Anger gets a bad reputation. Much of how we identify with, understand, and process anger has to do with what we were taught about anger when we were younger. Watching our parents handle their own anger gave us some ideas about what anger means. For example, some people have parents who got angry about everything, including the weather. Other people had parents who never got angry and shunned the child for ever displaying anger. Anger is widely misunderstood, which is unfortunate because it is an essential reaction. Anger is born out of stress, rooted in two primary emotional experiences: fear and sadness. We developed anger as a reaction. Anger is survival. When we get angry, our adrenaline starts pumping and we release other stress hormones in order to get through what we are going through. Unfortunately, we can’t get through it unless we have a way of releasing our anger.
Anger can be released in healthy ways and anger can be released in unhealthy ways. Most often, anger comes out in a toxic, violent manner because that is what we have been shown about anger. However, anger can be processed in a more calm and rational way which acknowledges and validates the anger without letting it completely take over.
First, You Need To Reduce The Stress
Once those stress hormones start flowing, you cannot objectively assess your emotions until they have calmed down. Calming down during anger is not contradicting or condoning whatever it is you are angry about. Instead, it is giving you the space and opportunity to process your anger. Try a breathing technique, take a shower, or go for a walk.
Second, Understand Your Anger
You Have a right to be angry about whatever you are angry about, because you have a right to all of your emotional experiences. It’s important to identify what exactly it is you are angry about. Often, what seems like the perfect victim of your anger on the surface is not what is really going on underneath. Furthermore, you might be more angry about the fact that you’ve been caused to feel afraid or sad than what has actually happened.
Create Mindful Reality
Taking the time to identify the true source of your anger helps you separate rage from reality. We want anger to punish someone for our own pain. We often here that anger is the poison we drink, intending to hurt someone else. Being mindful of your emotions helps you to identify what is real from what is not real. From there you can move forward and heal.
Anger management is an important part of the recovery process. Enlightened Solutions has created a program that helps clients become integrated with their emotional, physical, and spiritual selves. For more information on our treatment programs for addiction and dual diagnosis issues, call 833-801-5483.