7 Steps To Heal From Repressed Anger
This post was written in 2013. Now I have much more tools to help you with emotional discomfort. Still, at that time the process worked for me and others.
“We’ll feel unbalanced until we express anger, change the circumstances that caused it, or forgive the person who sparked it” “Emotional wisdom” Mantak Chia & Dena Saxer
When we face it and work with it, we can not only heal thru expressing our anger, but as I discovered recently, in the process, we can heal also our relationships with ourselves, others, with our jobs, life’s circumstances – whatever the anger was about.
Let me show you how you can free yourself from the repressed anger.
How long before you don’t feel the anger? It depends: on you, on the past, on your willingness to create a different meaning.
If you are not sure if you even are open to talk about it, you may want to read the previous post first. Expectations of the process: you do not need to talk to the other person, if there was someone involved. It’s an internal process.
Please see a therapist or call a suicide prevention line , if you experience any of the following: ongoing nightmares, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, self harm behaviors, neglecting or abusing others. Help is available and healing is possible.
I’d also encourage you to read this excellent article from Choosing Therapy.com https://www.choosingtherapy.com/repressed-anger/
Preparation: you will only need a pen, paper (get yourself plenty- I used 5 big pages), 2 hours of time alone. A pillow.
Identify the area of your life or relationship where the anger comes up most.
Step 1: What happened.
Dive into your memory of a specific situation. Describe the situation when you felt hurt, ignored, disrespected, left out, judged, unappreciated, your boundaries were violated… Maybe it was a situation that didn’t come to closure.
Step 2: Who was involved
Who was involved. What happened. What do you think happened. What do you think happened from their perspective.
It’s also possible, that it was only you, and you are angry at yourself… because you went against your values. Write about this too.
Step 3: Unleash your opinions. To yourself.
You probably have an opinion about this person. Write all the judgements (only in this private space) for the first, and likely the last time.
Step 4. What did it cost you.
What did you lose in that event? What did it prevent you from doing? What did you have to give up? Surprising thing happened here in my exercise. I wrote “I wasted 8 years for….” and all of a sudden my hand started writing benefits! After listing 7 of them, I knew there were more, but I reminded myself to move on with the negatives to finish the exercise. The negatives were big, but this was a good reminder that nothing is only good or only bad. That alone can help release a lot of anger…
Step 5: Release the energy.
Anger’s first response is to attack. There is an energy raising up within you. Attacking another is never an option. It only perpetuates the cycle of anger. It’s not a solution. It brings more negativity. But the energy may be still accumulated inside you. Release the energy in a physical way free of harm to yourself or others. Boxing class? Right in this moment you can perhaps hit the pillow or a mattress? Go for a run?
Step 6: Self care time.
It’s quite likely, you are / were also angry with yourself… for allowing this to happen, for playing a role in the conflict, or that you didn’t remove yourself from the situation much earlier. Maybe there were some red flags, but you moved forward anyway.
Now that you released the energy in step 5, come to a place of calm within.
Don’t blame yourself. This is also not a solution. This is a moment when you can start forgiving yourself. Have compassion for yourself. By now you probably feel a bit better. Bring your attention to the area of your heart. Create a feeling of comfort, love and compassion around it. If you do, you will get in touch with the softer side of you that can only be loved. And forgiven.
No matter if you just forgive yourself or have the strength to forgive others, this is an act of self care. You do it for yourself. Your peace of mind. Your health. Don’t rush yet to forgive others. First step is to forgive yourself.
7. Create new agreements.
Take a look again at what happened in that situation. How could this part of life, this situation be handled better? What was your responsibility? Simply: what can you learn from this?
Now is the moment when you can be proactive. So take the responsibility. Step into the more powerful version of you. Make a promise to yourself that this will never happen again to you. You have the right to change (yourself, what you attract, your energy) at any moment in your life. You have the right to say no. Just because you respect yourself. Now create new agreements how you will handle similar situations. Set emotional and physical boundaries.
Now make new agreements with yourself.
Visualize yourself living according to your new rules.
Keep just the page with your new agreements. Agreements that help you live in peace.
Shred the rest.