Anger’s a highly misunderstood and underappreciated emotion that’s simply doing its job and trying to get our attention to consider what may not be working so well in our life. Instead of embracing our anger and trying to learn from it, we’ll do other things, like let it run wild, try to bury it, and even run from it. Anything to avoid having an honest conversation about it.
So…let’s have an honest conversation on understanding our anger better.
Typically, change never happens without deep commitment and strong intention. So, taking time to find our “why” for healthy anger management, and having an earnest desire to learn from it will move us past the starting gate.
Healthy observation when our anger gets tripped is a great place to start. As we feel anger rising, we’ve got to try to pause, hold on, be aware, and explore what feels “wrong”. At first, it’s scary to meet our anger eye-to-eye but it’s a huge step towards change. Consider what we’d like to happen instead? Ask, “What am I needing that I’m not getting right now?”, and then listen for the answer. The key is to listen!
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of itMarcus Aurelius
It’s vital to work towards gaining a better understanding of our emotions that could be paralyzing healthier choices or becoming a destructive force that’ll blow up our life. Instead let’s use our emotions to heal what we’re struggling with deep down. Is it current or past pain? Or a communication breakdown with family, friends, or at work? Maybe fear, failure, or lack of progress?
Let’s consider our anger as a warning sign for attention and instead of ignoring it, let’s get to its source. Let’s welcome it like a friend who’s trying to help us discover the roadblocks disrupting forward progress, knowing they want what’s best for us and trust their insight will be value added! At this point, it may come to light that a professional counselor may be necessary to work through traumatic events.
Lastly, we’ve got to continuously renew our commitment to change because change takes time. True change isn’t immediate, but tiny successes start popping up as we build new habits. Consistency is key for success and the rewards come as we continue to show up and try our best each day. Most of us quit before this happens, fearing lack of immediate progress means failure. Successful people know that “showing up” when nothing’s happening IS part of the process. That’s where the magic happens.
When embracing our anger, it’s important to remember it’s there to tell us something’s going on around us we don’t like, and could be a danger to us physically, emotionally, or mentally. Essentially, this is a very good thing, but can easily turn bad when expressed irresponsibly because anger is a raw and powerful emotion that instinctively raises our confidence to act. Anger’s call to action must be handled deliberately and with caution!
The greatest remedy of anger is delaySeneca
Psychologist and Anger Disorders editor Dr. Howard Kassinove suggests two basics things I try to remember when I’m angry or annoyed and needing to express myself:
- Pause – take a moment to slow things down with a few deep breaths, and focus on “why” I’m upset and whether expressing it will help or hurt the situation? Is now the best time to share my feelings or could I wait? (Sometimes I give it a day. 😉 )
- Use an appropriate tone as to not belittle or make the other person defensive. (Hard to do in the moment so stay in pause longer when necessary)
Ultimately, the best lesson I’ve learned is to work to dissolve the anger in me. I’ve learned that anger signals something in my life that I need to address, not fixing what or who I think is the cause. The beauty of owning my anger is that I also own the ability to change it!
Healthy anger management isn’t the easiest. It can be overwhelming, overpowering, and confusing, because it’s a strong emotion, meant to grab our attention and empower action. The ongoing struggle I have is allowing myself to be vulnerable when I’m angry by claiming disappointment and facing my fears. If I don’t connect with what “made” me upset in the first place, how will I ever find a reasonable resolution? I’m slowly getting better at this.
The beauty of owning my anger is that I also own the ability to change it!
While it’s not healthy to let our anger loose on everyone around us, it’s important to pay attention to red flags and discover what may not be working and needs loving attention. Let’s not disconnect from our alarm system but instead gain a better understanding of our anger and learn to properly manage it. ❤
Keep it Simple,