Anger is one of those emotions that not only makes the individual experiencing it feel very uncomfortable but those who are witness to it also. When someone gets angry it is generally seen as a lack of control as in he/she is losing it; or bad, dangerous and unpredictable. Problems relating to anger typically arise whenever emotions have been suppressed or misdirected.
Ultimately everyone needs to be responsible for themselves and their behaviour. Most seemingly irrational anger comes from past experiences and unresolved trauma. It’s like a cut that has got infected but a scar has formed over the top,it looks okay but underneath it is festering and if anyone touches it they get a very strong reaction. If it comes from a long time back then we may be totally out of touch with it consciously in the present. All we know is that people can push our buttons for seemingly small things. Old anger is potentially dangerous to health and at the very least damaging to any close relationships.
I get plenty of people telling me they don’t do anger, they just never feel angry. That bothers me because that is like saying you never feel love, joy, happiness, sadness and so on. Many women tell me they don’t get angry they get tearful and feel silly, this is compounded by feeling they won’t be taken seriously. This kind of reaction can be the result of being made to feel that anger was unacceptable when we were little.
Once the original anger has been resolved everything calms down. Whilst you still have the capacity for anger you stop having knee jerk reactions to little things and no longer overreact.
We are an amazing mix of emotions and all are natural. If you are out of touch with any of your feelings something may be out of kilter. Everyone deals with anger in different ways but here are 3 healthy and safe ways to release and deal with anger.
- If you are feeling it – if you are aware that you are angry and feeling it now, remove yourself from any social situation. Then go for a run (not fit enough? then power walk it or just plain walk in the fresh air) alternatively, punch your mattress until exhausted (mattress because less likely to miss and hurt yourself than using pillows). Making sound along with this activity is very beneficial as many of us do not voice how we feel and are stifled. However, be aware that this is an activity to be done alone, if others are around (especially children) this can cause fear and concern. Quite apart from the effect on others, drawing attention to what would otherwise be a private event for you would not assist your process of release. Physical activity will assist your body and mind to release. When you get angry physiological changes take place and these need to be addressed in a practical and physical way.
- If events, abuse from colleagues/family/friends are leaving you feeling worthless and cold – the kind of thing where you feel you should be angry and yet you feel hopeless or tearful then it can be helpful to view the overall picture using a mental process. Just get a piece of paper and write down everything you can think of about whatever has occurred. Write what a particular person did or did not do, what has happened, how it has affected you, your work, family or anything else. Dump it all on paper no one else is going to read it. Vent, it does not have to be grammatically correct, fair or rational. Once completely vented then take the paper (or papers) and burn it, This can be surprisingly therapeutic. Once done do suggestion number one even if you are not feeling the anger.
- Thinking more long term – decide to get to the bottom of the issue once and for all. This is a process best done with guidance. Why? because we don’t often know where to look for the answer and even if we do we tend to resist dealing with it (human nature). This brings the ultimate freedom as the original old anger is released we find that our buttons no longer get pushed by family, friends or complete strangers for no obvious reason. The body is able to relax, no longer holding onto whatever it was and bracing itself for more coming it’s way. So much stress comes and builds from unresolved past events.
Whatever you do stop judging yourself for either getting or not getting angry. Honour your own feelings, embrace them all and choose to live in a more relaxed and conscious way. I have seen the results from those resolving their old anger hundreds of times and the relief is tangible. It does not require long term therapy just effective techniques to prompt release. Interestingly, it is one of the best ways of bringing more love into or back to your life.