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My Spiritual Self-Help Guide

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Waking Up to Your Anger is the Only Way to Find Relief

What's Your Biggest Problem? - Your Situation or Your Out-of-Control Reaction to It?

Distressed Woman on Steps photo by Jill Battaglia

How Helpful is Anger?

Finding relief from anger isn't easy and means that you have to wake up and face up to it. Anger seems pretty normal and is often thought to be a good thing. After all, people who get angry get things done, don't they? They are motivated to take action to try to put things right. However, usually the action that comes out of anger is tainted by negativity and can inflame the situation rather than make it better. Angry people generally lash out with harsh words and sometimes violence and may even kill. And angry people don't tend to see the problem clearly. Their anger gets in the way of rational thinking and often becomes a bigger problem that the situation itself.

Anger Just Doesn't Work

Why is anger rarely the best way to solve issues and deal with problems? Well, anger is bad for you and it just doesn't work. You are poisoning your body with brain-produced chemicals and putting negative emotions out into the atmosphere. When you are angry you tend to attack the person whom you see as your adversary. Often these are people you are supposed to love - those closest to you - your parents, kids or spouse. When you get angry, it often doesn't affect the other person or situation in the way that you think. Anger hurts and bullies others. Or it makes it easier for them to dismiss your feelings as irrational and out of touch simply because you are angry. When this happens another person tends to become even more stuck in their own point of view. Resentment and hostility build and nothing changes for the better. If it does, it changes out of the fear of your violent reaction and not because the other person wants the change. And so the resentment cycle is fuelled.

Getting Angry is Just a Conditioned Response

How often have you felt stupid after having an angry outburst at somebody who has pushed your buttons? When you calmed down you realised that you went a little over the top. Most of us have been there. How often does domestic violence lead to apologetic partners who promise never to do it again? Anger is not a productive way to deal with issues. It only ever makes things worse. The situation that you don't like is one issue but the anger adds a whole new problem. Which is your worst problem when you're out of control? The challenge that you are facing or your angry reaction to it? Getting angry is actually not necessary to resolve your problems and is just a conditioned way of reacting to something that you don't like. You don't have to get angry to deal with issues; you can solve our problems from the more enlightened perspective of patience, acceptance and assertiveness.

Getting Space from Your Anger

However If you are prone to anger, you are not going to be able to ditch your conditioned behaviour overnight and becoming aware of it is going to be essential to calming it down. It is probably going to be necessary to remove yourself from any problematic situation in order to calm down prior to dealing with it. You must learn to separate your emotional reaction from the underlying issue and go within to start to really look at where these erupting emotions are coming from. Give yourself a period of time to see if you still feel the same and only then should you take any action. At this point you should hopefully have a better perspective from the emotional, out-of-control one that raised itself earlier on. Becoming aware of your anger will mean that you start to recognise its eruption earlier on in the process and can try to nip it in the bud.

Dealing With the Problem

So, now to attempt to solve the problem! First you will need to work out exactly what are your underlying issues, what you want to change and how change might happen for the better. Perhaps you still feel angry even though you can see the disadvantages of this - it can be hard to let go of long-term conditioned behaviour. Our egos would more often far rather prove themselves right than let someone off the hook by being happy or forgiving. However, you are in a better place to solve your problems when you come from an attitude of love; of wanting to make things better for everybody; of wanting a win-win situation. When you come from a place of love and presence, you will find better ways to solve problems. You can look at the problem in a more rational way and decide what you would like to happen to resolve it. Often the universe will guide you in coming up with solutions, if you can just get your wounded ego out of the way.

Accept What You Can't Change

Of course, sometimes you will have to accept that you can't change the situation. But anger is not going to help. Acceptance of the situation needs to come before you can let go of heavy negative emotions. You can't always change other people or their actions, however much you want to.

Letting Go of Anger

Sometimes it is easy to think that anger is about being caring and passionate about something. But anger is merely a conditioned response. Often, it is an attempt to manipulate things to be the way that we want them to be, usually at the expense of others. Learn to watch and experience your anger without judgement of yourself in order to become aware of your patterns and start to let it go. When you can separate your feelings from the situation and deal with each separately, you start to deal with your problems constructively. And from your new-found empowerment, your anger starts to drop away.

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More Anger Articles

• Anger Home Page - Find Relief From the Most Deadly and Destructive of Emotions • Dissolve Anger, Resolve Problems - Effective Ways to Make Changes in Relationships • How to Stop Emotional Pain, Hurt and Suffering • Why Anger Doesn't Work - How to Resolve the Real Issues • Anger - What's Your Biggest Problem? - Your Situation Or Your Out-of-Control Reaction to It? • Dealing with Difficult People - Using Assertiveness in Your Communication with Others