
[00:20:50] I walk a client out and I look down on the ground. And at first glance I just thought, that's something on the ground. I really didn't know what it was. I now kind of like to give the example of, hey, if it's a shoelace, then my immediate reaction is still going to be to pull back a little bit and then look down and say, oh, it's a shoelace. So in reality, my emotions are leading the way of my logic. My emotional response was there before I could even think of whatever this thing was on the ground. This thing on the ground happened to be a little snake, a little garter snake that had gotten into our building. And when the next client came walking in from the waiting room, we looked down and I said, OK, that's a snake. And I realized I have to I have to be calm and then get the snake out of the office. But the example then is there are a lot of times now that if I glance down on the ground, my first response is a visceral response, a gut response, an emotional response. And then my logic kicks in and says, OK, that's not a snake, that's a stick or that's a twig on the ground. Or when I walk out the back door of my office to get to my car, there is this little sponge that's been on the ground for I can't tell you how long in the first two or three times I look down, it seems so out of place that I have this visceral or emotional response automatically before I realize it's just the sponge.
[00:22:02] I don't know what I thought it was, but I have this physiological response. So when your emotions leave, your logic, your emotions are what already get, your heart rate increased and when your heart rate starts to elevate, then your fight or flight response is beginning to kick in. Your body is starting to do what it's designed to do, because if your heart rate elevates your cortisol, starts flowing through your body, the cortisol, it it says, hey, amygdala, hey, you know, fight or flight response, Neanderthal brain, caveman brain, reptilian brain, wake up because there might be danger that might be a snake on the ground. And then once you look and your heart rate's already getting elevated and you see that it's just a stick, then we can kind of calm your jets, we can cool down. And when your amygdala is firing up, when the stress hormone cortisol is firing up there, the part of your brain that is more logical, this prefrontal cortex, frontal lobe, it is it is shutting down. If you had yourself a nice functional brain scan going, you would watch as if light switches were turning off all the parts of your brain that are there to process and make sense of things.
[00:23:05] And so this physiological response that anger provides is there inherently for a good reason for that fight or flight response if you're about to get attacked by a wooly mammoth or a saber tooth tiger. The problem is when people go to that anger response on a regular basis, that actually becomes the the brain's path of least resistance that kind of defaults to this this visceral or angry response. So anger is all in your head again is a myth, but you need to practice mindfulness, in other words, on a daily basis. If you are practicing breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your thoughts run, letting your thoughts go, and then when you recognize that your thoughts have run or they have gone, then not beating yourself up about about, OK, man, I'm not even focused on my breathing anymore. But then coming back to focusing on your breath, I've thought often about doing a meditation episode where I do a nice guided meditation and I think I need to do that at some point. I was literally going to do it for episode 200 long ago. Now we're episode 253 and I, I still and pulled the trigger on that. But while I love an app like Headspace to do a daily mindfulness activity, there's also ones called 10 percent happier. There's a lot of them out there. One of the simplest ways to practice mindfulness, I literally do this just about every night as I go to bed and I do this when I just have even 30 seconds or if I pause a lot of times, if I'm somewhere like at a church or in a line or something, and there's just a pause while you're waiting for some something to happen, you breathe in through your nose and on the breath you count one and then breathe out through your mouth and on the out breath you count two.
[00:24:40] So then on the in breath, you would count three, the outbreath you account for and just try to get to ten. It sounds easy. It sounds simplistic, but it's fascinating to watch on a lot of days I'm, you know, one, two, three, four. And then I'm thinking about lunch. And then when you recognize, OK, I'm no longer counting, then don't don't beat yourself up. Just kind of be aware that I'm no longer doing the mindfulness activity. And then I start over at one and two, you know, in and out. And every now and again I'll find myself at 15 or 16. So I even blew right past ten. But what You're doing as you are practicing this almost catch and release of thought, so your thoughts start to wonder and Rove and go, and then when you are aware of your thought, then you come back to the breathing or come back to the breath.
