If anger is a healthy emotion, why are some people frightened of it? 10 steps to healthy anger

I wear my heart on my sleeve and that’s not always pretty

Anger is my way of knowing that somebody is stepping on my toes.  It’s my warning signal.  My internal alarm that says ‘This is not right for me.’  Although what happens when it rises up in me and ‘BAAAAAM WHOOOOOSH’!! There I am showing the world how angry I am.  That’s when it gets me into trouble. It has its benefits – you will always know where you stand with me 🙂

Anger can be dangerous and that maybe why people fear it

Anger is dangerous when it is turned in on a person as it manifests itself in illnesses such as depression and when the person who is angry likes the anger too much as it makes them feel powerful.   Anger is also bad when it’s habitual – you are constantly grumpy and on a short fuse.  You get angry all the time about the smallest of things.  Perhaps there is something underlying that needs addressing?

People are afraid of anger – what it says, what is looks like, how it feels to be on  the receiving end of it.  Of course, I rationally know this fact, although I have to say that once the red mist has descended, that is the furthest thing from my mind.  It has taken me a while to master the art of my anger and I’m still learning every day.  Here are some of things I have done to help me with that:-

1.  Exercise is a great one.  I love going for walks.  Breaking state (removing yourself from what is going on), getting fresh air and physically stepping out of the anger has helped me considerably.   As has screaming at my steering wheel – not so great for my blood pressure or stress levels.  If your anger is hotter than that, maybe kickboxing or something more physical.  I have also recently discovered meditation.  Getting in touch with yourself, stabilising your breathing, healing your emotions and heavenly peace and relaxation.

2.  Listen to angry songs and let it all out.  A bit like having a good old boo when you are sad about something.  It’s better out than in! Here is my favourite song to sing when I’m angry

2.  Be an Observer notice what happens in your body and slow down your reactions. Do your palms get sweaty?  Your breathing quicker and more shallow?  I feel my anger in my tummy as a big ball of fire that is it all knotted up.  I clench my jaw as well.  It used to give me headaches.  Breathe deeply and slowly to release.  Count to 10.  Aaaaaaah

3.  Know your triggers if being in somebody’s company or certain things you find unacceptable set you off, make a conscious decision to have those moments when you feel up to it.  Be kind to yourself and don’t put yourself in situations that will make you angry. If you have to go there,  put a time limit on it.

4.  Understand where your anger comes from some people pick fights because they need time away, some people have learnt how to use anger to avoid complex feelings or sadness, guilt and disappointment.  Some people use anger to punish others if they are unable to communicate their feelings to them.  Some people have learnt that ranting and raging at others means they get their own way.  Look at your anger style and where it comes from.

5.  Remove expectation if you have high expectations of other people or situations, you will frequently be let down.  This means it may feel normal to be angry and outbursts could appear almost automatically.

6.  Toughen up to criticism everybody sees the world from their perspective – based on their experiences of life and beliefs.  It is not a personal attack when they criticise you.  Try to toughen up and learn to find their opinions ‘interesting’.  Being independent of the good opinions of others is totally liberating.  You can just be you.  Brilliant!

7.  Be less judgemental  don’t judge yourself so harshly and you will find yourself being kinder to others.  Instead of looking for things to criticise, find things to like about them.  Be generous to other people.

8.  Respond don’t react are you over reacting?  Is this about what is happening now or is this something from your past that is allowing you to relive an old pattern? Look at what is going on and calm yourself before responding.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think how it might feel to be them.

9.  Learn to let go some things are just not worth getting worked up about.  What do you wanna do? Walk around being angry or let it go and be happy?

What is healthy anger?

I believe that anger is healthy when it is expressed in moderation and used as a signal that something needs to be addressed.  If you take responsibilitiy for your anger and express yourself clearly it will be easier to let go of the anger once the problem has been solved.  If it can’t be resolved, there needs to be an outlet for the anger or a letting go and acceptance of how things are.

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you  Brian Tracy

 

 Image credits © http://www.sxc.hu/

 

Comments

  1. Another great piece Lisa, If anger could be channelled into electricity we’d have enough to power the homes of the nation!
    I agree about recognising your triggers, removing yourself from a situation is also a good way of minimising the level of anger, but it is so easy for others to say “don’t let it get to you” another sure-fire way to wind me up is to tell me not to get wound up!

    M

    • Very true observation. It would be a greener world!! Yes me too. Nothing more annoying that being told what to think, feel or do. Thanks for your comment – it’s good to hear back on my posts. 🙂

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