Why Stay Angry?

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  • “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain

    What was the last thing that made you angry? The bad driver cutting you off? Your kids not picking up their toys? You were passed over for a promotion?

    How long did you stay angry? An hour? A day? A week?

    According to Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, your anger should only last for ninety seconds.

    To feel an emotion we need to think a thought which then stimulates an emotional circuit in our brain which in turn creates a physiological response in our bodies. The time from thought to triggering the brain to a physical response to releasing the response is less than ninety seconds.

    If you have anger for more than a minute and a half it is because you are replaying the story in your mind. Every time you replay the story you retrigger the circuit and the response. Every time you choose to think painful thoughts, you create a physical response in your body. By replaying the story, you not only keep your mind in a negative space, but your body experiences the pain created by the anger again and again.

    Another awesome point Dr. Jill makes is that no one can make you angry. No one is able to stimulate our emotional neuro-circuitry without our permission. The brain is stimulated by our thoughts, not someone else’s. No one can make you angry without your permission. No one is able to get into your brain and make you feel anything.

    Check out your life.

    • Where are you holding on to anger?
    • Where are you blaming others for your anger?
    • How would your life improve if you changed your thoughts?

    Notice when anger stays for longer than ninety seconds. What is the story you are replaying? What do you gain by replaying the story? How would your experience of life change if you let go of the story?

    Melissa Heisler

    Melissa Heisler is a Stress Reduction Expert. After 10 years managing and directing theatrical productions followed by a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication and 17 years in corporate marketing, the stress of high pressure, deadline driven jobs led to her own ill health mentally and physically. This started her search for a long-lasting means of approaching each situation with more ease, contentment, and power. Melissa is committed to guiding professionals to improve their health, increase their mental clarity, easily deal with difficult people, and find peace in their current jobs all through reducing their stress levels. Melissa is the host of The Empowerment Show and also a contributing author for the books, Be There Now: Travel Stories From Around the World and Defining Moments: A Gathering of Women’s Journeys. Her first solo book, From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction is being published in 2014. She has also contributed to Experiences of the Light, to be published by Career Press / New Page Books in 2014.

    For more information, please visit itsmylifeinc.com.

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