Posted by: Lea | June 25, 2009

Releasing Anger

Anger as a Motivating or Destructive Force

 

Anger is something we all experience and can be a great motivating or destructive force. Anger can be triggered by feeling offended, betrayed, taken advantage of, being inconvenienced and countless other emotional triggers. Most times, the situation can be cleared up by talking to the other person or people involved. There are times, though, that talking it out is not possible, either because the other person is inflexible in their position, they’re unable to see your side or they’re are unavailable for one reason or another.

As I studied and practiced certain concepts on my path for self improvement and personal evolution, my perception of the things that would have previously triggered anger in me, altered until I found that I had reached a point that people’s words and behavior didn’t affect me as much as they did in the past. That is not to say I never get angry now, after all I’m not a saint or a Yogini, but if I do get angry, it’s usually to a lesser degree and dissipates quickly.

Releasing Destructive Anger

 

Some techniques I have found useful in releasing anger is to go for a walk. Being outside and in nature is healing, at least for me. If I find my anger is strong and more difficult to release, I will rant to myself out loud. Of course, I make sure I’m by myself when I do this and I don’t talk louder than my normal voice. If I’m out walking and ranting, by the time I return home, my anger is gone and I’m feeling more like myself.

Another method I was told about a few years ago and have found to be useful is writing out my anger on paper. After I write until I’ve exhausted all my anger, I leave it until the next day. The following day I read what I wrote, then I destroy it; some recommendations are to burn it. Sometimes I write it as a letter to the person I feel the anger towards. It’s a great way to release anger and to initiate healing from emotional wounds, whether they are old or new. I’ve also heard this method with a recommendation to write over a period of two or three days before reading it for the last time a day later. I think that might be a suggestion if your anger doesn’t show signs of dissipating after one session. Another variation suggests using a timer, set for ten minutes, while writing. Setting a time frame can help you to dig deeper into your feelings and bring them to the surface. Thoughts and feelings that might have been repressed and buried previously, need to be exposed and examined for release and healing to occur.

Some other anger release activities people use is to hit pillows or cushions, even throwing pillows at a wall, do their exercise or workout routine, either at home or at the gym. Some will do chores around the house or in the yard, etc.

Anger does have positive aspects and can be a great motivator for taking action and initiating changes that will improve ourselves or circumstances in our lives. But it also has a destructive aspect in that our emotions can distort our perceptions and thoughts in such a way that we can behave irrationally. It can also lead to feelings of resentment if we’re not able to let it go. This only leads to further misery. These destructive aspects of anger is what makes it important to find constructive ways to release it, so that we can move on to more pleasant feelings and experiences.

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Responses

  1. You wouldn’t believe that releasing anger concerns my PC, sometimes. Indeed, I am very angry at my computer, occasionally. Shouting at it with harsh words is what I do then to get rid of my frustration. Nobody is around then to hear, I am not behaving like a lady in such moments. This helps me very much.

  2. Good suggestions.

    Going for a walk is what I do when I get angry – even a short one around the block to get rid of some of that energy helps. Listening to music works for me too; it’s like pressing the ‘reset’ button.

  3. Excellent words of wisdom.
    It is our own thoughts that determine how we feel about everything. Though we cannot nor is it our responsibility to…control another’s thoughts and/or actions we in fact control how we allow those thoughts and/or actions to effect us and how we feel. Once we can identify with the reasoning of self-control…life does tend to be much more pleasant.

  4. I have gone for walks, listened to music, cried, wrote, and just took deep breaths to release the anger. I don’t think I stay angry very long as I don’t like the feeling of that emotion. I tell myself that it is my choice in what I am going to feel. no one can make you feel anyway. you choose to feel that way, whether it be angry, happy, sad, excited, or whatever. I am having a hard time right now going through this menopause crap. the mood swings are insane. so totally not me. great post lea!

  5. I am going to try this again, it doesn’t appear to have worked last time.

    great post! i have done the walking, listening to music, writing, crying, and just taking some deep breaths to release the anger. Ii don’t tend to stay angry very long as i don’t like the feeling of it. like Dorothy said, we all choose our emotions and I would rather not choose the anger one.

  6. The way that works best for me is to vent to someone who will not take it personally or think less of whatever I am venting about. I find it is a great release. I do the listening for other people who need to vent too so they can release whatever is bothering them. Thanks for sharing this.

    Love and Blessings,
    AngelBaby

  7. Hi Lea,

    Most of my anger is associated with my fear. Usually I am angry because I am frightened of a certain outcome and my warnings are not being heeded….but that is linked to my fear of being blamed and of the injustice of being ignored…when I stop being afraid, my anger starts to dissolve.

    Like you I find healing in nature.

    xhenry


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