Do you have a problem with anger? If so, here are three tips to help you to take control of your anger.
Many people judge anger as a negative emotion. This is because they’ve generally only seen the aggressive side of anger. But anger is energy to stand up for yourself. It tells you that something’s wrong and that someone’s crossed a boundary and anger provides energy to take positive action in your life. There is an ‘assertive’ side of anger (as opposed to it’s aggressive counterpart) which you may want to befriend and harness.
When you judge anger as ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’, you suppress the associated energy within your body. You put on your mask and try to get on with life, but you have a ticking time bomb within you because anger cannot be contained for very long. Eventually you will explode and it is generally the ones you love the most that get hurt when this happens. In essence, you take your anger out on others. You can become scary and irrational and you yell and scream and this is why many people judge anger as a ‘bad’ emotion. This is the aggressive expression of anger.
But when you learn to accept the energy of anger in your body, you harness its power. You no longer need to bully and belittle others and you can use this energy to your advantage. You can use this energy to motivate you to stand up for your rights and take positive action.
When you find yourself faced with the emotion of anger and when you allow the energy to ‘be there’ in your body, you can:
Speak assertively to resolve the situation without judgement, blame or criticism. Here you state the facts as you see them, the way the police do in their reporting. For example, if you purchased something and you find out the goods are faulty, you could say ‘I purchased this a while back and I’ve noticed that <describe the problem without judgement> and I’m wondering if there is anything that can be done about it?’ When you approach a problem in this manner, people will generally go out of their way to help you and to resolve the situation. If you approach the same sales person in an angry manner and say ‘you sold me faulty goods and I want you to replace them immediately’, you’ll probably find yourself running into more problems!
Another example is if a friend has said something to upset you, saying something like ‘ouch, that really hurt’ can often open an important discussion and is much more effective than saying ‘why do you have to be so mean?’ which is purely your judgement.
Discharge the energy. Sometimes people are not open to discussing the situation and sometimes the situation doesn’t involve a person at all. When this happens, it is important to discharge the energy. Some ways I’ve found useful are:
* Bashing a pillow.
* Screaming and yelling whilst you’re alone (you can have the music turned up loud whilst you do this).
* Writing it down on paper and then burning it.
* Closing your eyes and pretending to speak to the person ‘as if’ they were there. Quite often you feel anger because you haven’t said something and this technique can be useful.
Quite often, underneath the emotion of anger lies sadness and fear. The reason I mention this is because as you perform any of the above, don’t be surprised if you start crying or shaking. It’s purely energy moving through your body, so allow it to happen. Don’t judge it as ‘wrong’ and tell yourself that you’re crazy because if you allow the energy to be there, you will come back to calm. The irony is that when you allow all of your emotions to be felt rather than suppressed, you become mentally and emotionally strong! Get help. If your anger is lingering and if you find yourself ruminating on an issue or if you feel powerless and are stuck in a state of blame, you’ve probably got a traumatised part that needs help. When you get help for this part, you set yourself free. Remember, anger is okay, but taking your anger out on others is not!
If you want to learn more, have a read of my book I Should Be Happy But I’m Not or sign up to my FREE three-part video training series on emotional fitness at http://heidi.com.au
Article by Heidi di Santo