I read somewhere that we get a dopamine burst even in times of worry and pain. I thought, “How can this be? I thought dopamine was just for pleasure?”
I found this Article in psychology today which helps explains it:
“….in the moment, anger feels good; it feels like the thing to do. It overrides all other moral and rational brakes in the brain because it originates from our primordial, original limbic system: the brain center of our most automatic emotions like fear and desire.”
And as far as the dopamine release:
“What happens is that anger can lead to similar “rushes” as thrill-seeking activities where danger triggers dopamine reward receptors in the brain, or like other forms of addiction such as gambling, extreme sports, or even drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines. Anger can become it’s own reward, but like other addictions, the final consequences are dangerous and real…….”
In life’s tragedies, sorrow, unbearable grief, and pain, it’s easy to let to
resentment and bitterness live in our hearts and breed discontentment. We let our space be filled with rumination of what has been done TO us–especially if that’s where we feel the most comfortable.
Even if we have good reason to be angry there comes a time when it’s causing more distress to hang on to it than let it go. Living with anger and ruminating on what others have done to us, drives wedges between those we love. Even those of whom the anger is not directed, will feel our discontent because we can never be truly free to be our authentic selves if we hold on tightly to anger.
It’s very difficult to break out of these patterns of thinking. Certain triggers activate our emotions and automatically seem to make us react or lash out in anger and spite. Surprisingly, we may be so used to reacting that it doesn’t even feel like we are lashing out. Some personality types will even be offended if you suggest they are lashing out or even overreacting. Whatever anyone else thinks, WE know when we are miserable and when our moods seem to be dependent on others’ actions. At some point, hopefully, we can have the desire to make a change and create emotional boundaries.
How to disengage from conflict: Learning healthy boundaries about not trying to manipulate situations, mindfulness, meditation, counseling. Also joining positive support groups, not those with toxic angry vibes which perpetuate our victimhood.
Many people believe that God alone has the power to turn weakness into windows through which his glory can shine through.
Whatever method you use to work through your emotions, as long as you feel yourself becoming less reactive, and more authentic; then we can celebrate progress.
After all, when we are feeling content and emotionally stable, we can lean into helping others do the same, thereby contributing to the healing of the world.