I have a confession.
I’m not always totally in balance and peaceful and calm. I prefer when I am, but I’m not.
I’m human (just like you). So, I feel all the feelings. Anger is one of those feelings that I don’t acknowledge that often. I don’t think of myself as an angry person. I tend to pause before I react and weigh both sides of a situation.
But… sometimes I get angry.
About a week ago, I noticed that I wasn’t able to focus very easily. I normally am a pretty focused person and love to check tasks off my list to get things done. But, a week ago, I wasn’t able to focus and my head felt cloudy. I had been feeling like that for at least a month.
I chalked it up to being residual of this on again off again on again state of the pandemic.
Then, a friend of mine said something to me that set off this little spark inside. I felt like a little explosion went off inside me. Luckily, I was able to pause before reacting inappropriately to my friend, and I responded thoughtfully and calmly.
But, later, when I was alone, I thought about that conversation, and I realized that anger had been sparked inside me. Then, I realized that I had been holding onto this anger for at least a month, and that was why I was feeling so reactive, and also why my head was foggy and I couldn’t concentrate. I also noticed it wasn’t just a foggy head, I felt uneasy in my stomach and like I had a frog in my throat.
I asked myself… oh do I need to cry? No. No tears came.
As I was observing my emotions, I realized I had to find a way to release this anger before it impacted my health, thinking abilities, and relationships.
So, what did I do? Here are the five things I did to safely discharge my anger… maybe you need to try them, too?
- Scream and Yell.
- Do this when you are alone and in a safe place, and then let all of the sounds out that come to you. Expletives may come (they did for me!), so don’t censor yourself, let them flow.
- If you are angry at a person, you may imagine them sitting in front of you and allow yourself to say all the things you may not be able to say in person.
- Break or Throw Something.
- Break something that doesn’t matter, and be mindful not to hurt yourself. I took a stick I found on the ground and hit it against a tree trunk. Odd how great that feels.
- Throwing something helps, too. You could throw something to break it, or just throw a ball hard. I threw a tennis ball, luckily, my dog brought it back to me so that I could keep throwing it until I released that pent up energy.
- Exercise Like You Mean It.
- Pick your favorite workout and make it a challenging one that allows you to move and sweat. You all know I love yoga. So, I did an intense fast flow (not my usual – usually I am a take my time and observe what’s happening with each movement type of yoga practitioner). You may want to run it out, do kickboxing, crossfit, or even dance it out.
- Write out how you are feeling. Try writing a letter to who you are mad or to your anger. Or, just write out the things that are upsetting you.
- When you are done… tear it up. You can throw it away, recycle it, or even burn it (safely). I wrote a letter and then tore it up into teeny tiny little pieces and threw it away.
- Create Art.
- Draw or paint out your feelings. Do this fast and without a care about the result. Scribble and scratch away doing what feels good rather than what looks good.
- You may like the end result or you may choose to destroy it (like you did with your letter in step 4). I actually used my sons school white board and drew all over it… then I just erased it. Ahhh.
After all of this expression, you may feel a bit tired, or you may feel energized. So, tune into your body and take care of yourself. It might be a good idea to take yourself for a soothing walk, take a nap, or meditate. Do what feels right to you.
I made myself a cup of tea. As I was drinking it, I realized that my mind felt clearer than it had in months. So, I worked on a writing project that I really am passionate about, and I got a ton of work done.
Mostly, I just felt so much better, mentally and physically.
May you have peace within,