Well, it’s hard to not feel angry or at least frustrated on a regular basis these days. Just the overload caused by frequent stimuli alone is enough to make us crazy... and ready to explode! The fact that most of the information we’re constantly bombarded with is wrought with negativity doesn’t help, either... Not to mention having to navigate through our own triggers...
Anger is usually fear in disguise; when repressed instead of properly processed, it can turn into depression. Unprocessed and stifled anger can also cause all kinds of havoc in our body (especially the liver, which is the organ associated with anger in Traditional Chinese Medicine); disrupt our peace of mind; and, when out of control, lead to hurtful, damaging and even dangerous situations, such as road rage.
What Does Processing Anger Look Like?
- Feel the anger. Repressing it won’t do. Allow yourself to feel it without reacting to it. You can use affirmations to help deal with anger, such as:
“I acknowledge that I am feeling angry right now, and accept the way I feel.
I have the power to control my reactions.
I can fully experience this anger, yet wait before I take action.
I can feel angry, but calm and in control at the same time.
It’s ok to feel angry.”
Anger Management Relaxation script from Inner Health Studio
- Question the anger. Where is it coming from? Rather than assuming it’s being caused by people, situations or circumstances, consider that the external world reflects what’s happening within. Are you angry at yourself for some reason, or feeling out of control and impotent about certain aspects of your life? Is a current person or situation triggering past traumas and issues that are unresolved? Are there inner wounds that need to be healed or personal boundaries that need to be reinforced? Do you have a need that’s not being met?
- Own the anger... if it is indeed yours. As many highly sensitive empaths out there, I’m also prone to anger; so, whenever needed, I practice the process I’m sharing on this article. However, I’m aware that I’m also prone to pick up on and absorb energies from other sources. Sometimes it happens that I start feeling randomly angry, without any obvious triggers. To determine if the anger feeling is coming from me or somewhere else, I examine recent events and interactions, along with the circumstances that led to that moment, and try to track any triggers that I might have missed (these can be subtle, but still have a cumulative effect). If I don’t find any possible causes that might explain how I’m feeling, I ask my inner/higher guidance to help me discern if the anger feeling (or anxiety, depression, etc) is mine or if it’s coming from external sources. If it becomes clear that the anger feeling isn’t mine, I proceed to cut energetic cords to any negative, low vibration sources, and then visualize the highest vibration light energy filling that space instead. That usually works quite well; my mood shifts in a positive way within minutes. This exercise still works if the anger feeling is mine; in this case, however, additional internal work is necessary.
- Share the anger. Find a safe environment and the right people to express your anger with. That doesn’t mean venting your anger on others; just expressing what you’re feeling and getting support.
If there are people and situations in your life that are frequently contributing to triggering the anger response, it might be necessary to communicate with the people involved and addressing those situations, in addition to doing inner work. In that case, there are three choices: Change it, leave it or accept it.
- Express the anger. Record an angry message or write an angry letter, but don’t send it. Create artistic expressions inspired by the anger you’re feeling.
- Release the anger. Performing physical activities usually helps. Punch those pillows, kick the crap out of that punching bag, run, dance, scream, cry!
- Process the anger with a pro (or like a pro). Speak with a counselor or other healthcare professionals and learn additional tools to safely express, release and move on from that anger.
There are also several holistic or integrative techniques that can help, such as Hypnotherapy, NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming), EFT, etc.
In addition, mindful practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi, etc, can be very effective for anger management.
- Make amends for the anger: If you slip up and hurt someone or cause other issues due to anger, a key step in this process is to make amends and do damage control, so that everyone involved is able to move on.
Disclaimer: Of course, I’m not referring here to anger that leads to any kind of abuse; reaching out for professional help (and protection, if you are the receiver of the abuse) is a must in anger situations that are dangerous or out of control.
- Channel that anger! If some of your anger is triggered by the current state of affairs (socio-political issues, the economy, animal cruelty, the environment, etc), a positive way to channel it is to get involved in worthy causes and try to make a difference. Righteous indignation or anger is a powerful energetic force; put it to good use and become a warrior angel!
Gisele Marasca-Vargas; 10/23/23
Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash