I didn't even know there was such a thing, until now.

Anger. It's everywhere, all the time now, it seems. It was all over Facebook today about the Presidential debate. It's on people's feeds all day long. Oh, the drama, and most of it is fueled by being angry.

According to an article I read on PsychCentral.com,

'Addictions fall into two categories: substance and process; the former through the abuse of alcohol and drugs, the latter, behaviors such as gambling, hoarding, spending, eating disorders, workaholism, co-dependence and surprisingly, inappropriate use of the normal human emotion of anger.'

As it turns out, anger can trigger rushes and releases of brain chemicals that mimic the same things as substance addictions:

* The adrenaline rush contributes to a sense of strength and invulnerability.

* Our brains register pleasure when these chemicals are doing what comes naturally to them, and then get reinforced each time we engage in similar behaviors.

* Anger addiction carries with it the same guilt and shame game that is present in substance or other process addictions.

* In the same way that substances trigger brain chemical rushes, so too does the expression and expulsion of anger.

Let's face it. There IS much to be angry about, but do you ever choose to take a break from it? What kinds of things do you do to put the breaks on your anger? I know when I start 'going there,' I use humor with the kids. I say in a loud voice, 'Snarky Mommy is about to come out!' or I will start to say, ' My head is about to spin around like the Exorcist and I will spit green-pea soup at you!'


When that doesn't work, I have to breathe deeply. And by deeply, I mean I have to inhale all of the oxygen in a room until I look pregnant, hold on to it, and then let go slowly to prevent hyper-ventilating. (It seriously works and if you do it six times, it can help with digestion. Who would have known?!)

Thank goodness that deep breathing stuff is on the list of solutions to calming down. Here are a few more to try from the article:

* Take a time out.

* Write down items and issues that trigger an angry reaction.

* Attend Rageaholics Anonymous meetings with others who are also feeling like they are at the mercy of their addiction.

There is one rule I have in my home about anger. Being angry is OK, being cruel is NOT. We know it's going to happen. How we deal with it makes all the difference.