Most people contend with angry feelings from time to time.
Maybe it’s due to an injustice going on in the world. Or you’re feeling frustrated over something you wish would change. Anger may even arise for no apparent reason.
Anger is a natural emotion and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing it. However, it is important to look at this emotion and learn how to contend with it as it arises in healthy ways, so that it does not hurt you or anyone else when it does pop up.
Anger is an emotion that is comprised of a lot of energy. An emotion is simply “energy in motion”, so when anger surfaces, you’re contending with pent-up energy that wishes to be expressed.
The good news is that it can be expressed in a way that is healthy, leaving you (and others) in a wake of love and peace – and feeling safe.
Have you ever lost your temper?
Maybe you’ve shouted at your children or spouse and then felt terrible afterwards. Or maybe you slammed doors or threw something across the room. The buildup of energy in the body can come out in ways that we are not proud of, but learning how to navigate and direct the world of emotions is possible.
Our true nature at its core is full of peace, so if we can keep this in mind as we learn how to contend with anger, we’ll be one step closer to experiencing peace much more often.
When you feel anger, you’re most likely feeling angry about something that has already happened.
You’re angry about the past.
In realizing this, you can take a new perspective on the matter and begin living more in the present moment. When you’re focused on the present, the past is not going to be an indicator of your feelings.
For example, let’s say your child spilled grape juice on the carpet. You notice this and you immediately feel a buildup of energy in your body - and it’s not a happy energy.
This anger that you feel rising may feel justifiable and it’s real. However, the way you respond to that energy will make a big difference in your life (and your child as well).
If you begin screaming at your child out of anger, the impact can be quite negative on the child and later on yourself, as you may struggle with guilt.
But if you remember that the incident has passed (the actual spilling of the juice) and you focus on the present moment, you can better handle the incident more calmly. You can say things to yourself, like “All will be alright. It’s not the end of the world. Stains do come out, etc.”
Yes, you can certainly address the situation, but from a more peaceful and open heart that gets its direction from a reservoir of inner love instead of exploding like a volcano.
Living in the present moment can help all of us recognize emotions as energy and respond to them instead of strongly reacting to them. This can occur by using regular spiritual practices like meditation and mindfulness, as these help to process and integrate energy buildup, leaving you feeling more relaxed and peaceful.
Deep breathing practices serve us well, as they are effective when it comes to staying calm and centered when stressful times come.
How do you contend with rush hour traffic?
A centered person will focus on the present, perhaps staying aware of the breath, and being able to get through it with a peaceful and cheerful heart. However, someone who is not centered may be steaming mad, cursing, and have a miserable ride.
The breath is powerful, so the more you can focus on it, the more at ease you will be.
Meditation works wonders when it comes to contending with anger. In fact, if you struggle with angry feelings about your past, take up a meditation practice regularly and watch how it helps you process and let go of such anger little by little. Even if you only meditate 5 to 10 minutes a day, it can help with emotional regulation.
Regular exercise can also help you decrease the amount of anger you feel.
You can walk, jog, lift weights, go hiking, play sports, do aerobics, dance, and so much more. Yoga is also a form of exercise that has many benefits, including emotional regulation.
As I mentioned, feeling angry sometimes is natural. The key is to find ways to express your anger in healthy ways. Another key is to not let anger build up in you, because over time, the intensity of such an emotion can bring you down. And, you could end up exploding when you least expect it.
What are some ways you can release anger in healthy ways?
Try the things I’ve already mentioned. In addition, you could try screaming into a pillow or punching one. As you do this, you get those intense emotions out and typically, you feel better afterwards.
You can also have a conversation with a therapist if anger is getting the best of you. Talk therapy can help you get to the root of anger issues.
The reality is that anger does not have to have its way with you. Learn to manage anger, as well as other negative emotions, by staying present, focusing on the breath, regular meditation, and deep breathing.
And, if you need help managing anger, simply reach out for it.
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