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Home » Behavior, Featured, Happiness, Headline, Managing Emotions, Self Esteem

How to Handle Anger

Submitted by on July 2, 2013 – 12:44 amNo Comment


Author: Michal Ron

Different Ways to Handle Anger / Michal Ron

In America it is considered impolite to be angry. People hardly ever allow themselves to admit their anger or to express it. Not knowing what to do with our anger is, I believe, one of the main reasons so many Americans are depressed or lonely. Learning how to handle our anger so that we manage our anger and not our anger manages our life can give an upward spin to our quality of life.

Many of us are not even aware of our anger. Even when being asked, we say we are not angry. All we feel is that depression or a lack of energy. You see, the natural direction of anger is outwards. If we block its way outwards, because it is considered impolite to be angry, and being impolite is a horrible thing in America, we take a lot of energy just in order to block another lot of energy from going out. Other people describe it as the original anger energy, not being able to go outward, turns inward and works against ourselves. In any case, not being to express anger leaves us depressed and depleted of any energy.

On the physical plane, after working with hundreds of people I have come to the conclusion that much too many maladies find their root in anger that was not properly released. Among those we can find almost all kinds of stress, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and even cancer. It is not surprising then, that all those are considered ‘number one killers’ in a country where it is considered inappropriate to express anger.

It aggravates me time and again when I see so many people I love suffer so much due to anger, and paying those terribly high prices we pay due to anger:
a. Inability to love and be loved: When we are angry we cannot see the good intention of the other party. We also cannot feel these healing sensations of trust and love towards that person.
b. Losing relationships: Too often, especially in America, I have noticed people who give up relationships and what we gain from these, because of anger. Sometimes we don’t only give up the relationship with the person we are angry at, or the people that are his/her friends, but also we stop going to the places we like if we think we might meet them there, or that we cannot enjoy our staying there if they are there as well. This is because their presence triggers those feelings of anger.
c. Loosing peace of mind: When we are angry we cannot think of anything else. Our mind is totally attached and attracted to the subject, the situation, or the person that make us angry. This is because anger is an emotional reaction to being hurt, and it has such a strong holding on our mind so that we take care of that hurt.

Things We Can Do In Order to Appease Our Anger
Before anything else, we need to unload this unpleasant energy called anger, as its staying in the body makes us physically sick and mentally depressed.
We do not need the other party to be there, to listen, or to be attentive to our feelings. Expressing anger, i.e. – pushing it out, is something we have to do with ourselves, and better do it alone.
There are a few ways to let our anger out of the system, and most of them are physical and vocal.

1. Shouting
The most common way, that is often recommended and used, sometimes without control, is SHOUTING. When alone in the car – shout! It can be at night, on the highway, with the windows closed, or you can go somewhere out in nature, it does not really matter where, when, and how – as long as you are not hurting other people, just shout! It is better if you shout what you actually shout what you wanted to say, but even a long long ahhhhhhhhhhh….. will do. Don’t stop until you feel it’s enough. Let yourself have it all out.
If you can’t go out of your home or don’t have a car, why not shouting into a pillow? Or go into a closet and shout there? Even shouting into a dresser with cloths in it will do.
I know it might not sound too good, but it’s probably one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Remember that most of the time in the Western civilization taking a bath was considered inappropriate…

2. Physical Action
Physical action, like hitting pillows, pushing, swimming, running, or going up and down the stairs could do miracles to reduce your anger (and improve your health).
If anger is a stuck energy that wants to go out, so by letting out a lot of energy you enable that original stuck angry energy to go out as well.
Anger often arises due to an original feeling of helplessness. By doing something physical you regain your feeling of potency again, and thus do a lot to appease your anger.
One of my clients in Israel has even developed her special method of expressing anger, which she is very proud of – and justly so. She would put a few big pillows on the floor, and would go up and down with her body, almost reaching to a squatting position, shouting at the pillows and hitting them. She urged me to share that trick of her’s with other people, so I do.

3. Saying NO
Working with people I have found time and again that just saying ‘no’ or ‘fuy’ does a lot to reduces stress and anger. ‘NO’ is another inappropriate word in America, just like ‘I am angry’, and thus just saying it can help a lot to discharge all that extra emotional and physical tension.

4. Anger Letters
Before anything else, it should be clear that anger letters ARE NOT TO BE SENT!!! Those letters we write are in order to express our anger and let it out of the system. Just like shouting, hitting pillows or saying no, just like going to the toilets, this is also something we do in private, and it has no relevance to other people. Never try to mail your anger letters!
Having said that I want to add that anger letters could also be hate letters – according to your scale of feelings. The idea is to sit down and write down all your anger, hatred, disappointment, and other feelings. It can even be 4 pages full of cursing. Again, as you are not sending those letters, you can write whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be true, it doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be real, it’s just another way, a very efficient one, to vent your anger.
I usually recommend to start with 3-5 pages in the first letter, and afterwards to see how it goes. Writing 1-2 pages daily for 2 months can change who you are! People might even start thinking you are a very calm person…
If you really want to write those letters but nothing comes out, try just filling 3 pages with ‘I am angry, I am angry, I am angry, I am angry’.
Much too often we just hold anger in our body. It can be anger that is waiting there since we were 2 months old and had to wait 5 minutes too much for the bottle. We don’t always know where all this anger comes from and what is its reason, and to be honest – it does not even matter. All that matters is that anger is there, and writing 3 pages of ‘I am angry’ can do a lot to appease it and heal us.

