Published: 08/19/2014 - Updated: 05/20/2018
If you feel like strangling your neighbor across the road, or like screaming a few obscenities to your boss, but hold yourself back because you were taught to behave well, and to be friendly, while never expressing what you feel because “it’s wrong”, you should really take a few moments to read this. Repressing anger or any other emotion is a sure-fire ticket to loneliness, emotional distance, and even sickness and diseases of all types.
Sickness and anger
Have you ever met anyone that was just so sweet, smiling, and attentive, but that over time begin suffering from all sorts of sicknesses? What frequently happens is that we don’t understand what an emotion is, we live in an emotionally poor culture, which leads us to frequently fall into attitudes that were taught to us. A lot of times we don’t realize the importance of emotions in human growth.
Anger, like any other emotion, is an energy that circulates through the body. If it is repressed or blocked, the body’s vital energy gets blocked, or circulation is made more difficult. This causes illness in the physical body.
However, anger can be a very helpful emotion our growth. It is not a negative emotion, like so many people say, but is simply a reaction, just like all other emotions. This means that it is a consequence of our mental states. The point is, these emotions do turn into something “negative” or “destructive” when we don’t know how to understand or transform them. Anger provides clear clues to detecting when we need to move and understand things in a certain way.
So the next time you feel angry, don’t repress it. But there’s also no need to hurl a shoe at the TV or the cat, because that would make them look responsible for your emotions, and that’s not what this is about. Instead, read this and understand how your emotions can be wonderful messengers to help you mature and feel more free and fulfilled.
What, exactly, do you have to do to free an emotion?
We’ll start by explaining how liberating an emotion, whichever emotion it may be, means allowing yourself to free what you feel, exactly how you feel it but without affecting a third-party. In regards to anger, the following guide will help you understand the purpose of anger by means of a conscious liberation.
Guide to peacefully liberate anger
1. Ask for a time-out: the first thing to do when you start to feel the heat throughout your entire body and you’re about to scream, ask for a time-out. This means leaving “the battle field”, or finding a space just to be.
2. Recognize what you feel: the second step is giving yourself permission to recognize everything you feel. Free yourself to think whatever you want, without restricting your thoughts because they’re “bad”, or without feeling guilty or “bad” or thinking certain things. Avoid saying “Don’t think that way, that’s terrible!”, or “I’m an idiot for thinking that, she’s my mother!”. No. Just let yourself be free. Let your imagination run wherever it wants, and if you want to cry, scream, stamp your feet, or think “perverse” things, do it. But try to do it alone. Going out for a walk in a park is great for letting yourself think what you want. Running or kicking a ball around is also good, some people even scream in their car. Just find some place where you don’t hold back, and let yourself vent.
3. Think about the situation: now the time should come when, after freeing your emotion, be it by crying, or hitting your pillow, or what be it, that you feel more tranquil and relaxed. This is an extremely important moment. Now is when you should think about the situation. Breathing is very important right now, because it will help you feel peaceful enough. So breath deeply, smoothly, and feel sincere and honest. You can even admire yourself for having allowed yourself to recognize everything you felt. Then exhale as fully as you can.
Now you can think about the situation asking yourself things like: How am I waiting for the other to make me happy? How am I not allowing the other to express themselves or do things their way? How am I being inflexible, and unwilling to do things differently, or listen to what others think? Where am I not letting my child, student, or trainee make mistakes, so they learn for themselves?
These are just a few questions that I’m sharing with you, and you can make up your own. The point is to recognize that your anger is your responsibility, and not anyone else’s. Because if you begin to think that the other person “made you angry”, you are making yourself the victim, which isn’t good for anything.
After following through with these steps, you can then return to the “ex-battle field”, and convert it into a mature and creative conversation zone. Make this into a space where you can share what you think, and above all, listen to what the other person thinks, without feeling attacked. Transform your life into a space where you allow mistakes to happen, as a means for learning.
If you are patient in doing this – even though it may not just roll off your tongue at first, or if you feel impatient or desperate because things didn’t “turn out” like we explain them – you will notice that over time you will feel more confident and secure. You will begin to act with “a good head on your shoulders”, which will positively affect your life. Your relationships will deepen and become more enriched. You’ll be able to express not only your anger, but also your happiness and sadness, because you will become more spontaneous and sincere. You will be more full of passion.
But, like anything else in life, nothing is true, unless you truly experience it.