After my previous article about the power of anger generated some really interesting discussions, I decided to expand more on the subject of expressing anger in a healthy way.
But first let’s look at why anger is good and healthy when managed correctly.
Anger is an emotion and, as with all emotions, your anger will show you that something is not right in your life. Perhaps someone is not acting fair towards you, or you feel trapped in a situation that you think you can’t change, or you simply witness a situation that is no what it was supposed to be. In this case your anger is telling you something.
Anger is not a bad emotion per se, but it can become damaging if it’s not expressed healthily and managed in a way that is beneficial to you. Anger becomes dangerous when you act upon it. Some people may become aggressive, some might act impulsively or make choices that are not in their best interest and they’ll regret later on.
To break the unhealthy cycle of anger and protect yourself and others from its effects, simply follow these 5 steps:
1.Breathe in deeply
I can’t state enough how effective is the habit of breathing deeply when you find yourself in any overwhelming situation – this can be in a moment of anger, but it can be also in moments of stress, panic, mindless rush, etc. Simply breathe in and out a couple of times and bring yourself into a calmer place. The purpose of this is NOT to make you ignore your anger, but to give you the space in your mind to put yourself together and stop you to act upon your anger.
Once you took your time to calm down a little, it’s time to mindfully acknowledge how you feel. Continue to breathe in deeply and acknowledge you are now angry, and this feels uncomfortable in your body and mind. You can even start to describe for yourself how you feel.
Where do you feel your anger in your body? What do you feel? How’s your body temperature? Perhaps you’re feeling hot, experience unpleasant sensations in the body, your blood pressure increases. Simply acknowledge and continue to breathe in deeply until the intense sensations of discomphort will fade away.
3. Transform your anger in creative power
As soon as you have some time for yourself, after an anger episode, the best way to use the anger energy is to transmute it into something creative. Think about anything that helps you release the emotion from the body. Here are some ideas:
- Dance – put some music on and let those energies out from your body
- Write – if you are a writer this is the best time to write and express your anger in form of words. It might result into a beautiful deeply meaningful piece of poetry.
- Make art – create art that is healing and allows you to express your own emotions, not art with a purpose of being beautiful. I wrote an article on How to make healing art here.
- Exercise – any form of exercising is deeply healing and transformative, simply go for your favourite exercise and use your anger energy to take care of your body .
4. Reflect on the situation
This is a very important part in the healing process, to reflect on your anger. Here are some questios for you to reflect on:
What is the reason I’ve got angry? Am I noticing anything particular in this circumstance? Do I feel frustrated? Am I allowing someone to cross my boundaries? Is this person acting unfairly in this circumstance? Am I allowing this to happen? Am I feeling weak? Am I feeling unable to speak for myself? Am I feeling insecure, scared, attacked? Why? What is this situation teaching me?
Ideally, you want to do these reflections after the intense anger passed, so you can focus properly and analyse the situation with a more objective eye.
5. Identify the changes needed and implement them
After you’ve finished this part, then move into a second part of reflecting upon the changes you can make to transform these circumstances into more favourable ones. Remember: you can’t change other people, but you can change yourself. Perhaps you need to learn to set healthy boundaries with others, perhaps you need to learn to stand up for yourself, perhaps you need to work on your self-confidence and self-esteem, or perhaps you need to be more consistent with various habits. Here I can only bring some suggestions, it’s really up to you to identify what you are able to change at a specific moment in time.
What is important to keep in mind is that even a small change can have a hugely beneficial effect on your life: so don’t be afraid to work with small changes for lasting results.
To recap the steps:
breathe in – acknowledge – transmute the energy into creative power – reflect – make the changes needed
Remember: only you can change your reality, anger is a source of power if used correctly and creatively, even small changes can produce effective results.
Until next time,