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Is positive thinking really the best way to control anger?

awareness breaking the chain emotions Oct 05, 2022
angry outburst, couple fighting

Do you have a love-hate relationship with anger? 

Years ago, I was in a very controlling relationship. One of the things he tried to control was my love of food. He didn't want me to overeat, so I didn't get fat.

I was much younger and active and had a fast metabolism.

I worked hard, very hard, and handled a lot of stress at work.

Food was one of life's pleasures, especially at social gatherings.

I didn't have a weight problem or a problem with food.

And to this day, I only eat when I am happy.

Perhaps he thought that making me unhappy would help ensure I don't overeat.

Then one day, I found myself hiding in a closet, shoving down a granola bar. I was eating it fast, probably for fear of being discovered, but mostly because I was hungry. So hungry I couldn't get it down fast enough to soothe the pang in my stomach.

And that's the moment I realized this is not who I wanted to be. It wasn't a habit I wanted to cultivate.

I wanted to enjoy food – taste the flavours and feel the textures. And wolfing it down wasn't doing anything for me.

As I made this connection, I noticed a deep well of anger rise within me, giving me the courage to confront my partner.

With all the determination I could muster – think Lord of the Rings "though shalt not pass!" – I told him in no uncertain terms that he would no longer be commenting on how much I choose to eat, and I would eat what I want when I want.

Sounds rational. Right?

Well, he didn't see it that way. He thought I was being very irrational.

That's what anger looks like – irrational.

But underneath, in the layers deep beneath, it's very rational.

If you are a normal human being, you, too, might have come face to face with the feeling of anger.

And it might seem irrational at times, too, entirely disproportional to the situation.

And you might have been told to calm down, think positive thoughts or even count to 10.

The issue is that none of those solutions work once anger is triggered.

Quite the opposite, they flame the anger.

That's because there is a reason you are angry. It might seem disproportional at the moment, but that's because a lot is happening under the surface, and what you cannot see is huge – proportional to the reaction.

Except it has to be brought to the light of day so you can see, examine and understand it.

How do you do this?


You might be thinking, "what's tracking?"

Tracking is a moment-to-moment awareness of what is happening inside of the body.

That's what I practiced while hiding in the closet.

This awareness helps you get to the root of your anger so you can say "no more."

Anger has your back, whether it stems from unclear boundaries, people pleasing, low self-worth, shame or guilt.

But until it feels seen, heard and supported, it will continue to be the first emotion to show up at the party and make you look unreasonable.

Anger is a self-defence mechanism; it helps you set boundaries. It's also the defender of sadness, shame and lack of self-worth.

It's got a vital role to play in your wellbeing.

But when we try to think positive thoughts, calm down, and be rational, all we do is suppress anger. In other words, we are telling anger it's not doing a good job, it's not needed, or there is something wrong with it – or you.

And when it doesn't work, we feel shame and guilt for our angry outbursts.

It's like using the tools against anger that anger is designed to challenge, defend and protect.

It's a vicious cycle.

And it's not your fault.

Google the word anger, and you get a bunch of "anger management" tips and tricks.

For years we have been taught anger needs to be managed. 

Anger doesn't need to be managed.

What needs to be managed is what is at the root. What are you suppressing? What are you accepting?

Where are you not giving yourself permission to be the fullness of yourself?

If you relate to any of this and need support to understand the root cause of your anger, let's talk!

Schedule a complimentary 20-minute session with me here: https://www.awakken.com/lets-talk

Imagine how your self-worth would improve if the guilt and shame of anger did not weigh you down.

Imagine how your relationships would improve if you knew yourself at a deeper level and could set clear boundaries, honour your no's, and feel good about it.

Together we investigate what happens, practice tracking, and help you feel great about a superpower that has been falsely branded negatively for too long.

Much love,


Live. Love. Laugh. It matters because YOU matter.


Is there something holding you back? Do you feel stuck, ashamed, unlovable, unworthy or depressed? Do you long to transform your life and create what you truly desire most?

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