We’ve all been there before. We’ve all felt that familiar heat creeping up our neck, the tightness in our chest, and the urge to either scream or cry or both. Someone does something that really gets under our skin, and before we know it, we’re seeing red.
Anger is a powerful emotion, but it’s also one that can be destructive if we let it get out of control. How do we acknowledge it without letting it consume us? What do we do with that anger?
The good news is that there are steps we can take to let go of our anger and thrive in spite of the challenges life throws our way.
Acknowledging Your Anger
There’s no need to pretend that you’re always happy – life is full of ups and downs, and anger is a perfectly normal emotion. In fact, it’s one of the main emotions (characters) in the Disney animated movie Inside Out.
Anger, like many tough emotions, can be extremely uncomfortable for some people to experience. However, it’s important to know how to deal with your anger in a constructive way. How do we acknowledge it without letting it consume us?
One of the first steps is to simply acknowledge that you’re feeling angry. This may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to do in the heat of the moment. Sometimes, acknowledging your anger is as simple as taking a few deep breaths and counting to ten.
Other times, it may require more introspection. But however you choose to acknowledge your anger, the important thing is that you do it in a way that works for you.
Understanding Where It’s Coming From
It’s important to understand that anger is a normal and healthy emotion. It’s a natural response to feeling frustrated, threatened, or helpless. And while it’s natural, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to deal with. In fact, anger can be a very destructive emotion if not managed properly.
Denying that you’re angry will only make the problem worse. Instead, try to identify the source of your anger and figure out what, if anything, you can do about it. Take a moment to step back and recognize that you’re angry, try to understand what might be causing the feeling. Is there a specific event or situation that has triggered your anger?
Once you’ve identified the cause of your anger, you can start to look for ways to resolve the issue. This may involve communicating with the person who has wronged you, or simply finding a way to let go of the anger and move on.
If you’re angry because your boss is being unreasonable, for example, you might try talking to him or her about it. If you’re angry because your partner keeps asking you to do things around the house, you might try sitting down and discussing division of labor in a calm and rational manner.
Once you know what triggers your anger, you can start to work on addressing those issues. If you’re angry because of something that happened in the past, for example, you may need to seek professional help to deal with those feelings.
Finding An Outlet
Anger is like a fire that can quickly get out of control if not properly tended to. Being angry can feel as if you’re holding a hot piece of coal. The longer you hold on to it, the more it burns you. That’s why it’s important to find an outlet for your anger before it starts to consume you.
Once you know how to identify and address the causes of your anger, you can start to learn how to let go of that anger. However, finding an outlet for your anger can be difficult. If you don’t want to take up yoga or meditation, there are plenty of other options for releasing your anger in a healthy way.
One option is to punch a pillow or scream into a pillow. This can help to release some of the pent-up aggression without harming any person or property. Another option is to take up a physical activity such as running or kickboxing. This can help to release the anger while also providing some exercise benefits. It releases endorphins that can improve our mood and help us to feel more positive.
Another option is to express our anger through art or writing. This can be a therapeutic way to process our feelings and can even result in something beautiful. If we can find constructive outlets for our anger, we can prevent it from wreaking havoc on our lives.
Talking openly and honestly about your feelings can help you to work through them and move on. Lastly, it’s important to forgive yourself for being angry. Anger is a normal emotion and it’s okay to feel it from time to time. Just remember that it’s not worth letting it control your life.