What do you do when you feel angry?
Is that even a feeling that you allow yourself to express?
All too often when that flush of emotion arises, we make ourselves wrong for feeling it and get stuck in patterns of guilt and ‘stuffing down’ our anger. It’s an uncomfortable emotion that most people don’t like to experience or witness.
When we don’t give voice to this emotion, leave it unresolved or express anger in an unhealthy way, it not only create havoc inside our bodies but also erupts when we least expect it. Unresolved anger will literally destroy your relationships just because it creeps into every aspect of your life just waiting – like a volcano – to explode and release the stress that anger creates.
The purpose of this article is to discuss feelings that can lead to anger and effective ways to express and resolve anger.
The Warning Signs
We’ve all experienced anger, but often it still creeps up unexpectedly. Noticing the physical changes in our bodies can help alert you to the fact that you’re becoming angry. Some physical signs may include:
- stomach discomfort
- tightness in the jaw
- tense muscles
- flushed face
- racing heartbeat
And you may even feel dizzy or be somewhat shaking.
We almost never experience one emotion at a time. When we’re triggered or become angry, there’s almost always something else that’s happening in the background. These many include:
How To Resolve Anger
Take Deep Breaths: One of the most effective and immediate solutions to a sudden rush of anger is to take deliberate deep breaths, with the exhale being purposefully longer than the inhale. As you practice this technique, you’ll notice that it becomes more and more effective at producing feelings of calm and control.
Count To Ten: Counting is more of a distraction than an actual resolution of angry feelings, but can give you the time and space to form a response to the stimulus, as opposed to a reaction. Taking a moment to create space for clarity is never a bad thing.
Take A Break: Remove yourself from the situation and get outside for some fresh air and a new perspective. Similarly to counting to 10, taking break will allow you to have the space to formulation a response instead of reacting in anger.
Exercise: Nothing shifts your mindset faster than a run or intensive workout. An exercise regime can offer more clarity, a healthier mindset and enhanced mental functioning. All of these will aid you in not only mitigating the emotions surrounding your anger, but also in developing resilience to intense emotions and being better able to respond versus react.
Journaling: The most effective tool in understanding and ultimately being able to predict and control your anger is to journal around the events of each time you experience anger. The more you reflect on the events surrounding the experience and the feelings that were elicited, the greater your understanding of what triggers you will be. The questions below are meant to provoke thought and provide insight.
- What provoked the anger?
- What thoughts occurred as you got angry?
- What was your mood right before it happened?
- What did you feel in your body?
- How did you react? Did you leave, act out (such as bang the door or hit something or someone), or say something sarcastic?
- How did others react to you?
- What were your emotions immediately after the incident?
- What were your feelings a few hours after the episode?
Journaling around these ideas will not only provide insight into your patterns of emotion and behaviour, but give insight into what triggers you. Creating awareness around your triggers (and their origin) is what will ultimately assist you in changing your behaviour.
Screaming alone into the universe on a desolate road or beating into a pillow are also valid forms of expression. The point is, to get the anger out in a healthy way.
Anger is a normal and natural emotion. The expression of this anger is also normal and natural provided that it is handled directly and in a healthy manner. When we find ways to express this emotion, we develop more healthy ways of managing our emotions while giving voice to the feelings that lie beneath.
To express your anger in a healthy way and not make yourself wrong for feeling it, is ultimately the goal.
PS: If you’re struggling with feeling angry and it’s impacting your performance or relationships, we should talk.
Katrina Murphy is a Professional Intuitive Mindset and Confidence Coach in Ontario, Canada, serving clients across Canada and internationally. Katrina helps professionals to change the relationship that they have with themselves so they can reconnect both in their relationships and at work. She’s been featured in various publications and is the creator of the Power-Passion-Purpose Framework.