Can we talk about anger for a minute...? Anger gets a bad rap. But our goal should not be to never feel angry... Anger is a normal, valid human emotion; things happen and sometimes the very appropriate response is to get pissed. Having said that, we don't want to stay angry for too long. Anger is a low-frequency emotion and is incredibly depleting of our energy. In addition, festering anger may cause unhealthy or destructive reactions, may have a negative impact on our relationships, and may be detrimental to our health over time. Instead of repressing it, I've learned that it's healthier to acknowledge when I feel angry and find healthy ways process and release it so I can shift my energy.
Here are some recent techniques I've tried that have helped me release anger in healthy ways.
*Write in my journal about why I am feeling angry; include details about what happened, how the situation impacted me, and what I'm most angry about.
*Scream. As loud as I can.
*Sit in stillness and practice slow, deep breathing for 10 minutes, focusing on creating a sense of calm and ease.
*Physical activity/exercise. Go for a walk. Get outside.
*Talk to someone I trust to verbally process and release.
*Hug someone I love.
*Intentionally tense all the muscles in my body for 10-20 seconds, then release and relax them all. I often repeat this 2 or 3 times.
*Find a soft/safe item to punch. What I have found to be easiest for me is to stack a couple of pillows on my bed and punch them as hard as I can. With each punch, I speak out loud one of the things I feel angry about.
Different situations create different intensities of emotion. What I've learned is to experiment with different techniques to see what works best for the different intensities. Feeling minorly agitated or annoyed is much different than feeling extreme anger or rage. Some days, I practice one or two of these and feel the anger leave my body. Other days, I need to practice several (or all...!).
When you feel angry, what have techniques have you found to be most helpful for you?