Updated: Apr 25
Most of us grow up in a society where anger is defined as something bad, a negative emotion that shouldn't be felt or expressed. So we learn from a very early age that we supposed to suppress our anger, swallow it down, bottle it up and keep it away.
However this doesn't seem to work as a long term solution.
Often times our anger bubbles up and explodes out of control leading to violent and aggressive behavior. In those moments we most likely to lash out and hurt others, blaming and accusing others for our violent behavior. After the explosion instead of relief we are burdened with guilt and regret for doing and saying things we didn't really mean.
Suppressed anger that doesn't explode periodically can leads to depression and a feeling of numbness, disconnection.
But why do we have anger in the first place if it is so bad and destructive?
The purpose of anger
And the answer is pretty simple: anger is for self defense. Without anger we would not have the drive and the courage to stand up for ourselves, defend ourselves and set healthy boundaries.
Without this feeling we would be a completely powerless victims allowing others to take full advantage. Anger when it is expressed transforms into creative power, confidence and motivation.
It seems after all that anger is not all bad!
How to transform anger into power
The sad fact is that we are not taught how to deal with this volatile emotion. Most expression of anger that we see leads to conflict, violation and a great deal of pain for all parties. So it would be logical to think that it is better to suppress it and try to push it away.
But what if there was another way?
After years of searching I am happy to say that I found a way that works for me and completely changed my life for the better. Now I feel more empowered, in charge of my life and definitely much more peaceful. So here is what to process suppressed anger.
1. Step one. Change your mind
You have to understand that anger is nor good or bad. If it is expressed in a healthy way it provides protection, when you have to fight for your life or when you experience any kind of violation. It allows you to stand up and speak your truth from a place of love and compassion instead of rage. When it is suppressed it will explode without control and will be projected onto others leading to blame and pain.
So anger is just a neutral, natural emotion that shows you when something threatens your well being. It is up to us how we use it and express it.
2. Allow yourself to feel
Acknowledge your anger. Say how you feel. I am really pissed off. I am experiencing a lot of anger.
And it is ok. It is ok for me to feel anger. Anger is just an emotion. All emotions are valid and meant to be felt. Feeling is healing. These are some of my affirmations I use in this situation.
3. Withdraw to a private space, don't react from anger
Don't react from anger. Don't say anything to others. Remove yourself from the situation.
When I am feeling really angry I want to scream and fight back immediately but I know if I do that I will do and say things that I am for sure gonna regret later. I know that I have to calm down and have a clear head to decide what is the best to do in any given situation. However I still feel very triggered and ready to explode so I know that the best is the be by myself and process this situation. If I am around others there is a bigger change of explosion and possible damage. So I take a breath, excuse myself and leave.
4. Express how you feel
When you are alone in your safe place give yourself full permission to feel your anger. Then put on some music and move your body. Start shaking, jumping up and down and move your body, feel this energy rushing through you. Give a sound, shout, scream or cry, curse use all four letter words. Give a tantrum. Punch a pillow, throw it around and fully let go into this physical expression. After about 10 minutes I guarantee that you will feel calm, relieved and much more peaceful. Try it! What do you have to loose?
5. Process your experience
When you are calm take a piece of paper and write all of your thoughts down, just allow the words flow onto the paper. You can ask yourself the following questions.
Why did I get so angry? What is my real problem?
Is there any boundary that needs to be set?
Is there any words that I need to say and expressed?
What can I learn from this experience?
There is only two types of anger.
Righteous anger is justified violence in response to attack for life preservation. In any other case violence cannot be justified.
Suppressed anger is carried from the past connected to a traumatic experience when we were not able to express our anger our defend ourselves. If this happens the traumatic memory and emotional charge will encode into our being and we keep it carrying around like an invisible bomb, ready to go off.
When we are triggered (something happens that brings up the traumatic experience) this suppressed anger comes to the surface and explodes out mostly by being projected on others.
Side effects of anger
Now just imagine that you are holding that volatile, explosive emotion bottled up 24/7. This takes a huge amount of energy. That energy is a big part of power that is not available to you to use it for creative expression. Without this power you are more likely to be a defenseless victim, without proper boundaries and protection. Predators are naturally drawn to easy prey so it is more likely that you gonna be a victim of violence and aggression. Without this power you dry up your creative flow and stop to see the magic, falling down into the life of the mundane.
When you feel angry you have fallen out of love and acceptance. When you feel angry it is impossible to forgive and move on. To let go of your anger is the best service you can do for yourself and for the world.
When you transform your anger, compassion and forgiveness naturally arises.
And still so many of us just choose to hold on. Create more suffering. Perpetuate the chain of pain. Cause more violence and aggression. Take more revenge. But you can end all of that.
Let go of your anger and be free.
Take back your power
You can see that suppressing your anger has serious implications. Although your wound is not your fault, healing is your responsibility.
So I invite you to let it out! Let it all go. Move it out, shout it out, scream it out, give yourself full permission. And simply by doing this you take back your power. Your creative power and you take charge of your life, your reality.
This is personal empowerment for real.
Take back your power!
The force is with you