Friday, March 16, 2012

Anger Management

Have you ever stopped to consider anger?  A full blown attack of anger, not just a little shakeup.  It is all consuming.  Its easy to get so wrapped up in it that everything else seems to fall by the wayside. 

I think anger is different from fight or flight.  Both are reactions. Fight or flight seems reasonable, the body goes into action to defend itself.  Anger though?  is it a survival instinct?  Wikipedia describes anger " an emotion related to one's psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied and a tendency to undo that by retaliation. Videbeck describes anger as a normal emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation. R. Novaco recognized three modalities of anger: cognitive (appraisals), somatic-affective(tension and agitations) and behavioral (withdrawal and antagonism). DeFoore. W 2004 describes anger as a pressure cooker; we can only apply pressure against our anger for a certain amount of time until it explodes. Anger may have physical correlates such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as part of the fight or flight brain response to the perceived threat of harm. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threatening behavior of another outside force.[4] Anger can have many physical and emotional consequences." 

We are all familiar with the physiological aspects of anger. The emotional side isn't as easy to deal with.  However essential oils can help.  Sometimes anger and the inability to see beyond it can clog up the brain with extraneous emotional baggage, causing an actual feeling of congestion.  Exercise is a great way to find physical and emotional realease, but there is an excellent role for essential oils. 

Inhaling a pleasant aroma such as lemon or bergamot immediately makes the world look brighter.  Bergamot and eucalyptus react on the part of the brain that tends to ruminate.  Cypress is also excellent when it comes to obsessing over the cause of the anger.  These sunny oils also cut through the physical feeling of fuzziness caused by anger. 

So next time you feel angry, reach for an essential oil, inhale deeply and exhale all that aggravation.