For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is anger?
Anger is a completely normal reaction. Sometimes it is a healthy emotional reaction to things happening around you.
While it is important to not leave your anger bottled up, maintaining control over anger is absolutely crucial so that you don’t cause harm to yourself or anyone else.
Signs that may suggest you have a problem with anger:
- You express outward aggression: shouting, screaming, losing temper
- You express inward aggression that might lead to self-harm
- You tend to withdraw from people and situations
- You have a lot of negative self-talk because you failed to control your anger
- You regret things that you said or did when you were angry
- You have a problem expressing your emotions in a calm way
- You tend to abuse alcohol or/and other substances
- You find it hard to compromise without getting angry
- It is difficult for you to listen to constructive criticism without getting angry and defensive
- You have a feeling of losing control over yourself as if anger is overpowering you
Why do we get angry?
Most often anger is our secondary emotion. It is our reaction to what someone said or did that made us feel hurt, inadequate or not good enough. Someone’s words or actions take us back to the time from our past when we felt hurt and traumatised.
Connecting to these primary emotions of hurt often makes us feel extremely vulnerable and this causes so much distress in us that anger becomes our defence.
This whole mechanism happens very quickly. For many people, anger becomes an automatic reaction. We don’t even realise when we become angry and explode.
If you got to that stage, please keep reading and find out how you can start (even today!) managing anger in a more healthy way.
How to let go of anger?
1. Realize that you have a problem with anger.
Being aware is always the first step to make any change happen. Letting go of anger is no exception here.
I know it takes courage to admit that you are holding on to anger. I remember how defensive I got myself when my husband told me once or twice (probably twice) that I need to work on my anger. I didn’t want to admit that there was a part of me that was very angry about some unresolved family issues.
What did I do? First, I was open to the possibility that he might be right. Second, I noticed how not nice I became when I was grasped by the energy of energy and I knew that I don’t want to be like this. Third, I knew that anger was just a cover-up for other, deeper emotions that I didn’t want to address at that time.
Once I admitted to myself that I need to work on my anger, I also opened myself up to address those old emotions that wanted to be heard.
So realising that you might have a problem with anger is the first step to healing and peace.
Be honest with yourself right now. Do you have a problem with anger? If your answer is “yes”, that’s great. The first step towards letting go is already behind you.
2. Realise your role in the event or experience that made you feel so angry.
Before I will go deeper into this point, I want to acknowledge that there are various experiences in life that are simply horrific (I mean here child abuse or rape for example). Taking any responsibility for them if you were a victim is extremely challenging and sometimes absolutely impossible. Don’t force yourself to do it. You have suffered enough.
If we are talking about other life situations that led us to the path of anger, taking responsibility for the part that you played in that past event will bring you a sense of liberation.
It might be challenging at first but it will bring you freedom and understanding of that past experience.
The parts of us that we want to avoid no matter what, want to be seen and acknowledged. Once you do that, they will be integrated with other parts of you.
So think of the past event that makes you angry and ask yourself what part you played in it. Do this with an open heart and compassion towards yourself. Avoiding judging yourself. If you are struggling with being non-judgemental, imagine that it is your best friend who is telling you about their past experience and their own anger issues. Would you be harsh on your friend? Probably no. Probably you would comfort them and ask them to forgive themselves. Imagine that you are this friend of yours and realize your part in that past event with self-compassion.
3. Realize the damage anger creates.
Anger is one of the most toxic emotions. It brings nothing but destruction. Destruction in you and destruction in your world (your family, work, friendships etc). When you realize this, it will be much easier to let go of any angry residue you might be carrying in you. You can even write down a list of your past events that clearly show that your angry reactions created unnecessary chaos in your life. Seeing such a list in front of your eyes will make it much easier for you to release anger.
Learn and practice relaxation and self-calming techniques.
There are a lot of relaxation practices that you could incorporate into your daily routine. There is yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices or walking.
I’d encourage you to choose these practices that resonate the most with your preference and lifestyle.
