Personal Development and Happiness: Releasing Anger
In personal development, one of the main goals is to achieve happiness. What often stands in the way are “negative” emotions that linger on. Most people have some of these emotions, either repressed or lasting with no outlet. Some are low level, some are strong.
Recognising that you have this sadness or anger bottled up inside you, or dealing with lower level emotions are articles that can be found on the Urban Monk website. I am focusing on letting out anger on this article because I feel it is one of the worst. It is crippling; it colours everything you do in your life and is often linked with depression.
Anger is crippling
I used to suffer from massively pent-up emotions; while I was often described as a teddy bear guy, I had massively pent-up anger and to a lesser extent, sadness. When I blew up, I blew up. I became verbally abusive and irrational – often this would only be shown to, and therefore unintentionally hurt, the people who love me the most and are the closest to me. This led to a deep depression that lasted for more then a year – and badly deteriorating physical health.
So trust me; be honest with yourself, and find out if you have anger issues. If you do, take steps to fix it – for yourself and those who love you.
Besides being a major step towards happiness, there are other benefits to dropping all that emotional weight from your shoulders. Self-esteem, confidence, and courage are other parts that develop as you deal with anger.
Understanding Anger and Sadness
The first step to dealing with it is to understand anger. Anger is not “negative”. It is simply an energy; an emotion. It serves as a protection system. When you get angry, it is a sign that something or someone is infringing on you or your rights.
It is not to be confused with blind rage; blind rage is when you start being abusive; when you start being violent towards inanimate objects, or worse, other people. That is not healthy.
I heard a great analogy once; emotions are like vegetables. When they are fresh, they are fine, when you hold it in for a long time, that’s when they become toxic. They explode to the surface and manifest themselves in unhealthy ways. It could also lead to cancer, stress, and several other nasty conditions.
How to deal with Anger
There are a few universal exercises for releasing anger across all the different sorts of methodologies and therapies I’ve researched. I’ve captured the essence here.
Often times you need to do this a few times. Pain comes in waves, and often times one such exercise won’t be enough to release all that pent-up energy.
There are many causes of anger or sadness; bad parenting, childhood bullies, and so on. Try to trace it back to the roots, understand it, and try to give it a voice. As you’ll see below, this is vital, as the vocal component is the most important.
Note: If it is something that you cannot handle, please do not feel ashamed to seek out professional help. And avoid self-destruction; numbing of the pain with alcohol, drugs, or other risky behaviour. I went through a whole year of this and paid for this behaviour physically and emotionally for nearly a year after. And I’m one of the luckier ones.
Once you have that, find a safe location. Somewhere you can scream and act out your anger and sadness – either alone, or with an understanding person. With each one of the following options, remember you need to scream out – all the words you’ve always wanted to say – while you are doing it. Even if it’s just a string of vulgarities, do it!
Let it all out. You might feel weird and self-conscious doing this, it’s normal. Don’t give up. Just do it over and over again until you feel that all your repressed anger is gone. You’ll know when this happens, instinctively. It might take weeks, it might take days, it’s different for everyone.
The three steps
1) Do this in a safe location. Kneel on your bed like you’re praying. Find a large pillow. Make a hammer fist with your hands. Not a boxing style fist, you might your wrist. And pound the pillows, with all your might until you can’t go any more.
2) Sometimes twisting is better. Find a towel, and twist it like you are trying to wring out every last drop of water.
3) Sometimes just screaming is good enough. Go somewhere abandoned, with some loud music put on maximum and scream with your whole body. Become the yell. Yell until your whole body trembles.
Usually what follows the release of anger is sadness. Read the next in this series of articles for this at the Urban Monk website. You’re on your way to Mastery!
This article is for educational purposes only. It is based on the author’s research and own experience; however you and you alone are responsible for what you do with it. By reading this article you agree that he will assume no liability or responsibility to any person or entity for any loss or damage related directly or indirectly to this article.
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