Just like excrement anger has no value for itself, but if we don’t let it out of our system it makes us sick.

We are the only one who can release anger from our body, thoughts and feelings.
It is most important to give ourselves a lot of credit for daring to express anger. Remember that by doing so we are daring for the first time, maybe, to go against what we were taught and what is considered appropriate in American culture. It might feel like taking our cloths off and be naked, and that is actually what we do – we are taking our feelings and bringing them up and out to the light, so we can see them.
If it is terribly difficult and feels awkward or artificial, don’t be surprised. I am sure that when you just started sitting or walking for the first time it also didn’t feel that natural, right?
Yet, if you feel you need some help doing it, maybe only at the beginning, there is always the option of turning to another person who can guide you and support you when you are doing your first steps in releasing anger.

One Step Further: Healing Anger
Having expressed our anger, there comes the second stage, the stage of healing, so that compassion takes on the place of anger.
The first axiom when we come to heal anger is that the person or the situation that supposedly cause our anger have nothing to do with our anger!!!
I know this sounds strange, but this axiom is pretty much crucial if we really want to heal our anger, and the ancient pain that causes it to arise in the present.
You see, the person or the situation that causes our anger are but triggers that bring up to the surface old wounds and pain.
It is like a person with a wound. If he is touched it does not hurt. But if someone touches the wound – even unintentionally or unknowingly, it would be terribly painful, and the person would probably get very upset, even angry.
The point is that most people, us included, do not know of our wounds and so do not really understand why we are so hurt and angry.
I believe that if we really check into our past and our beliefs, question them and heal them, we’ll be able to see that the cause of our anger or sense of inability to change the situation is rooted in an ancient pain, and has only very little to do with the present situation or person.
It makes it easier to forgive, eh? 😉

Checking our Beliefs
Much too often we are angry due to a belief. If we question this belief we might lose all grounding to our anger. If we choose to adopt another belief we might even heal our anger, as well as other situations and relationships that might have aggravated us in the past or that might cause us pain in the future.
And it works thus:
– When we are angry we should ask ourselves: ‘Why am I angry’.
– The answer would be: ‘Because ….’
– Then we should ask ourselves: ‘What belief enables me to think that this is a good enough reason to be angry?’
– And the answer would be: ‘She/He/They/It should have ….’
That means that we believe that things should be a certain way, or that people should behave a certain way. And you see – this is not an absolute, universal truth, this is but a belief! It does not have to be true! It might be that other people do not share that same belief with us!
After having released our anger as suggested above, we could go to the other party and ask them – ‘Do you believe that …?’; ‘Do we mutually agree about things having to be this way?’
Maybe the answer would be ‘no’. Maybe the other party does not share with us the same beliefs!
For example – I might think that taking down the garbage is Jonathan’s role. But maybe he doesn’t see things that way. Instead of being upset every time I take down the garbage we can talk about who takes down the garbage. If he should insist that he is never supposed to take down the garbage I can turn anger into choice – choose if I am willing to live with a person who will never take down the garbage, or looking for a person with whom I have a mutual set of expectations and agreements.

Checking Our Past
And what if we both agree that it is his role to take down the garbage, yet time and again he forgets?
In that case I would go to the second stage of healing. The first stage was checking my beliefs, becoming aware of them and discussing them in order to reach a point of mutual agreement. The second stage would be looking back into my past and revealing my ancient wounds by checking what kind of situation does it remind me of, or who treated me this way in the past?
In the second stage of healing we have to examine our deeper feelings and see what is it really that I feel – Disappointed? Redundant? Ignored?
And then I should ask myself – when and why did I feel this way in the past? It is the core feelings and situations that I want to heal, and when these ancient wounds will be healed my anger will disappear. It is important to note that mostly we are not talking of only one event, but of many little and bigger things that happened to us and never got a chance to be attended to and heal. In any case, this kind of examination will enable the ancient grieving to surface so that they can be healed.
This grieving work of healing past wounds is an utterly new chapter. In a few words I can recommend taking the time to mourn and cry, and treating ourselves most compassionately – taking care of ourselves the way we needed to be taken care of. This work very often is better done with an appropriate guide – someone we trust and can confide in. But doing this work is the final stage of freeing ourselves from past hurts and wounds and starting to live a new life – Life as an adult person who can take good care of his or her physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs, a person who has enough free energy and attention to really be there with other people, so that he/ she can love and be loved.

Good luck!

Michal Ron, B.A. in psychology, instructor in the Grinberg method (2nd level), and alternative therapist lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, and work with people privately and in small groups in order to solve and grow out of physical, mental, emotional, and behavior issues.
For further information and private consultation:

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Come, give it a try, and see for yourself!!!

August 2005

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About the Author

Michal Ron, B.A. in psychology, instructor in the Grinberg method (2nd level), and alternative therapist lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, and work with people privately and in small groups in order to solve and grow out of physical, mental, emotional, and behavior issues.

For further information and private consultation:

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