Anger is a part of the human experience, and those of us with addictions and mental health issues often find ourselves having tumultuous relationships, stressful conflicts, and other tough interpersonal issues.
When someone angers us, we have a tendency to react with aggression and hostility. We yell, we scream, we punch holes in walls, we break things, we abuse each other.
Some of us shut down and respond to our anger with silence, detachment, distance and/or isolation. We cut people off. We stop talking to them altogether. We end lifelong relationships and never speak to family and friends again.
We often hurt the people we love the most. We consciously or unconsciously trigger each other’s sensitivities and pain. We carry grudges. We are most impacted by the hurts brought on by our loved ones, because it is with them we feel the strongest connection. Anyone can anger us, but when our close family and friends hurt us, it often affects us in deeper, more personal, more impactful ways.
One way to manage our anger is to intentionally switch our focus to gratitude. Our loved ones often give us a lot to be grateful for. They have supported and cared for us, helped us. They gave us life. We could put our energy towards focusing on all the things we’re grateful for about them. This can help a lot, especially in moments of heightened pain and anger. To do this, we are essentially meditating and praying on gratitude.
“I am grateful to you. I am grateful for all the ways you’ve loved me and helped me. I love you.”
This process doesn’t mean we forget how they’ve wronged us. It doesn’t mean we condone their behavior, or that we let them off the hook. It doesn’t replace the work of resolving the conflict, which can be some of the most difficult work we’ll ever do in our lives- it hurts!
For many of us, the people we’re most angry with hurt and abused us to the point where we can’t find much to be grateful to them for. We can focus our gratitude on how strong and resilient we are. We’ve endured so much and are still here. We haven’t given up. “I am grateful to be the person I am.”
Gratitude is like a soothing remedy. It helps us to relieve some of the pain as we heal our wounds. We can find a lot of comfort in choosing to focus on gratitude. We can even find gratitude in the situation. “What can I learn from this? What wisdom will this bring me?” We can choose to see our pain as a blessing. The lessons it brings can be huge transformational gifts in our lives.
Our healing and recovery benefit greatly from working with our emotions holistically. The community at Enlightened Solutions can help you process your difficult emotions, relationships and experiences. Call (833) 801-LIVE.