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The cure for road rage

Posted: June 14, 2008 2:43 p.m.
Updated: August 15, 2008 5:03 a.m.
Has another driver ever suddenly cut in front of you on the freeway and you felt a surge of retaliation?

Maybe you wanted to tailgate or track them down - maybe even hurt them! If so you, you may be experiencing an disproportionate anger reaction. Often, this is the result of accumulated hurt and buried pain.

A study from the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that if a person buries anger that he or she has a valid reason to express, your chances of premature death increase. Buried pain or stuffed feelings are very real, have energy and do not go away on their own.

From childhood we learn to hide our feelings and bury them. Feelings are not OK out there, so we look for relief through distractions. Some people drown themselves in alcohol. Others stay so busy they don't have time to feel. We may use money, exercise, sex or food to stop our pain. Compulsive buying or overspending are notorious short-term pain relievers. But all offer only temporary pain relief.

We can continue to stuff the feelings, shove them away or numb ourselves until the losses become an ever-growing weight being carried around. Life becomes like running a race with a 500-pound dumbbell on our necks. Then we wonder why we overreact or why life isn't the happy, joy-filled experience we had always envisioned.

Healing and recovery open the way to joy, peace of mind and vibrant health. Recovery starts by being able to freely express all the thoughts and emotions connected with loss. Maybe it's regret, which is often associated with loss. Or grieving the loss of unrealized hopes, dreams and expectations. Recovery provides the correct tools. Clearing out the "furballs" of unresolved hurt and loss can enable you to live in the moment without disproportionate reactions and may even save your life on the freeway!



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