Anger is an unpleasant emotion. It typically arises in response to another person’s unpleasant activities that are seen as being disrespectful, humiliating, threatening, or negligent. But it may not always be the case. Sometimes, we ourselves may be the reason behind our anger. It may not leave us feeling too good, but if it helps you to know, anger is a natural and a healthy emotion. Everything in life can’t be to our liking or desire, and this uncomfortable feeling can lead to anger. What is in our control, however, is how to express anger in a healthy way.
Dr. Nicole LePera, popular by her Instagram moniker @the.holistic.psychologist, shared some interesting ways to express healthy anger.
According to Dr. LePera, the important part that should be taken care of is how to cope with anger. Everybody has different coping mechanisms for anger.
Many of us may use unhealthy ways of coping with anger by:
* Repressing it or by being in denial
* Externalizing anger in ways that are harmful or destructive
* Using it as a distraction or a “cover emotion” from feelings of sadness, unworthiness or fear
* Hiding behind anger to feel safer
“In this way, anger becomes a coping mechanism or a way to protect us from deep pain. But it’s also important to understand that if you’re feeling chronic anger, this is usually a message from your inner child to pay more attention to your own needs,” adds Dr LePera.
Alternatively, people lash out, scream, hit walls or even break things in order to either avoid or fight anger. This high reactivity comes from people who fear anger and don’t know how to cope with it, explains the expert.
However, are there any healthy ways to express anger? Let’s find out!
Healthy tips to express anger
1. Set a boundary by saying “no” to people who make you angry
2. Learn to feel the anger in your body through deep breathing. It will calm you down!
3. Clearly communicate your needs, including how you feel your needs have been ignored or dismissed. This will avoid leaving you with pent-up emotions.
4. Learn to pause before expelling anger or projecting it externally
5. Notice if your anger comes from a pattern of self-betrayal.
6. Safely release anger by yourself through primal screaming or pillow release.
7. Know that there’s nothing wrong with being angry. It’s a normal human emotion. You just have to know the right coping mechanism to deal with it in a healthy way.
How to respond to anger:
1. Move your body
Moving your body helps you to discharge emotional energy. Choose to stretch your body, go for a walk or do some physical exercise to feel better. Try knowing what is going on in your body – use breathwork, yoga, shaking or dancing to shake off the anger, literally!
2. Journal or write down all your feelings
You can overcome anger by writing your thoughts down in a journal to get them out of your head and onto paper. Writing your emotions down will help you vent your feelings. This will reduce your anger and channelize your negative energy in a positive direction.
Also read: 5 ways to cool down your anger during a fight with your partner
3. Know when you need time out
Alone time is a must when you’re angry. Learn to verbalize, “I need space or a break.” Spending time with yourself will make you rethink about the situation and help you cope with anger or stress.
4. Be compassionate to your inner child
Never criticize yourself when you’re angry. You should rather speak kindly to yourself.
5. Do not make decisions
Decisions made when you’re angry are those made in haste. You may end up regretting your decision later. It is better not to take impulsive decisions as anger takes us to a survival mode way of thinking, explains Dr LePera.