Feel Angry and Let It Go
Some Anger is Healthy
Anger is a healthy emotion. If we feel threatened anger will motivate us to take action. Anger transformed into passion can create positive change. Instinctively the natural way for human beings to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is an adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful feelings and behaviors allowing us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger is necessary for our survival. Healthy anger allows us to protect our boundaries from invasion.
Does your blood boil? Does your face turn beet red? Do you stomp your feet? Do you want to scream, slam a door or smash something? Anger - " is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage," according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist specializing in anger studies. Anger, like other emotions is accompanied by physiological and biological changes. Anger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to rise and increases levels of energy hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. A temporary temper tantrum is healthy. Constant anger or rage is not. Uncontrollable angry outbursts can lead to serious quality of life issues. Study after study supports that being angry all the time leads to high blood pressure and heart disease. Unreleased or repressed anger may cause a number of serious physical and mental problems including many forms of cancer and serious depression.
Negativity Distorts Our Awareness
When you feel yourself becoming angry due to your own impatience or over petty comments you need to validate and recognize the feeling immediately. Many times it's only our ego that is causing our anger or what I like to call the Veruca Salt Syndrome. Veruca was the arrogant spoiled brat from Roald Dahls book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory who took great pleasure in manipulating every one into thinking she deserved to be treated like royalty. When she wanted something she stomped her feet demanding immediate satisfaction.. Most of us have our Veruca Salt moments while on the highway or stuck in traffic. For example you may think the driver of a car in front of you is going way too slow or braking too much. How could this ass hold me up? Don't they know I need to get to the store? Don't they realize I am important and entitled to go faster and get where I need to go? Before your annoyance leads to full blown road rage catch yourself in the moment of being negative. Recognize there is another human being in that car. Humanize them first. Pretend it's your grandmother. Would you yell at your own grandmother like a selfish crazed lunatic? Will yelling or complaining about the driver in front of you make them speed up? Is this a situation you can control? If you continue to become angry who is the anger hurting? You and only you. Swift harsh judgments of other peoples actions only leads to your own negative thoughts. Take a deep breath. Let go of the negativity before it escalates into anger. Let it go.
Don't Care How-I Want it Now!
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned".-Buddha
Change Your Perception
Willy Wonka sings the inspiring lyrics "If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world? There's nothing to it." When we replace our negative thoughts with happier positive constructive thoughts we can better control our anger. Our entire world is composed of our own thought patterns . We have the power to control our reactions. In fact our own thoughts and reactions are the only things we truly can control. We control our attitude. We control our anger. You can imagine plucking a giant candy gummy bear off a tree and shoving it in your big fat mouth before you say another unsympathetic or sarcastic comment to someone you love. When you start to feel like you can't get over a past hurt and angry feelings resurface replace the thought with something positive. Resentment and guilt over the past kills. Resentment distorts our ability to be in the present moment because you are stuck in a previous painful moment from your past. Cognitive distortion is when we focus on particular aspects of an experience (often the ‘negative’ ones) and ignore or discount other aspects – thereby “distorting” our view of the world. You can't go back in time. Remember what you can and cannot change. You can't propel yourself into the future. All you have is the present moment. When you remember the NOW you can let go of anger that is only hurting you in the end. Let it go.
Hold Your Breath. Make a Wish. Count to Three.
Common Patterns of Anger-Examine Your Own Awareness
Do you get angry over petty things? Do simple every day annoyances bother you? Why?
Are you impatient? Do you let others finish speaking before you rant and rave? Do you communicate effectively with the person who upset you? Do you listen? Do you seethe in anger instead of trying to have a civil conversation? Why or why not?
Do you complain all the time? Why?
Are you still holding a grudge? Have you let go of past hurts?
Are you overly sensitive and quick to take offense?
Are you taking pleasure in others misfortunes? Are you cold hearted or unsympathetic ? Why?
Are you playing the victim? Are you being a "martyr"?
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
― Mark Twain
Let It Go for You
If we forgive someone who has made us angry we must let it go, otherwise anger and hurt turn to resentment. It may take a long time for us to grieve over the hurt or injustice we have felt and we should take time to heal. When we choose to forgive someone we interact with on a daily basis such as a spouse, friend or co-worker give yourself time. They should know how much they hurt you before you decide to forgive them. Resentment -the feeling of unfairness, displeasure, "why me?", will suffocate you. When you hold on to that anger it's like a poison that slowly kills you and every one around you. Anger causes despair and grief which leads to depression and illness. Resentment causes you to inflict harm on others associated with the person who made you angry. Now you are angry at an entire group of people. Where does it end? Who are you hurting? Only yourself. Forgiveness does not mean you condone or deny what the person did. Forgiveness and letting go is for YOU not the person who hurt you but if you value the worth of another you will let go of your anger. Let anger go because you deserve to be happy. Turn resentment or guilt into compassion and understanding. You have earned your wisdom. You are a good person and you want to make the world a better place. Good and happy people aren't walking around being angry all the time, lashing out and causing other people just as much pain. Choose to let go of your anger so that you can be the change in the world that inspires others.