[00:25:24] And when you are doing that in through the nose, out through the mouth breath, you are literally lowering your lowering your heart rate and calming that fight or flight response down. So anger not all in your head. And there are things that you can do to practice learning how to bring yourself back to the present before your brain goes all Neandertal or goes all fight or flight. But here is myth number five is honestly one of the reasons why I wanted to do this episode. Myth number five, that venting your anger releases it. Punching a pillow, trashing the room or screaming to your heart's content doesn't actually release your pent up rage. In fact, research suggests that venting your anger in this way actually has the opposite effect. The more you vent in actuality, the worse you'll feel. And I like to look at it this way. Your brain wants to operate on patterns. Your brain doesn't like ambiguity. And the more that it can develop a pattern, the quicker that it can put that pattern away into this habit center of your brain. And if your brain can pull out of the habit sooner, it's going to use a lot less electrical activity. So your brain is designed to make things habitual, whether it's habitual thoughts or habitual actions. So if you have this this pattern of behavior in your brain where you get angry and then you punch a pillow or you punch a Bozo the Clown doll, or you go out and do a nice primal scream, then what your training your brain to do is when your your heart rate elevates the cortisol releases and you get angry, then you eventually are going to take that anger and then really explode.
[00:26:59] So you're creating this pattern of behavior of that. Instead of when I get angry, then I call myself down. It's when I get angry, I have to just explode to then complete this cycle or this pattern. So what I love encouraging my own clients to do and what I've been practicing myself for ages is when you start getting elevated or you start feeling angry, then you've already been practicing this mindfulness technique. So your emotions are already locked in and saying, OK, when this guy starts to get angry, when his heart rate starts to elevate, we already know that he's going to do his whole breathing thing and bring himself back to the present. So let's go ahead and start him breathing. You know, let's go ahead and start calming that heart rate down. So it says if it's not that I don't ever get angry, but that emotional response or that impulsive response to anger isn't as likely to fire, you know, automatically. So venting the anger, it's a myth that that then releases the anger in reality, learning how to be aware or notice anger. Do a quick check in and see if you can separate that primary and secondary emotion and then being able to turn back to some nice centering or breathing exercise.
[00:28:10] The more you do that, the more you're going to create this new pattern of behavior around anger. And when you feel angry, instead of needing to vent the anger, your brain's already going to go into this Zen mindfulness mode. You're gonna be grabbing your yoga mat and your ponytail and then being able to sit there and be more present, which very quick side note or tangent. I think that that is a funny reference because I'm bald guy. So when I talked about learning mindfulness or going all Zen, I would talk about, you know, you're trying to get to this point where you literally are sitting on the floor, cross legged yoga mat robe, ponytail, and that's my impression or my view of what Zen looks like. And when I had a client at one point where I think we had had a zoom session and so we're talking and I'm talking about this mindfulness and I threw out the ponytail and yoga mat reference. And then I think it was it was a couple of weeks later and this person had reached out to me and threw a message and it said something remind me something about mindfulness. And I went to Amazon and I found a clip on Ponytail and a yoga mat. And I just sent these two links and I thought it was one of the most clever responses known to man.
[00:29:14] And then I didn't hear back from the person. When we met up again, he said, hey, so was I supposed to buy the the clip up ponytail or the yoga mat or. I don't know if that was intended to me. And then I felt really embarrassed because I had not laid out that I that was my attempt at humor, that if I'm sending you the the clip on Ponytail and yoga mat, that means I am encouraging you to go all Zen and mindful. All right. Myth number six, we're almost done. So let's let's get through this one. Ignoring your anger makes it go away. So I feel like that one, you probably can answer this one yourself. So suppressing anger here. We just talked about venting anger and venting your anger releases it. So ignoring your anger, though, doesn't actually make it go away. I know that can sound contradictory, but suppressing anger isn't healthy either. Smiling to cover up your frustration or denying your angry feelings or allowing others to treat you poorly in an effort to keep the peace can then cause you to then actually internalize your. Anger or it's it's causing. It's causing you to turn your anger inward and immigrants, that is suppressed. Anger has been linked to a variety of physical and mental health issues, from hypertension to depression. So what that is saying is that you don't need to just eat or swallow your anger.
