How to stop being angry

There are a lot of books, articles, and ideas about how to deal with anger.  Many of these approaches work for those that have been physically abused in various forms. But what about if you grew up in a relatively normal way? What happens when you find yourself furious at every turn for what feels like almost no reason at all?

Many well tell you to breathe through the anger… this works. Others will tell you to consider the consequences… this works too. But what if part of your anger is that you never let yourself be angry at the right place, right moment, or right person?

Justifiable anger is a hard load to carry. You have valid reasons to be upset but not enough to really feel okay about what you are doing. You want to change the fact that you snap at the kids too quickly, jump down a co-workers throat, or scream at the car in front of you… but you just don’t know how.

So how do you stop being angry? Well, for many one of the first steps is to look at where the anger starts. Anger is a secondary emotion … it is easier to express then fear for most people. Also most of the anger came at a time in their life (i.e. childhood) where taking on the person that did an unjustice to you was not possible. This seed of frustration builds into a rage that is never fully expressed.

It seems out of sorts to say “My dad ignored me and I never dealt with it so now I lash out at what feels like random events.” but the truth is that unexpressed anger has had a lot of time to fester. If you were not able to express the pain or hurt from years ago it makes perfect sense that now as an adult you would feel empowered to respond to situations with more strength.

But when you realize that you have not directly allowed yourself to address the situation, then the unconscious will process it for you. Everything feels like a slight when you have an unresolved wound. You want to protect yourself from harms way so you put up denfenses of anger as a sheild. Your emotions don’t match the context of the situation but you have no other way to deal with it.

So once you find the root of what the pain is and you deal with it (through therapy, screaming, yelling, talking to the person, crying, reading books, or a host of other things) things find their way into perspective again. You don’t have to lash out at the world around you for safety sake instead you get to express your feeling in an adult way and set boundaries so that you can move forward freely.


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