Imagine walking across a plank on the ground and then walking across that same plank if it were raised 20 feet above the ground.  Now, let’s move that tension further up the fear scale and place that same plank between the roof tops of two 50 story buildings.

Ironically, walking across the plank suspended between two buildings or walking across that same plank laying on the surface of the ground requires the same motor skills.  But the perception of the difference in the difficulty varies substantially.  On the ground level, you could skip, walk backwards and simultaneously tell a few jokes to your friends walking on the ground side by side with you.

At 50 stories above the ground, most people would probably be flat on their stomachs, carefully crawling one inch at a time.  They would be equipped with a helmet, parachute, and the insistence of a safety net 50 stories below!

If we let fear overwhelm us, it can become very debilitating and a great obstacle in the accomplishment of our goals and desires.

There is a Basic Operating Principle which states, “Any thought, positive or negative, held on a continuing basis in the conscious mind, must be brought into reality by the supraconscious mind.”

The relevant thing about our self talk in dealing with fear is the realization we all have the power to control our thoughts.  When we exert greater discipline to keep our thoughts in alignment with our values and goals, we have much greater influence over our actions and their corresponding outcomes.

If 99% of all our fears originate in thought, and we learn how to more effectively control our thoughts, then we can eradicate the compulsive fears that so often want to dominate our lives.

Now let’s examine the correlation between fear and anger.

Consider the possibility that most anger is self directed.  By that I mean most often when we experience anger, we are responding to something incomplete within us which is triggered when something or someone acts or behaves differently than how we believe it should be.  For example, a child in one family might behave a certain way which angers the parent.  The same behavior by a child in another family may not anger the parent at all.  Or in the workplace, you might say to a fellow worker, “Doesn’t it anger you when the boss keeps raising his voice?”  And your fellow worker responds, “No, I find it quite amusing.”

My point here is that when we are experiencing or feeling anger, we can more effectively deal with it if we understand (intellectually) that our feelings are something we have chosen rather than the result of what someone else is doing.  If we accept accountability for our feelings of anger (rather than being the victim) we have the opportunity to consider a different response to the same situation which may exclude anger.  A self analysis of response(s) might be, “Why do I always get so upset when my kid leaves the front door open?  Do I really want to always blow up when that happens?  Is it possible that I act that way because my own father used to get so angry when I left the door open?  Is there a better way I can deal with this without becoming so upset”?

This kind of introspective questioning is healthy and can lead to a better sense of well being in addition to improved relationships.

Is being angry bad?  I don’t know that I would use the word “bad”.  But I would use the word unhealthy.  Needless to say, anger has caused the demise of many relationships and there is a growing body of evidence that prolonged anger can result in ill health including the onset of cancer.

Consider road rage and the often insane behavior that some people express just driving their car.

A pressure cooker has a steam valve.  When too much pressure builds up, the steam valve releases the pressure so the lid doesn’t blow off.  We can create our own steam valves by engaging in vigorous exercise, meditating, or a host of other activities that help reduce stress.

Although I have never seen a study correlating lifestyles to anger, I would guess people who eat well, exercise daily, drink moderately and get a good night’s sleep have far fewer episodes of anger than people who are out of shape, overeat, and drink heavily. 

Lifestyles do correlate to feelings of self esteem.  Someone with a lower self image is more likely to go through life angry at the world and feeling victimized for all the bad things, relationships, etc., that have been part of their life.

Look at the word disease.  When we hyphenate it, we have dis-ease.  Physical ailments and illnesses are often the effects of mental or emotional dis-easeness. 

As a general guideline, it can be helpful to embrace the saying,

“There are no stressful situations

There are only stressful responses”.

When we accept responsibility for our choice to feel anger, we are more apt to quickly apologize and repair the damage we may have caused for our choice of how we responded to something.

So, what is the correlation between fear and anger?

Can you think of any angry response that does not contain an element of fear?

If it is road rage, is there not fear of a possible accident?  If it is anger toward a spouse or loved one, may there also be a fear that she/he might leave you for another?  If you are angry at your boss, might there also be a fear of losing your job?

The next time you are experiencing anger, simply say to yourself, “Time out!  What is causing me to have these feelings?  What am I afraid of?  Do I want to continue to feel this way?”  If the answer to this question is “no”, change the mental picture to one that is pleasant, think of who you love and all you have to be grateful for, and deliberately leave the vibrational field of fear and start moving back toward the boundless field of love.

As John Milton wrote in his classic, Paradise Lost:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”

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