[00:30:27] But if we go back to that myth number five of that venting, your anger releases that and that, we're saying that that's false. Then what do you do with your anger? You don't want to suppress it. It's literally being able to be aware of your anger, being able to tap in again. Is this a primary or a secondary emotion of being able to acknowledge my anger, not try to push my anger away, make room for my anger, breathe through my anger? Because if we remember this whole concept of what is called psychological reactance or that instant negative reaction of being told what to do, we do that in our own head. So if I'm telling myself to not get angry, my own brain is going to say, I'll do whatever the heck I want. In fact, I'll get more angry. So being able to recognize that anger, notice that anger. And it's so funny as I'm sitting here and I didn't record video on this one today, but my hand I'm holding my hand up in front of me because I'm so I want you to reframe instead of that, I'm angry. What's wrong with me? It's a man. Check this anger out and I'm holding it up in my hand in front of me, because if we can separate that, I'm a nice person, but I may get angry and we externalize that problem.
[00:31:30] Then we start to look at will win. When does this anger come upon me? You know, this anger, if we externalize it, look at it as if it's a black cloud. And when I am feeling we'll go with the traditional hault, hungry, angry, lonely, tired, that acronym that maybe when I'm feeling one of those emotions or one of those things is happening in my life that then here comes anger. It descends upon me. I'm still a nice person, but look at this. Here's anger, so I can't ignore it either. So acknowledging it, there you are. Anger, you know, even thanking my brain for. For what? The purpose that it's trying to is maybe trying to get me to feel angry because I have a primary emotion of feeling unheard or there's injustice or things aren't fair. So my brain's already preloading the the old hey, you get mad about this now, you know, do we need our secondary emotion of anger? And so being aware of anger, make room for anger, don't ignore your anger, but then just venting it or breaking dishes or yelling or screaming isn't a way to deal with it as well. So it really is being able to acknowledge it, make room for it, breathe through it, go back to the present, turn to value based activities, things that mean something to you. And that's the way that we're really going to to work through anger.
[00:32:39] And the seventh myth that Amy shared is that men are angrier than women. And she said that research consistently shows that men and women experience the same amount of anger, but they do express it differently. So while most men are more likely to be aggressive or impulsive in their expressions of anger, the research shows that women are more likely to use an indirect approach, like maybe cutting someone out of their lives or maybe being a little bit more passive aggressive with the comment. So if you feel like you are being picked on as a man, that you're you're not given any breaks or you're it's assumed that you are always the angry one and that the woman in your life never experiences anger. I would say that they they you both experience anger. But again, it's how that anger is expressed. So let me kind of go through a little bit. She gives a little bit of data on healthy ways to deal with anger. And again, this is Amy Mirin, and I really appreciate what she shared in this article. She said, The best way to deal with anger is to really find a healthy way to express it. So turning anger into something constructive, such as creating positive change or responding assertively is the best way to cope with angry emotions. And that before you can express these emotions, then you really do need to understand how you're feeling.
[00:33:47] So it's important to to identify when you're feeling disappointed or when you're feeling frustrated. And again, that can be part of practicing. What's your primary emotion? What's your immediate reaction? And then that secondary emotion is, in essence, reacting to the reaction and pay early pay attention to early warning signs that you're you're feeling angry. Are you becoming angry because you can really start to notice the patterns of behavior. You can start to notice triggers, because if I know that every time my kid, if they come in late from for curfew, that I'm going to be angry because that's a pretty easy one, then then work on calming yourself before you need to have that exchange. If your kid's coming in late from curfew and so that you don't already you haven't already been consumed by anger because of you. It's fascinating, too. If you look at that example in particular, a lot of times that that's a that's a good old attachment wound or an abandonment wound where we may sit there as a parent and feel like I have to get angry or my kid isn't going to hear me. And so while we may have created that pattern of behavior, that doesn't mean you can't change that pattern of behavior. So if you go into a situation like that and you are calm because you're working on your anger, that doesn't mean that your kid isn't going to respond in anger because that's how they maybe feel like they have control of a situation.
