When you are angry, you might feel like you want to explode at the whole world. During these times, you are feeling hurt.
Sometimes you might even hurt others without realizing it, or you might hurt others intentionally. Instead of bottling up your anger or exploding at
someone, you can express your anger productively. Calm yourself down and work on
understanding your anger and other emotions.
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Then you can communicate your anger in an assertive manner that will be less likely to hurt
the other person.
I’ve had many clients tell me, “Prowess, my anger i
out of control.”
I ask, “What makes you say that?” I often hear things like, “The other day I was so angry I
wanted to punch someone.” “Well, did you punch someone?” is my next question. The answer, “No.” Then your anger is not out of control. Simply feeling it does not equal out of control. Going off and punching someone that’s a different conversation. But feeling angry is not bad. And allowing ourselves to consciously express that anger is actually very healthy, both emotionally and physically. Pent-up anger makes us sick. Health expression is good.
Here are healthy ways to express it.
- Vent to a friend (it’s very therapeutic!).
You may want to give the friend fair warning that you are really going to get into it. When you do
vent, really exaggerate it.
However, if it becomes constant venting, always about the same topic, it’s no longer therapeutic.
At that point it becomes recontamination, which is not good for our mind, body, spirit, or the friendship.
- Write a letter.
Getting these feelings out on paper can be really beneficial. Once dumped out onto a page, it can stop stewing in our bodies and rolling around in our thoughts. The clarity we get from writing is an added bonus. Again, for the first writing really get into it. You can always edit later if you do decide to send it.
- Scream into a pillow or in your car.
I have learned you might want to announce the scream first — I’ve scared the crap out of my brother with this one on the phone when, out of nowhere, I screamed. (He is used to it now and knows I do it when I am tense or angry and need a release.) Also be warned you might find yourself laughing uncontrollably after a good
- Use the tennis racket method.
Make sure you use a pillow that can handle the force of you hitting it with a tennis racket. I
personally have an old ottoman that is perfect for this method. If you do this, pause when you are
finished and notice what you feel in your body.
- Talk to the person you’re angry with in a healthy way.
That means watching out for name calling and blaming. You might need to try methods 1 through 4 above to prepare yourself for this one.
Once you’ve allowed anger to move through you in a healthy and safe way, you’ll find yourself
clearer about how to move forward. You might also be surprised to find you feel physically better.
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