Anger is an instinctive feeling which throughout our evolution, has been necessary for our survival, protecting us from animals and people, who could physically harm or even kill us. Nowadays though, our survival does not depend on our ability or will to fight and protect ourselves from others. Yet, anger still remains, and if not managed well and with care, can cause great pain to us as well as to others. So how can we can learn to deal with our anger, without it, causing us to regret something we said or did?
Anger can be a pretty tricky emotion to deal with, as many times it can rise up at such speeds that we’re not even able to realise it’s coming. In those moments, we may lose control of the situation and begin saying things we don’t mean, screaming, swearing or even hitting, all of which, obviously, can cause a great deal of emotional or physical pain to us and to others.
If you, like me, have ever had such moments I’m sure you’ve felt regret and a sense of heaviness in the chest or tightness in the stomach which can linger for hours, days or even years after, especially if not expressed.
Anger can be managed though. It’s just an emotion, that can be dealt with in a healthy way. We can learn how to see it coming, how to deal with it once it’s there and find ways to express it without causing any suffering.
I’d like to share with you 4 things that helped me tremendously in dealing with my anger, 3 of which I still, on a daily basis try to keep in my mind and continue to work on.
1. Ask for help
The first and most important step towards dealing with emotions such as anger, that may cause pain or discomfort and that we are repeatedly unable to control, is asking for help. Many times there is not a single, obvious reason why we may experience such uncontrollable emotions. Reaching out to someone who isn’t directly involved with us and who has a long, professional experience in dealing with similar situations, may be the best thing to do. Seeing a psychologist for a few years really helped me figure out why I may be experiencing such unwanted emotions as well as guiding me towards dealing with them in a healthy way.
Remember! There is absolutely no shame in asking for help!
One of our breath’s extraordinary abilities is to calm us down. Taking some long, deep calm breaths when you begin feeling something triggering your anger, can greatly help with avoiding an explosion of emotions that may be hurtful. Focusing my attention on my breath for a few minutes every morning, has had an incredibly positive effect on how aware I am of my feelings which subsequently helps me realise when something is causing me to be angry or sad before it gets to the point where I can’t control it.
Expressing our anger in a healthy way, is the next step towards a life with a lot less stress and pain. Trying to find a solution to a problem in the midst of an argument about that same problem is probably not going to get us very far. However, after a few deep breaths, after the heartbeat returns to normal and we’re back to being fully aware, then, it might be a good idea to share what may have caused those feelings of anger to erupt.
Sometimes words are simply not enough or maybe not the right form of expressing and releasing emotions such as anger or pain. That’s where tears can come in handy. Crying is a very healthy form of materialising and letting go of such powerful emotions. It is not a sign of weakness and it certainly won’t hurt to cry. Trust me, it’s such a wonderful thing to cry once in a while.
The process of dealing with anger in a healthy way and being able to manage such emotions, is an ongoing journey that requires continuous, gentle effort, self-love and curiosity, however, it’s a very rewarding procedure that can have very positive effects on your overall well being.
So breathe, take care of yourself and share how you feel!
Love & Joy,