Anger ends in a minute-and-a-half!


Anger lasts only a minute and a half! Any anger after 90 seconds you have fed on in your hurt feelings and thoughts. Here is an authority on how the brain works:

“There are certain limbic or emotional system programs that can be triggered automatically. It takes less than ninety seconds for one of these programs to be triggered, surge through our body, and then be completely flushed out of our bloodstream. My anger response, for example, is a programmed response that can be set off automatically. Once triggered, the chemical released by my brain surges through my body and I have a physiological experience. Within ninetv seconds from the initial trigger, the chemical component of my anger has completely dissipated from my blood and my automatic response is over. If, however, I remain angry after those ninety seconds have passed, then it is because I have chosen to let that circuit continue to run. Moment by moment I make the choice to either hook into my neurocircultry or move back into the present moment, allowing that reaction to melt away as fleeting physiology.”

So, in 90 seconds the anger is gone! Or do we talk to ourselves to keep it alive—“that really hurt and was unfair” or something like that to keep the anger boiling?

Back to that quote. The limbic system is brain nuclei associated with basic needs and emotions, such as hunger, pain, pleasure, satisfaction, sex, and reactive motivation. That insight is by Jill Taylor Bolte, PhD, in her My Stroke of Insight, pp. 151f. Great, insightful book.

Ponder what she said; when you or a child is furious, there is brief, intense, automatic anger, but remember a recent example to think about how the child (or you) nurtured those angry feelings or let them dissipate. Try this experiment: next time you burn with sudden anger, consciously do not feed it, but after 90 seconds note the relaxation that seeps and spreads through your feelings.


Copyright © 2014 John F. Yeaman