The Three Roots of Anger

Fear, Frustration and Pain.

By Heather Step, BA (Hons) Psychology, Dip Childhood Montessori Education

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Did you ever wonder about why you get angry? Or do you just feel that anger simmering inside you and not know quite why it is?


I had a recent learning about three roots of anger. If you are angry it could be for one of these three reasons:


1. Fear

What are you afraid of happening? What is your deepest fear that keeps you awake at night, worrying?

You could use the EFT setup phrase on this: “Even though I am so afraid that…e.g. I will go completely broke… I deeply and completely love and accept myself..” Then switch to a positive choice: “Even though I am so afraid … e.g. of being poverty stricken, I’m choosing to think constructively as to how I’m going to get myself out of this debt…”


2. Frustration (blocked goal)

How often are you so angry because your dreams have been frustrated? You are so angry and you can’t put your finger on why, but really it’s because someone or something is blocking your ultimate goal in life. It can be very frustrating when a loved one does not support your dreams.

EFT setup: “Even though…… does not support my dreams, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Even though I want to tear my hair out in frustration and anger, because I’m carrying this dream by myself without support, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Positive choice: “Even though my dreams are being frustrated or not being accepted, I’m choosing to find a way around this.”

Another aspect here: when you are not accepted for your true self. Someone else wants you to be someone other than what you are. This is a tough one and is linked very much to no3, because this realization causes a lot of hurt and pain. An appropriate set up phrase would be: “Even though he / she doesn’t accept me for who I am, I accept myself fully, deeply and completely and that is what matters.”

Positive choice: “Even though I’m feeling unaccepted, I’m choosing to allow my own light shine brighter than the negative vibes coming from that person, and let my love be rays of compassion towards them. For I know that the only reason why they are being so unaccepting towards me is because they have a similar problem inside themselves.”


3. Hurt and pain

If someone has hurt you deeply, then this can cause you immense anger. This hurt can be caused by a deep trauma, or be something that appears little, but has hurt you deeply. I am a very sensitive person and while that makes me more compassionate, it makes me more vulnerable too. If you’re feeling hurt, a good setup phrase would be:

“Even though I’m feeling deeply hurt and this incident has brought up painful memories for me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Even though I just feel like crying, I deeply accept those feelings of pain and I love and accept myself just as I am.”

Positive choice: “Even though I feel very hurt, I’m choosing to love and accept that pain, and take baby steps to move past it. I’m choosing to let it go. I can feel it deflating like a balloon and losing its power over me. I’m choosing to release it.”





I think we only learn through making mistakes and figuring out how we can do better next time. It’s kind of pointless to dwell in the anger for too long, because it isn’t constructive, unless it motivates you to think of a way to change the situation.


Some other techniques that will help are:


Breathing exercises:


1. Deep belly breath:/ 7/11

Take a very deep breath in. You must fill up your chest totally, all three sections, Breathe in for seven counts. Then hold it. Then release it for eleven counts.


2. Anger breathing: I learnt these two from dc4k (that course I’m doing on helping kids through divorce) so these are good to do with kids.


a)   Fountain: Breath in all your anger and crunch yourself up with your arms on your chest all twisted up and feel all that anger.  Then let it go, moving your arms up like a fountain.

b)   Balloon: breathe out like a balloon letting go all its air: whee….



Thanks for listening to me! Hope that helps you when you get angry next time!


Heather Step


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Author's Bio:

Heather Step has a certain personality suited to counselling, being a Four on the Enneagram Personality system– drawn to suffering people and having the capacity for compassion for what they are going through.

Her specialties are in the following areas:

-mind/body connection with regard to pain and physical problems, (http://healwithheather.com/body.htm)

-stress and how to handle it (http://healwithheather.com/stresstest.htm)

-infertility (having personal experience of this) (http://healwithheather.com/getpregnant.htm)

-children (being a Grade One teacher at a Montessori school and doing play therapy) (http://healwithheather.com/children.htm)

For more information you can also go to my website: www.healwithheather.com


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