How To Handle Your Anger.

what to do about anger

June, 2013
Are you open to talk about anger? Specifically about your anger?

Never feel it? True – we are able to train our mind to be free, most of the time, from the draining and negative emotions. Ask anyone who practices mindfulness. Anyone who rewired their brain to focus on positive. But the “bad” emotions are still available to us.  At any time. What do you feel when people disappoint you? Someone broke a promise, you faced injustice, you were betrayed, lied to, misunderstood and judged. Even small, daily things that bother you sometimes add up, and one day you have enough. What do you feel then? Some people want to act on it immediately. Some – cover it up with “well, that’s just the way it is”. Others pretend that everything is ok.

Anger may show up suddenly. Or accumulate over the years. One thing is sure: anger is a powerful force…

What can we do about it?
  • How do you express anger without damaging your relationship, reputation or someone’s car? (the post is coming)
  • And if you suppressed it, but it’s still sitting inside you, causing heart and liver problems, or if it’s simmering in the back of your mind never letting you be completely free of it, free to feel joy… How do you go about that?  (please read my next post – The 7 steps) and make sure you check out this excellent article:

Do anything. But don’t ignore. Listen to your anger. Listen to all of  your emotions. They are real and you can’t deny them. The “bad” ones are telling you: something isn’t right. Do something. Take responsibility. The good ones show you where to go. All emotions are teaching you about yourself. You can create a personal manual based on what you feel. Though it doesn’t mean that you should act based on the emotions, only.

Anger is a creative force.

Julia Cameron surprised me back in 2009, when I read “The Artist Way”. She wrote:

“Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice, a shout, a plea, a demand. Anger is meant to be respected. Why? Because anger is a map. Anger shows us what our boundaries are. Anger shows us where we want to go. It lets us see where we’ve been and lets us know when we haven’t liked it. Anger points the way, not just the finger.”

“Anger is meant to be acted upon. It is not meant to be acted out. Anger points the direction”

…but anger is a scary thing.

Or maybe you are afraid of anger. You have seen someone expressing it and you don’t want to be that person. You are right. Anger is a conversation stopper. Relationship destroyer. You may be afraid to express it because you don’t want to lose control, hurt someone, be the crazy person, and you are so afraid of the pain that may come up with it. The fear may be subconscious. So unless the other person knows that you are just working thru it- in a healing process- work on the anger in a safe space where no one will be harmed, do it with a therapist, alone, or in a safe, supportive group that gathered for this purpose. If you are still afraid, did you consider what may be on the other side? Purification, catharsis, clear sky… Face it. Do it. Go thru it.

Any time I think about fear, any type of fear,  I remember this:

“I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.”  Frank Herbert  – “Dune”

 Did you learn how to express anger constructively in a relationship or at work? It would be great if you could share your process in the comments below. Every person may have a different method! And if you are open to find relief in coaching  please schedule your session. We can resolve your anger in coaching, or hypnotherapy, or both.

  • Shannon says:

    Thanks for this post Joanna, it reminds me of my Grandpa, he was a very angry man all his life, and it was only when he was on his hospital bed, looking out the window towards Table Mountain that he managed to appreciate the beauty of everything that surrounded him. Almost too little, too late. I always think he missed out on a life of happiness because he just couldn’t let go of his anger towards the world, and to himself.

  • That is so sad, Shannon… and you described it so beautifully. I appreciate it. Few sentences and there is a whole story in it with a moral. It brings to my mind stories how people don’t want to let go off their pain because it is theirs. There is a metaphorical story in Debbie Ford’s book about a woman who was swimming across a lake with a rock in her hand. She was struggling more and more and people called “drop the rock, drop the rock” and when she was drowning she managed to say ” I can’t. it is my rock.” Nobody would admit they do it, yet we do it. In our own way.

  • Artur says:

    I’ve learned to manage anger by observing it. I step back, let it happen, acknowledge it and see the emotion happening. When I do this, it usually quickly dissipates. By observing it I can get a better understanding of what triggered it, usually these are things that really don’t matter, but even if they do, it becomes easier to work through the process.

    • Thank you for sharing. This is a great example… You use mindfulness to go thru possibly a difficult moment – and instead of letting anger overpower you- you overpower it.

  • lipase says:

    I think I struggle with suppressed anger from childhood and suppressed emotions generally. I’m trying to organise some psychotherapy for myself

    • Joanna says:

      It’s a good thing that you recognized you struggle with it, and that you sensed there is a better way. Most of us undervalue therapy, but it’s such a smart thing to do- for self care. I hope you will find a great therapist.

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