Last week my coach had me do an assignment about how I feel about money. I wrote down that I feel angry and resentful. I was really SURPRISED to discover this. Wow! How can you have more of someone or something when you’re angry at them? You can’t! I realized I had a little work to do and I’m glad I had a coach to help me work through it. I know how I deal with anger so I did a little Facebook survey to see how others deal with it. I’m going to write about what other people shared. This will be fun!
When I asked “how do you deal with anger?,” this is what they said: breath-work and grounding; put yourself in other person’s shoes; go to work – scrub floors, organize things; stay busy; color – scribble, mad coloring with crayons; drinking; give it time; sit in shower with door locked and talk it out with myself; the usual – violence, alcohol and petty-crime :); deep breathing and cleaning; margaritas and good friends; beat up a 100lb. punching bag; journal or write a venting letter and burn. Notice any patterns here?
Let’s start with the good and get to the better. A couple of people mentioned ‘drinking.’ While I still sometimes have a glass of wine when I’m angry, it’s not the best coping mechanism. I’d rather save my wine for fun times like giggling with girlfriends. Besides, all alcohol does is numb the pain and then you have to deal with it again later.
The person who mentioned violence, alcohol and petty crime was totally kidding since I know what she really does for a living. However, I used to work with teens in residential treatment facilities, and sadly many of them do resort to these behaviors when their anger is out of control! They’ve been hurt over and over in their young lives and no one has ever shown them to heal from those old wounds. Their anger runneth over.
A couple of people mentioned journaling and some kind of breathing. Both are EXCELLENT ways to let go. When you are journaling about angry things, make sure you shred it and burry it in the dirt to be composted or burn it. This will allow you to completely rid yourself of that old, icky stuff! Since you let go of something yucky, what wonderful things are going to replace it? Make sure you fill that new space with good stuff by writing about what you DO want. This writing is okay to keep. As far as breath-work is concerned, well, here’s a chance for me to toot my own horn because this is one thing I use to help my clients heal. (Insert plug about attending a Breath Circle here – heehee!) When you are doing deep breathing at home, make sure you are putting a lot of force into the exhale and picture the anger leaving your body. You can even throw in a yell or a growl. (Do this part in private so your anger isn’t spilled onto another person).
Speaking of throwing, a few people mentioned physical activity like cleaning or punching a boxing bag. In fact, all the people who mentioned physical activity were women. Whatever happened to women being quiet, meek and mild? What is this world coming to? Pooh! It’s a new era and yes, ladies, it is okay to express anger!
When I get angry I tend to want to be physical as well. As a kid I would go into my room and throw all the clothes out of my closet and throw my pillows around my room a few times. As an adult I still like to throw things and have had to learn healthy, productive ways to do this. When the kids have gone to sleep, I go downstairs to my rec room and throw little plastic balls or wadded up socks. I tend to scream when I’m throwing things too. It helps move the stuck energy out much faster. I affectionately refer to this as screaming therapy and highly recommend it! After I’m done yelling, I have my journal handy. Anger is a surface emotion so once it is gone I can journal about what’s underneath it. This part is very eye-opening and therapeutic for me.
If throwing socks and screaming aren’t your style, you can beat a pillow with a frying pan or a plastic bat, or hit a punching bag 100 times. Recently, my husband was about ready to blow his top when I left him with a baby that wouldn’t nap and two other grouchy, needy kids. He went to the golf course and hit a bucket of balls. Before he left I suggested that he let his anger and frustration be the driving force. It worked and he came home a happy man once again. I also met someone once who said he likes to run when he’s mad. After returning from a half-marathon one day, his wife said “wow, you must’ve been REALLY angry!”
I hope I’ve shared some great tips at honoring your anger. Remember, actually feeling your anger will move you through the pain faster than talking yourself out of it, stuffing it or numbing yourself from it. Feeling the anger also takes a lot less time, energy and resources.
When you need help in dealing with anger (or any other emotional issues), I would love to support you in that.