If you like guided meditations, I’d like to invite you to listen to my meditations. For example here is a morning meditation that will help you start your day with positive energy. Here is a meditation that will help you reconnect with your inner peace. There are many more meditations and affirmations on my YouTube channel. Please feel free to check them out here:
Start with Self Youtube.
4. Remember that we are all humans.
Remembering that we are all imperfect humans will be really helpful to release the burden of anger. We all have our ups and downs. We all make mistakes in judgements. We have all fallen into the trap of anger at some point in time. And we all do the best we can in a given moment.
Consider the last thought for a moment, We all do the best we can in a given moment. I know it might be a bit challenging to think in this way about someone who might have hurt you. But please consider it no matter how challenging it might be. Once you reflect on this concept, you will realise that their behaviour was a reflection of their own inner reality, their own insecurities and beliefs about themselves.
We are each other’s mirrors. The way we treat others is a reflection of how we treat ourselves. This thought might help you forgive the person who hurt you and it might also encourage you to have a think about yourself and how you want to treat yourself and others. What inner reality do you have? How would you like to be seen in the world? These are all questions worth asking.
5. Remember the time from your life when you were forgiven.
Remembering the time when you were forgiven will help you release anger and forgive the person who hurt you. Reconnect to that memory. Remind yourself how you felt then. Were you relieved? Were you moved to tears? How did it feel? Probably you were grateful that you were forgiven.
We all make mistakes consciously or unconsciously and we all sometimes desire to be forgiven for something we said or did. Remembering it will open your heart to forgiveness. Letting go of anger will be easy then.
6. Send the person who hurt you love whenever you think of them.
Send love to the people you are angry with every time you think of them. It might be a bit challenging at first but it will work miracles.
Do this especially you feel triggered to revisit your anger again. Just imagine you are sending them waves of love. Or imagine yourself and them surrounded by a bubble of love.
It will automatically help you release anger and reconnected to more peace and love within you.
7. See the person who hurt you as a child.
If you struggle to forgive the adult version of the person who hurt you, imagine them as children. They have all been children in the end. See them as innocent children. A child that only wants to be loved and accepted. Essentially we all want the same thing: love and acceptance. When you see them like this, you will realise that they hurt you most probably because of their own inner pain and suffering. Realising this will help you find compassion in your heart and let go of your own suffering and anger.
8. Practise mindfulness.
You are feeling so angry because you are trapped in the past. You are caught in the cycle of reliving painful past experiences over and over again. When you reconnect with the present moment, the past will automatically stop controlling you. You will set yourself free from the burden of your not so pleasant memories.
Start scheduling mindful pauses during your day. You might even set a reminder in your phone that, let’s say, at noon, you will have a mindful break of 5 minutes. In that break just focus on your breath and check how your body is feeling at this moment. Then bring your attention to your feelings. Ask yourself how you are feeling today? Are you irritated? Are you centred? And the last part of this practice is just focusing on your breath. As you are doing it, notice how your breath is encompassing you, bringing life to your whole body.
Do this mindful pause at least three times a day, in the morning, during the day and in the evening. In no time at all, you will notice that you are starting to become much more centred and present.
9. Accept that you won’t have a better past.
In hypnotherapy, we can change certain memories and improve our past experiences. But generally, it is safe to say that you will never have a different past.
Making peace with it will help you release at least some of the angry thoughts and feelings you might be holding on to.
It is much healthier to do your best and learn from past experiences so that you know that if something similar happens in the future, you are ready to face any challenges.
I said that in hypnotherapy it is possible to change some memories. In order to do it, you need guidance from a trained hypnotherapist.
But you can release some painful memories and in this video, I’m going to help you do this.
I hope you found this article and videos useful. Remember that your anger harms you and the people you care about. It doesn’t do harm to the person who hurt you.
If you tried the above strategies and you are still holding on to anger, please message me and we will see how I might be able to help you overcome this obstacle in your life.