[00:35:01] And so all you can really work on is you. And this is one of those things where I feel like being able to model a good behavior is is going to go Incredibly far with your kids, whether it's modeling an apology or modeling, taking ownership or accountability or modeling, that I'm going to go into a situation and not resort to a anger response, because when you're in a calmer state, you know, that's when you can take steps to actively problem solve issues or express yourself in a more productive manner. And Amy, talks about increasing your emotional intelligence can prevent you from saying and doing the things that you might later regret. And I talk often about my emotional baseline concept that self care is not selfish. And so I feel like it's important to fill your tank first or to grab your mask first. Before I was doing the I'm drawing a blank here. But when you're in the airline, when you're when you're flying, you know, the oxygen mask that put your oxygen mask on first before helping others or get to higher ground before you can lift someone else or all those wonderful cliches, but you do need to have yourself in a really good spot to be able to recognize, deal with and work through anger so that you aren't necessarily just working out of this emotional response. I would encourage you to go listen to an episode I did a couple of weeks ago on self differentiation.
[00:36:16] That one I've gotten. If you didn't listen to it because it sounds boring, that one, I've received an incredible amount of feedback because what a self differentiation means is that is being able to still maintain a connection with someone, but also being able to have your own opinions and thoughts. And one of the biggest keys of self differentiation is being able to separate your emotions from your logic. Because we get so caught up in our feelings, we get so caught up in our emotions that that can hijack us in attempting to have a positive, productive conversation. So I am going to call it good right there. I do have and maybe I was laughing at one point where I was telling someone that I'm really good at saying, here's what you will make this a part one and part two. I'll talk about these other things and then I'll fix the HDD. I don't know what what that would be if impulsivity of putting out a podcast or what's hot that week in my mind. But sometimes I don't get to a part two. But when I initially thought about doing a podcast on anger and I found these seven myths of anger from Amy, which I really appreciated using a basis to have this episode, I also found a book that was talking about 50 psychological.
[00:37:25] I don't know if it said myth's or not, but Methy was it's better to express anger to others than to hold it in. And it but it just goes heavy into the data, which I think is really, really fascinating. But maybe I'll talk about that in a future episode. But in essence, it has the data, the research all the way back from a lot of research done back in the 80s and 90s and then the early 2000s on the fact that, yeah, and expressing yourself with anger is not the healthiest way to deal. You don't have to go punch the punching bag or break the dishes or yell to use a primal scream that it is more productive and healthy to be able to learn to deal with one's anger as far as calming oneself down, because now you're going to start setting this new neural pathway of when I get angry, I am going to eventually breathe and calm down and your brain's going to start preloading that that program and you will find yourself surprisingly calm and even some of the most triggering of situations like when I started this podcast today, having someone completely cut you off right in traffic and realizing that's interesting or having your kid really come in hot or angry because they feel guilty or they they're you know, they don't want to deal with their own primary emotion and having you not react. And it's an amazing, fascinating thing to do.
[00:38:42] It's the end of the episode. And I once again skipped right past the Betterhelp.com/irtual couch ad that I had planned on throwing in earlier. So if you happen to still be listening, I would just love to encourage you to go to Betterhelp.com virtual couch. You'll get 10 percent off your first month services of online therapy. I got a little tag lines here that might as well read them. What are you waiting for? Your you owe it to yourself to at the very least, just check it out. Go ahead. And whether you're dealing with depression, anxiety, some of the frustrations of getting back to some sort of normalcy in your life, Betterhelp.com has a bunch of licensed professionals that you can connect with. And up to 24 to 48 hours, you can communicate with them through text, email, that sort of thing. So go to Betterhelp.com, slash virtual couch for 10 percent off your first month services. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the podcast. If you're still listening to me, maybe you're doing something where you don't have access to your hands. If you if you feel so inclined, feel free to go hit a rate or review wherever you listen to your podcast that always helps other people find the episode. And if you found something productive today, feel free to share this episode on social media with a friend, that sort of thing.
[00:39:52] So have an amazing day. And taking this out, as per usual, is a wonderful, a talented Florence with my favorite song.