Anger Vs. Anxiety

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Look at the two pictures above! You may have seen the movie Pixar Movie Inside Out. It’s about emotions and internal thoughts. Well from first glances the 2 characters could be reacting the same way or the same situation. However, if you saw the movie, you would know that the character on the left is Anger, and the on right is Fear (anxiety). Each get to run certain aspects of our lives. However, you do not want any one in emotions to fully control all aspects of your life. Thankfully this has not been the case for me.

However, I have had a tough time differentiating between some of my emotions as of late. There are times that they seem to give off false senses of effects or symptoms that are very similar to those of my anxiety from the past and I have misinterpreted them. For example being so angry that my heart rate begins to beat rapidly, I start shaking, I get spots before my eyes, and may even get short of breath and begin sweating.

But I realized later that upon calming down that the shortness of breath may have been because I was either holding my breathe instead of breathing calmly instead of a panic attack. I was trying to prevent myself saying something I should not (in mot cases). Then from all the stress and reactions I usually end up with a nice size migraine later. It’s all very magical later when I see halos and feel like I have gone a few rounds with a boxer.

I am sure that my anxiety kicks in when I believe that I am having an anxiety attack; however, this is only when things have gone way too far (very rare). Yesterday for example, I became so angry it took me hours to calm down. Once I finally did I finally realized the difference between my anger and anxiety.

I believe the reason it has taken me so long to find this separation/ link it because I have never really allowed myself to openly become angry. I feel it is so taboo to become angry and to lose my cool since gaining such a handle over it in towards the end of college. I worked hard on myself then and now I am quite embarrassed when I lose my cool. So it is hard for me to come to terms with the actual triggers, ‘symptoms’, and effects of it. And of course later I feel like I have been the bad guy because it’s not like me to be this way; though I always wonder if the person who caused the anger ever feels that way?

I always wonder this as usually people who are naturally negative or angry people ever feel like I do–Super embarrassed, ashamed or remorseful for being angry or being quick to anger. I feel that anger is an easy out and one should try their best to stay cool, calm, and collected to be able to see all sides of every situation and offer valuable insights and contributions to any aspect/ situation. But I feel like the negative or angry person could care less and I just feel really bad for them and wish I could help them see this is not the answer in life because it narrows their thinking and of life.

Now I am not saying you can never become angry;  however, being angry all the time or wallowing in it is not good. One must learn to do so in a healthy way. I have learned that the way I did so yesterday was obviously not the best way. Also bottling it up is not healthy either. You can write, come back and talk about it later (once things are calmer), go to counseling (anger management), go exercise, and so on. Now that I have pinpointed that this was anger for me I am able to handle what triggered it and address it. Now I can back to joy and more varied emotions!

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