Over the past 19 years I have had a private practice working in and teaching holistic health care, which gives me quite a bit of experience in working with people. One of the things I would like to share with you is how often I meet clients and /or students who have difficulty expressing their anger. They end up holding it in and bottling it up instead of letting it out in manageable ways. Men are especially likely to do this, however it is not an exclusively male trait!
One way we might see ourselves as suppressing our anger is transferring unresolved anger onto situations that maybe do not warrant it. For example you may become overly upset when driving and start feeling that surging rush of adrenalin. Unfortunately, suppressing your anger can lead to health issues. Studies have found that some people who do not express their anger transform it into physical ailments. These may include such symptoms as headaches and stomachaches. Even serious illnesses have been indicated as being aggravated or possibly induced by suppressing our feelings. Anger is emotion and can be safely released without doing damage to ourselves or others. Instead of bottling up your anger, learn how to let it out in non-aggressive ways.
Try the Following:
- Learn to recognize your own personal physical signs of anger, such as headaches or tense muscles. Once you realize you are angry, take some time to determine the cause of the anger and take steps toward resolving it.
- When you are angry, distinguish between the mildly annoying and the infuriating. Like the driving analogy mentioned above. Look at what else you may be feeling when you are most angry. Do you have a sense of lack of power? Do you feel guilty? Is there confusion or a sense of unfairness at the basis of the feeling? Recognizing your anger and identifying where it comes from may help with constructive expression.
- Exercise is so useful in releasing angry and pent-up feelings, both immediate and long-term. We all know that moving the body is important to our health and well-being, well here’s another reason to add some form of daily exercise to your wellness plan.
- Try talking things over with a good friend. I don’t mean get into the habit of moaning and whining, I mean take the time to express your feelings and then let it go.
- Consider using psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, or spiritual counseling to deal with your anger. Sometimes we just cannot do it all alone. And of course, do not forget to bring meditation and relaxation into your life. Take time for yourself to just sit and breathe quietly. I recommend ten long slow deep breaths at least once a day. This can help bring calmness throughout your body, mind, spirit and emotions. Meditation is easy to learn, start by finding a quiet spot and counting your breaths.
- And remember to treat yourself to some type of bodywork, whether it be an aromatherapy massage, a reflexology or reiki treatment once a month, when someone else can look after you!
- And sometimes we just have to ‘put on our angry pants’ and get good and angry … feel the emotion and stomp, shout and have a good old temper trantrum. It releases the anger beautifully from our body, right down to our cells. Just be angry … don’t turn it on anyone or anything!
Remember, that anger sometimes is just a reminder that we need to take some time out to care for ourselves and put our needs first. If you would like to learn more, please drop me an email or call for an appointment.