Anger is a natural human emotion. While it is unhealthy to ignore or suppress these feelings, it is also unhealthy to act on them without restraint. How then can this “negative” emotion be released in a healthy way?
You may get angry when you feel:
If you are not shown appropriate ways to express anger as a child, you may have distorted views. For instance, if you were shown violent or aggressive anger you may mimic what you witnessed and fly into a rage at the slightest provocation.
Alternatively, you may go to the other extreme and feel afraid to express anger at all. Suppression of these feelings locks the energy inside where it creates havoc with the body’s stress responses.
You may have been punished for being angry and learned to turn the energy inward, and that energy may surface at an inappropriate time or in an unhealthy way.
Those individuals who accept “negative” emotions without judgment and have learned healthy ways to express anger experience less stress and better psychological health than those with difficulty in expressing rage.
If you struggle with healthy express of your emotions, there are some practical, creative ways to express the energy behind feelings of anger.
- Engage in an aggressive physical activity, like a vigorous walk, swimming, or hitting a ball.
- Dance, do yoga or other aerobic exercise.
- Journal how you feel.
- Listen to or create music that expresses or reflects how you feel.
- Paint or sketch your emotions.
- Vent to an empty chair. (For more about the Empty Chair exercise, visit this page.)
After you have vented and released the intense energy behind your anger, notice how you feel in your body. When you feel calm, you can more calmly discuss the situation with the other person and find a mutually agreeable solution.