We have all felt and expressed anger from time to time. Anger can be a healthy human emotion that can be a good thing, as it may be a signal to you that someone has overstepped a boundary, or that something needs addressing. Anger only becomes a problem when: it hurts other people; it is suppressed over a period leading to an explosive outburst or illness (anger suppresses the immune system, William and William); or when it feels like it is controlling you.
Sometimes you may feel like anger suddenly overtakes you, and you can’t control it. When your anger is disproportionate to the event, it is because an external event has tapped into some unresolved anger, from the past within you that has come to the surface for healing. Emotions can be seen as a gift in strange wrapping paper; to let go of old issues, allowing you to feel lighter and freer.
Ideally, you would recognise and validate your angry feelings; understand what they are telling you and then respond rather than react to the situation. (see How to Respond rather than React).
- Leave the scene of the conflict if it is intense or overwhelming, to give yourself time to calm down and recenter.
- Observe your feelings. If the feelings are intense, it can be unresolved emotional issues from the past fuelling the anger, rather than the situation itself.
- Validate and identify exactly how you are feeling, without judgement, as this will allow the feeling to flow through your energetic system. It may be that you feel unlovable, hurt or disappointed due to past situations. By observing the emotion compassionately, you will see it as a defence, not who you truly are. Objectivity allows you to make a choice to respond from your True Self.
Focusing on your breath, time in nature or meditating can help with this process if the feelings are very strong. When the feelings have passed, you will feel calm and centred once more.
- Express yourself lovingly when dealing with others in conflict, from your True Self. That is your wise, compassionate self; rather than your angry defences (being aggressive or withdrawing). When we interact from our True Self it feels right (as we have tapped into our true nature) allowing us to feel stable, strong and secure; giving us the ability to reconnect with others in a loving way.
Tip: When people are angry, hurt is often an underlying emotion. Your natural reaction can be to get angry back, causing the situation to escalate. Instead of being defensive, respond from your compassionate, wise self. Allow the anger dissipate, and your connection to others grow stronger.