Are you often overwhelmed with anger? Are you pushing your loved ones away because of your angry outbursts? Lee Kaufman shares some tools on how to deal with anger and heal the underlying emotions causing your anger.
How to Deal with Anger: Uncover, Understand, and Heal
Anger is an emotion that we all experience at some point in our lives. It’s a natural response to certain situations, but sometimes, it can become overwhelming, taking over our thoughts and actions. When left unmanaged, anger can push loved ones away, make us feel disconnected from ourselves, and even lead to a loss of optimism about the future. In this article, we will explore what anger is, what it isn’t, and most importantly, how to deal with it effectively.
What is Anger?
Anger can be both a primary and secondary emotion. As a primary emotion, it’s a direct reaction to a specific stimulus, such as someone cutting you off in traffic. This immediate reaction typically fades relatively quickly. However, anger can also serve as a secondary emotion, covering up deeper, more vulnerable feelings. These secondary emotions tend to develop more slowly and linger in our bodies over time.
To better understand this concept, picture an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg represents the anger we see on the surface, while the vast submerged portion signifies the hidden emotions we suppress with anger. This visual metaphor is a powerful reminder that anger often conceals underlying issues we may be avoiding.
The Effects of Anger
Beyond straining our relationships and causing emotional disconnection, anger can have severe physical consequences. Scientific research has shown that chronic anger can increase the risk of heart disease, elevate blood pressure, weaken the immune system, and even contribute to higher levels of depression, especially in women. Recognizing the insidious nature of anger on our health is a crucial first step in dealing with it effectively.
How to Deal with Anger
Now that we understand the potential harm anger can cause, let’s explore some strategies for managing and healing this powerful emotion.
1. Calm Your Nervous System
The first and perhaps most crucial step in dealing with anger is to calm down. This may seem easier said than done, especially if you’re accustomed to living with chronic anger. However, there are various approaches to help you achieve this sense of calm.
One effective way is through yoga, meditation, or breathwork. These practices can help you connect with your body, slow down your nervous system, and create a sense of inner peace. You can find classes in your local community or explore numerous resources online to get started.
2. Talk About Your Feelings
Once you’ve initiated the process of calming your nervous system and reconnecting with your body, it becomes easier to identify and understand the emotions beneath the anger. Talking to someone you trust about these feelings can be incredibly liberating.
Sharing your experiences with others not only provides relief but also helps you gain a deeper understanding of your emotions. It can strengthen your relationships and prevent you from pushing people away due to unresolved anger.
3. Reframe Your Perspective
Sometimes, when our relationships are strained, it feels like our entire life is falling apart. However, it’s essential to remember that a relationship is just one aspect of your life. There are other components that make up your overall well-being.
Try to reframe your perspective by focusing on the things that are working well in your relationship and in the rest of your life. This shift in mindset can generate optimism and help you see a brighter future. Your spouse or partner may be making progress that you’re not fully acknowledging due to the cloud of anger. By appreciating the positive aspects of your life, you can start to rebuild a sense of hope.
Dealing with anger is a challenging but essential process for maintaining both your mental and physical health. By understanding that anger often conceals deeper emotions, we can begin to address its root causes. Calming our nervous system through practices like yoga, meditation, and breathwork is a vital first step. Talking to others about our feelings and experiences can help us connect with and release these emotions. Finally, reframing our perspective to see the positive aspects of our lives can rekindle optimism for the future.
Remember that anger doesn’t have to dominate your life. You have the power to heal, reconnect with loved ones, and regain your sense of optimism. It may not be easy, but with determination and the right tools, you can transform your relationship with anger and lead a happier, healthier life.
Also read: How to Bring Change in an Abusive Marriage
About Dr. Hawkins:
The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.
Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.
He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.
In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.