Using your anger to make positive changes in your life
I was so mad I just exploded in rage. How many times have you heard someone say, "That wasn't very mature of you," after you have lost your temper. A lot of people think that getting angry is a sign of loss of control, weakness. And sometimes it is. But that doesn’t mean that expressing anger is not healthy. How we express our anger can be helpful or harmful to us and others.
Most people try to be good natured. Few people believe that acting out their unbridled anger is a good thing. But it is natural for people to get angry.
Finding healthy ways to express our anger can be difficult. But the truth is that we cannot deal with our anger without experiencing it and expressing it first. And we cannot deal with our anger until we acknowledge that it is there and we have valid reasons for it.
Some people believe that the best way to deal with anger is to put it out of your mind and just "think good thoughts." But that is not dealing with anger, because it stays somewhere deep inside of you until you do deal with it.
Anger is, in fact, a heathy reaction to some situations. One person told me that anger is a blanket that covers our pain. It prevents us from feeling how much we have been hurt.
Anger is a valuable emotional response - as valuable as happiness or grief. It may not be pleasant, but it is essential. How often has anger moved you to make needed changes in your life or helped you to confront someone or something?
Anger may seem bad, but it can be an opening to peace and calm. When the body gets injured, it feels pain. The pain is a message to that part of the body . It says "I hurt". In the same way, anger can draw attention to problems that need further examination. If you don't find a healthy way to express the anger, it can turn inward, making you physically sick or cause you to lash out and do something you might regret later.
We live in a society that does not understand anger, and certainly does not know how to process it. Think about that for a moment. Do we teach our children how to express their anger in a healthy way? Or do we teach them to stuff their anger rather to experience it find ways to use it to help them change things?
We know that one of the best ways to relate to one another is through our feelings. We tend to find sadness a more acceptable feeling than anger. People in sorrow may not be able to explain themselves, but when someone is sad and crying, we know how they feel even if we don't know what it is about. We empathize and meet on that common ground of feeling. When I was a child, I learned that showing my emotions was bad, especially my anger. Anger can be frightening. Watching a parent express their anger can be very scary to a child.
Responsible ways to express anger
Were you ever taught how to express your anger or when it might be appropriate and how? Taking responsibility for your anger allows you to control it instead of it controlling you. Taking responsibility for your anger begins with being honest with yourself. That means taking a moment to think, "I'm angry about..." The responsible expression of anger is healthy. Everyone has issues that can be triggered and there will always be people to trigger us. In fact, some people who, "make us angry" can provide us with opportunities to heal old issues. If you never find healthy ways to get angry, you might not get to the next step in healing recurring issues and removing blocks to your happiness.
The secret to constructive anger lies in the ability to respond rather than react to anger-producing circumstances. Here are some tips for dealing responsibly with anger: before lashing out
1. Acknowledge that something has happened that makes you angry. There is no shame in anger.
2. Take responsibility for it! You don't need to lash out on another person. He or she may have be the trigger, but is not the source of your anger.
3. Express it! Remember you have a right to be angry, so get it out safely. The more you do, the less it builds into rage. Let it out. You may want to write about it first to help you identify exactly what you are angry about.
4. Make a statement about your anger. Feelings of hurt, frustration, or fear may be underneath the anger. If you let it out, you'll get to its roots.
4. Trust your feelings! The anger is there for a reason. If it overwhelms you, then ask for help. You could ask God to come into the situation to lead me through it to peace. Or ask a friend to listen while you talk about why you are angry and ask for feedback.
5. Respect it! Anger is a powerful emotion that deserves your respect and attention. Some people do not make changes in their lives because they ignore their anger and what it is trying to tell them. When it comes to society, anger can motivate people to protest an injustice and bring about change. Anger is passionate and usually carries important messages. Listening to it is wise.
6. Profit from it! There is a lot to be gained from paying attention to your angry feelings. You can actually learn to appreciate your anger. After you have expressed your anger, clearly and honestly examine how you did and what you felt. Learn what things trigger your anger and know that you are capable of dealing with anger constructively. Experience it first -- analyze and profit from it later!
Anger is rooted in fear, revenge, pride -- all of these things. Anger is the blanket that hides what lies beneath. When you accept your anger, you take back the power you lost when you suppressed it. When you deal responsibly with your anger you learn to control it, instead of it controlling you. You can now use this power to resolve long-standing issues and to promote your own healing.
Because we live in a society that does not deal well with it, our anger may be our most misunderstood emotion. But it can actually be the key to greater self understanding. When handled responsibly, anger can actually be a friend. Conversely, when repressed or uncontrolled, anger can be damaging and destructive. So whenever you are angry, think of the experience as a good friend encouraging you to look at a deep truth.