Anger is something that’s frowned upon in our current society. We’re told we need to ‘manage’ our anger so we push it down where it turns to despair and depression. We hide it away where others can’t see it.
But anger is powerful and it will not be silent. It is loud and the more you push it away, the louder it becomes. You may not hear it with your ears but you will definitely feel it in your body
The problem is that we’ve numbed our bodies too. The smallest symptom and we reach for the pill bottle. We rush to the doctor as we can’t bear to feel anything other than happy and successful.
We’ve labeled some emotions as bad and others good. So we chase the good feelings in our attempts to ignore the bad.
But emotion is simply a mirror for what you’re thinking.
Your feelings are the way your body communicates with you. But when we suppress the emotions we label as bad, we push them down into the body where they do harm. And still, your body tries to get your attention. It produces physical symptoms to let you know that something is wrong.
Many people think of anger as something explosive or something uncontrollable. But anger includes a range of less intense feelings too. Irritation, feeling pissed off, indignation – these are all ways that anger can show up.
So how can expressing anger help you grow in health and happiness?
Anger hides deeper emotions that need to be expressed
When we allow our anger to be expressed in healthy ways, we literally ‘let off steam’. Life can be a pressure cooker of stressful and difficult situations but when we let off steam, we allow the pent up emotions to leave our bodies. This gives space for our deeper feelings to be seen.
Anger can mask grief, sadness, loss, insecurity, worthlessness, and other often painful emotions.
But these deeper emotions are the key to growth. They allow you to ask questions that explore what you believe about yourself and about your place in the world.
When we uncover the cause of these feelings, we can begin to change our thinking.
Thoughts are like a constantly broadcasting radio station that becomes the background to our lives. Unless we pay attention to what is playing, we will hear the same music as repeated emotions and results over and over again. By becoming aware of our anger, irritation, indignation, and pissed off-ness, and allowing ourselves to release them, we create space for what hides beneath.
Unexpressed Anger Turns Inward And Becomes Depression
Emotion is Energy in Motion. And energy needs to go somewhere. It’s not something you can ignore and hope it will go away. It might feel like it leaves as time passes but if you don’t express it, it stays in your body where it alters the chemistry of your internal systems.
It shuts down the production of ‘feel-good’ chemicals or hormones that you need for health and happiness.
It interferes with your immune system and your nervous system leaving you tired, exhausted and lethargic. It shows up as headaches, stomach ache, and a range of other troublesome symptoms. Symptoms that make you irritable and start the cycle all over again.
By expressing anger, and allowing deeper emotions to release as well, you effectively halt the chemical changes in your body that cause depression and despair.
Unexpressed Anger Creates Resentment
Resentment is the enemy of relationships. It destroys love and makes us want to withdraw from others. Little irritation upon little irritation builds until you can no longer see the person you’re with. Instead, all you can see are their annoying habits and the things that ‘drive you mad’.
As the resentment gets bigger the person gets smaller until you can longer remember why you’re with them. But behind that irritation lies other emotions. Perhaps you feel ignored, unappreciated, overworked, unsupported, or unheard. These feelings show up as anger or indignation and build higher and higher, stronger and stronger until it reaches a breaking point.
When you find healthy ways to release these emotions, you can create the space to reconnect, you can create the space to have constructive conversations that can lead to real change.
Unexpressed Anger Kills Happiness
It is impossible to hold two conflicting emotions at the same time. When you’re feeling angry or irritated you can’t enjoy the moment you’re in.
The search for happiness and joy often sees us following the latest ‘new thing’, indulging in risky behaviors, or looking for a ‘high’. But happiness already exists within us. It’s our natural state.
And one of the fastest ways to connect with that contentment and to allow anger and emotion to be released is to express it. Otherwise, it stays in our bodies and shows up as pain and illness. Happiness can be built in layers in the same way that resentment can. I know which one I choose.
Expressing Anger Creates Space For New Experiences
When we’re feeling angry, (or feeling any of the other anger-related emotions), we get trapped in a cycle. The angrier we feel, the more we see things to be angry about. It’s like a magnet. Anything that matches our thoughts will be drawn to us.
But when we allow anger to be expressed in healthy ways, we stop the cycle. We reduce the power of the magnet so that it no longer attracts experiences that make us angry. As our focus shifts we ‘suddenly’ see how much we are thankful for.
Instead of seeing things that produce anger, we see opportunities and possibilities. We become braver and start to believe in ourselves more. We become quieter and can hear our intuition. Your intuition is your inner guide and is always speaking to you but anger and other emotions drown it out.
Following your intuition will lead you to new places, new people, and new experiences. Experiences that will allow you to grow in health and happiness.
So now that I’ve given you 5 reasons why expressing anger is good for you, I want to give you some ways to express it in healthy ways.
Yelling, sulking, violence toward others is not healthy and will destroy you and the people around you.
Instead, when you feel the anger rising, take a step away. Physically leave the situation if you need to. If you’re in a conversation with someone, take a break. Tell them you need to think about what’s been said, let them know you don’t want to talk about it right now but make a time when you will discuss it. This will help them feel heard and allow them to deal with their own emotions.
Take a walk, a run, or go to the gym as physical exercise shifts the energy in your body. Go somewhere quiet and scream to the sky. Take yourself into nature and breathe in the fresh air and breathe out anger. Write our your feelings without censor in a journal or diary. Do something creative.
These are all ways you can allow your anger to be released without it being destructive. Create a plan for yourself ahead of time so that the next time you feel the irritation rising or the anger flooding your body, you can simply put your plan into action.
Don’t let resentment build until you lose people and situations that are precious to you.
Take a step back and express your anger in healthy ways. Allow the energy of your emotion to be released and then take a look at why you felt this way. Ask yourself some questions.
The answers are the key to growth, health, and happiness.
Creator of The Abundance Accelerator