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Are You Still Angry And Resentful Towards Your ex

Anger is a powerful and basic human emotion. It is usually triggered by emotional hurt. We usually feel angry when we think we have been mistreated, injured, opposed to, or when we faced challenges that keep us from achieving our goal.

Why You May Still Be Angry with Your Ex

It’s normal to feel angry after the relationship ended. We may feel angry towards our ex, yourself, at the Universe for letting this happen, and even for certain people and situations that we thought have something to do with the breakup.

While it’s normal to feel angry at some point after the relationship ended, it’s not typical to stay angry for too long. At times, we may still feel angry or resentful towards our ex because we think it’s a form of revenge – of showing the other person how much he/she has hurt us. Sometimes, we have this form of fantasy that if we hold on to that anger or resentment for that long, the other person may realize how much he/she has hurt us and in return, would feel bad or worse than we did.

What Happens When You’re Angry

Anger is a primal instinct. It’s one of the most primitive emotions hard-wired in our brains. When we are angry, the amygdala, part of the brain responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergency events, is triggered. It reacts to the stimulus and causes a series of body response.

Adrenal glands are one of the first few things stimulated by the amygdala. Located on top of the kidneys, these glands start to pump out chemicals like adrenaline. The release of these chemicals creates a series of physical and emotional response including an increase in heart rate and aggression (this results when the body starts producing testosterone).

When we’re angry, we do not just feel our rapid heartbeat and notice our cheeks flushing, we also notice that we start to speak louder and faster.

The chemicals released when we are angry can also take a toll on our health. Researchers found out that being angry increases our risk of heart disease, decrease our lung function, and speed up our ageing process.

Different Stages of Anger

There are different stages of anger and one can go from one stage to the next very quickly.

  1. Bothered

  2. This is the initial stage of anger when something starts to bother us and we can’t help it. At this stage, we could be rolling our eyes in the back of our head.

  3. Mild irritation

  4. We start to feel mild irritation when we think we’re right but other people think otherwise.

  5. Annoyed

  6. We get to the point of annoyance when we no longer care what other people think. We may start to roll our eyes on them.

  7. Indignation

  8. During the indignation phase, we start to confront people.

  9. Frustrated

  10. From indignation, our anger can escalate very quickly and turn that into frustration. At this point, we start to take our anger out on inanimate objects.

  11. Infuriated

  12. Uncontrollable anger like infuriation may lead us to do things to express our anger. This includes screaming.

  13. Hostile

  14. Hostile is the stage when we start to hurt people as a result of our anger.

  15. Wrath

  16. When our anger doesn’t dissipate, we can go from throwing inanimate objects to other people to threatening them.

  17. Fury

  18. We are furious when we get to the stage of making our threats to other people a reality.

  19. Rage

  20. The final stage of anger when we do unimaginable things to express our anger and get rid of the stimulus that triggers it. This stage is very crucial as it is often at this stage that we begin to do things that we regret later on.

What You Can Do to Manage Anger

Each of us has varying tolerance for frustration. This explains why some people get angry more easily than others. These are people who easily get frustrated or annoyed even with the smallest things. One study suggests that this low level of tolerance for frustration could be genetic. This simply means that being ‘hot-headed’ can run in families.

Anger, when unmanaged properly, can be a destructive emotion. This is why it’s very important to know what triggers our anger and coming up with effective strategies to deal with it. Here are some of the effective ways to keep the triggers from escalating into a full rage.

Manage your thoughts

Cognitive restructuring is changing the way we think. Whenever we use the words “always” and “never” when talking to someone when we’re angry, we do not only humiliate and alienate them; we also make them feel that nothing can be done to solve the problem.

A good way to reframe things when we’re angry is to think that things maybe this bad and it’s frustrating but it’s not the end of the world.

Managing our thoughts can also help in letting go of our resentment towards our ex. Instead of clinging to the thought of him/her cheating on you or the thought of you not doing enough, it’s better to have that mindset that we are in a better situation now.

Anger can be a powerful emotion but when we learn to forgive and let go of our ex, it’s also one way of letting go of our anger and resentment towards them. When we learn to let go and see things as part of a learning experience, we no longer let anger have control over us; we are no longer in bondage to the wounds of our past.

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