We all know ‘anger’. We all know that it can motivate us to make strides we weren’t necessarily ready to make at a particular moment. We all know it can help assist us in the age old theory of “fight or flight” syndrome. We all know that it can be a catalyst to make changes in the way you relate with one another.

We also know it can destroy. It can destroy relationships, it can destroy healthy habits, and it can destroy an internal sense of well being and happiness. This article examines anger and ways to mitigate it.

Most professionals, psychologists and doctors can tell you that anger, when it is directed well, is healthy. But most of us are left asking, “How do I know if this anger is channeled well?” “What can I do to handle my anger better?” There are no simple solutions but upon reading several articles on this myself, a few things hit home for me.

First, everyone agrees that talking about how you feel is a key component to healing. It helps you figure out what hurts and why. It also helps to hear someone else’s view on it that is impartial. But, in talking about anger, there is a line that should be acknowledged before it is crossed. And that is, to keep incessantly talking about the hurt can actually hurt more. It can exacerbate the negative feelings, making them constantly appear on the surface so that being able to think about much else can be very difficult. The constant berating of negative and often painful feelings can cause more stress then the actual feelings themselves. There has to be a line drawn in which you discuss what is making you so angry and then to give time to process the feelings quietly so that you can give yourself a chance to find some peace and quiet. The constant need to examine how you feel is a healthy motivator in finding resolve; however there is value in doing it quietly or by writing things out. Studies have shown, and also through my own experience, that the very act of transferring information from your mind to paper can add enormous clarity. I practice this method daily. I have been journaling my whole life and there have been several times where I sit down to write about what has upset me and before I know it, what has been written bears little relationship to what I ‘thought’ was right on the surface.

Second, in discovering your anger and the root of the real issue it helps to ask yourself several pertinent questions. The questions provide internal insight and examination so that you can find some of your own answers. My father has passed down these questions to me and it has helped tremendously in deciding a course of action when dealing with my own pain and anger. “Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said now? Does it need to be said now, by me?” Questions we can ask ourselves will almost always provide some insight. I find that when I am distraught, asking myself “Is this really the issue? What really hurts about this? Is my anger and pain connected to another issue that has made this intensify? Often enough, my anger has been rooted to an older emotional scar. We all have them. Fears often can manifest as anger. Fear of being rejected, fear of abandonment, fear of failure, fear of losing someone or something. The sooner you have some internal clarity, the sooner you can find some resolve.

Third, a good way to work out emotional pain and anger is to work your body. I started running when I separated from my ex-husband many years ago and was facing overwhelming fear of failure. I had two small children at the time (one 3 months and the other 3 years). I feared being alone, I feared not being a good enough parent to my girls, I feared not being able to financially support us, I feared that our separation and divorce would ‘damage’ the girls forever. So I ran. I was overweight and already very tired but when I was running on the road, track or tread mill, I only had “me” to think about and the sense of well being from just the physical exertion helped calm me. It helped calm me so that I could think clearly and find some inner peace. The physical exercise also gave me the opportunity to feel. There were times I would be running and I would start to cry. At first I would sob and then find myself running as fast as I could as my anger came right to the surface. After my run, I felt like I had just lifted a 20lb weight off my back. I still run. Today I have runner friends that tell me that without running they would have just collapsed during times of stress. The physical activity (whatever works for you) allows for the production of endorphins by your pituitary glands. Endorphins provide the same feeling as ‘opiates’ which give a sense of pleasure and well being. I am not an expert in chemical compounds in the body, or a doctor, but I know this to be true as I have been able to work through my emotional pain, physically.

As I wrap this up, I will conclude with another great quote passed on by my father that he recently saw on a church billboard on his way to a meeting “He, who angers you, controls you”. The healthiest thing you can do for yourself when dealing with anger is to take control of it, understand it completely and then let it pass, as it always will over time.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah was born in Boston, MA, raised in New York City and graduated from the University of Connecticut with two degrees. She obtained her degrees in Communications and Psychology. Through her own personal tragedies and struggles Sarah married young and had two beautiful girls. Even though her marriage failed, her devotion to her graduate education and her girls was unsurpassed. With her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in analyzing foreign markets, and a new career opportunity in MD, she moved to MD where she met and fell in love with Enrique. Today, Sarah lives in Maryland with her husband and their children, researching, writing and publishing articles and books on www.loveislost.com