Have you ever felt your anger boil over to the point that it spilled out in ways you wished it hadn't? Has your blood pressure ever risen when someone offended you and you could not respond? Have you ever clenched your teeth, biting back your words till your jaws ached or you got a headache?
This can easily happen when the bucket of anger we carry around with us gets full to overflowing. Some of us also have leaky anger buckets that allow resentments to drip out.
Prevention is often a better approach to anger than bandaging the wounds we suffer as people respond to our anger. Prevention is also better than having to offer salve to others who are bruised when our angers bend their noses the wrong way or sear their flesh.
The habits of burying angers begin in childhood, when we are unhappy with situations that we cannot change and are unable to avoid them. In childhood, it may be very helpful, therefore, to stuff these unpleasant feelings into our inner bucket. This lessens our suffering, and helps us keep from expressing some of our angers - which in many cases would just generate more unpleasantness for us.
These habits continue into our adult lives, even when we have much better resources to cope with situations. Burying our angers and other feelings may still be entirely appropriate in some situations, but often leads to accumulations of resentments that may eventually spill over with excess intensity when our bucket reaches the point of overflowing.
WHEE: Whole Health - Easily and Effectively is a super-fast and easy way to deal with angers. It works best when used preventively. By systematically emptying our bucket of issues that have left major contributions to the annoyance load we are carrying, we end up with a bucket that has space for something new that comes along and is stuffed into the bucket, with less likelihood that old angers will come spilling out in response to the new aggravations.
WHEE is a very simple technique, in which you tap on the right and left side of your body while reciting an affirmation. Despite its simplicity and ease of use, it can be profoundly effective, within minutes.
Molly had suffered verbal and physical abuse as a child, as both of her parents had quick tempers and her father was a heavy drinker. She had also been encouraged to hit anyone who “messed with her" at school. She was finding it difficult to deal with co-workers on her job, due to her quick temper. WHEE not only helped her release the residues of angers from childhood mistreatments, but also helped her let go of her irritation and rising angers when they were triggered at work.
A good thing about WHEE is that people can use it any time they need to de-fuse their angers. It can be used without anyone knowing they are practicing a de-stressing method.
Doug was a quick-tempered 8 year-old who was always arguing and fighting with his classmates. When seen initially for counseling, he was highly oppositional and denied he had problems with his temper. He was able to say, however, that Joey, another child in his class, made him particularly angry. I asked whether he felt any of that anger as he was describing Joey to me, and he responded with an emphatic “You better believe it. If he was here, I'd teach him a good lesson!"
I looked around the room in an exaggerated way, saying, “I don't see Joey anywhere in the room, Doug, but I think he's really got you going! He's really got you mad at him. He's got you so mad, that he's got you carrying a big bucketful of that anger inside you, right now, even though he isn't anywhere near here. " I paused to let that sink in, and commented, “And I bet you don't know how to get rid of that Joey-anger you're carrying around with you. " Doug was able to respond more positively from there, accepting my invitation to show him how not to let Joey get him upset and keep him angry, even when Doug was nowhere near Joey.
Children learn WHEE quickly because it is so simple, and often release their angers more rapidly than adults because children haven't stuffed their anger buckets as full as adults have.
The principles of WHEE are described on my website, where you can also find articles and other materials about this potent method.
I'm a wholistic psychiatric psychotherapist, with a passion for teaching self-healing, bodymind and personal spiritual awareness. I authored Healing Research, Volumes 1-3 and many articles on wholistic healing. I am editor of the International Journal of Healing and Caring http://www.ijhc.org a Founding Diplomate of the American Board of Holistic Medicine; and appear internationally on radio and TV.
See More by and about Daniel Benor, MD.