While anger is a natural emotion, and can even be beneficial as part of a healing process, the emotion of anger as a recurring issue can negatively affect lives. Anger can damage our relationships, impede our decision-making, lead to various psychological issues, and cause a reduced quality of life. Some steps can help people come to terms with and heal the anger in more healthy ways.
Ways to Heal Anger
In order to heal anger, the first step is recognizing that it exists. If you’ve ever been described as “tightly wound” or “aggressive” or just plain “moody” these are all signals. When anger tips over it can be pretty difficult to halt; however, as with all things, detecting the signs of anger early is key to stopping a severe incident. It gives you time to halt anger in its tracks and direct your thoughts to a calmer and more constructive place.
Anger brings about a string of physical reactions in your body. These include:
- Faster Breathing
- A Rapid Heartbeat
- Tension In Your Body
- Pacing Or Tapping Of The Feet
- Clenched Jaws Or Fists
These physical bodily changes are early indicators of anger and recognizing them early plays a big part in halting harmful physical responses.
Research has discovered that exercise and other physical activities help decrease stress, a leading cause of anger. Going for a run, a brisk walk, or engaging in other physical activities can help keep your anger under check, especially if you feel it escalating.
Closely related to exercise is taking a time out or a break when you feel stressed or placed under pressure that can trigger anger. Five to ten minutes of quiet time does wonders in making you feel better and ready for anything without getting angry. Most psychologists recommend humor; however, a quiet time still does wonder at achieving the same results.
Unlike exercising or taking a time out, self-care time releases yourself from any subconscious blame held as a result of the anger situation. While most people feel angry at situations or conflicts, we can subconsciously blame ourselves for letting those situations happen in the first place.
Maybe you played a role in the conflict, you ignored apparent red flags, or you didn’t step away from the situation earlier. Blaming yourself would keep you from truly healing. Self-care time allows you to stop blaming yourself and release the negative energy, as forgiving yourself is the first proper step to healing anger.
There are various relaxation skills proven to help heal anger, and you should put these skills to work whenever you feel anger rising.
These skills include:
- Deep-Breathing Exercises
- Imagining A Relaxing Scene
- Repeating A Calming Phrase
- Listening To Music
- Writing In A Journal
- Doing Yoga
These skills are many, and what works for someone else might not be as effective for you. Try out a few and pick the one that works best for you.
The most crucial step in healing from anger is forgiving the offending individual. While all the steps listed above help handle and heal anger, their effects are temporary, and only forgiveness completely heals anger.
Contrary to popular thoughts, psychologists have found that forgiveness is a mindset and a new way of life rather than a one-off thing. Forgiveness should be practiced every day. We should let go of past hurts and feelings of having revenge for those actions.
While it can be incredibly difficult to practice forgiveness, it is the ultimate step to healing anger and living healthy lives.
There are various exercises thought to help with forgiving and letting go of past pains and hurts. The most popular is Tonglen, practiced in Tibetan Buddhism, which promotes deep compassion by letting go of past hurt and pain.