Expressing Anger in Healthy Ways
Anger is one emotion that most of us try to avoid. For some it's scary, for others it's uncomfortable, and still, others were taught that it wasn't okay to express it so they shut it down. Plus there are many other reasons anger often gets pushed aside and that is why it often gets blown up later and can cause all kinds of hurt and upset in our relationships. That is not really what we are going for now is it? I don't think so.
The problem with anger isn't the feeling itself, it's the fact that most people aren't taught how to deal with it in healthy ways. They are instead taught that it's bad or wrong and to bottle it up. Well we all know that is no good now either. So what can we do?
First recognize when you feel angry, get to know your anger, figure out what makes you angry and why. This is all part of learning about yourself and being your own best friend. Understanding yourself and why you feel the way you feel when you feel different emotions is a great way to befriend yourself and be patient and gentle with yourself. The better we understand ourselves the nicer we will be to ourselves. This is just one step.
Next once you notice the anger, start to notice what your default reactions are. What do you normally do when angry? Then try your best to not default to that same setting, just notice and be aware that the desire to do so exists. This is the first step to changing the pattern. If you normally yell, try not to this time and keep an even tone as best as you can. If you normally get violent, do your best to refrain from it and take a walk instead. Walking involves moving the body and getting the blood flowing which gets you away from whatever you may be violent towards and that's what you need. If you normally shut down, try instead to talk about it and give your anger a voice.
Know that it is okay to feel anger and it's okay to express anger, it just has to be done in a safe and healthy way. The best way to do this is by first being aware, next changing the pattern, and thirdly finding a way to calmly talk about it with the other person. This is harder because they too are likely to default to their usual way of dealing with things. When it comes to sharing with others it helps if they too are trying to be more aware and make changes themselves, but it is not necessary. You can still be the one to approach the situation calmly and express yourself in gentle ways, that focuses on the feelings and not on the other person or the "thing" that triggered your anger.
When I say focus on the feelings what I mean is you share how you are feeling by stating "I feel.... " In this case you would say "I feel angry, or I feel anger." Then express that anger without blaming the other person. This is the most important step next to using feeling statements. You and the other person must understand that you are not angry because of them or something they did. Whatever it was that happened was simply a trigger that you carry that causes anger in you. It is not the person themselves so do your best to avoid the blame and shame game. No blaming or shaming others, that is not what expression is about, yet so many people do this when they are angry because it's their default. That is why it's important to become more aware of what your defaults are so you can do this differently in the long run.
How do you feel about all this?
Can you see how expressing anger in unhealthy ways just hurts those around you?
Do you want to find a better way to express yourself?
I am here to help.
Blessings beautiful souls.