Anger is a high energy emotion. When you can focus the energy in your anger towards an action that leads to a constructive outcome, you are turning your anger into power. Speaking up rather than acting out or holding back leads to healthier bodies and relationships that work.
Two divorces confirmed that I had to fight to get my needs met in an intimate relationship. It felt like my ex-husbands would not hear me unless we fought it out. And, then I met a man who would not fight with me. One day I was in fight mode, and he said, “Just tell me what you want, and I will try to give it to you.” I said, “You mean I do not have to fight with you to get it.” His statement changed me forever, and we have been together for 27 years.
Shortly after this incident, I recognized an old belief that was controlling my life: “Nothing comes to me easily”. As a child, I had to beg or get angry in an effort to get what I wanted. Today I have replaced resistance and power struggles with feelings of acceptance and empowerment. I just ask for what I want and work with what I get.
Anger is usually a warning that something isn’t right. For example, your needs are not being met: Your spouse rarely has time to spend with you. Or, your rights are being violated: Your supervisor yells at you in front of co-workers.
Repressing anger by denying it for months or years turns into bitterness and resentment and contributes to back pain, digestive problems, overeating, smoking, feeling tired, heart disease, cancer and more. Besides the negative physical consequences of anger, you are missing the opportunity to identify the problem and set a limit with someone.
Expressing anger through sarcasm, blaming and yelling leads to relationships filled with conflict and resentment. The intensity, noise and turmoil of the fight get in the way of identifying and resolving the real issue.
Once you discover the message in your anger, you are more able to protect your rights and change a situation. If you cannot identify the correction, you may need to explore deeper emotional issues from your past that are keeping you stuck in anger.
A FEW TIPS TO TRANSFORM YOUR ANGER:
Acknowledge it: Notice when and with whom your anger erupts. Do you recognize angry feelings in your body? Do you know what it is trying to tell you?
Take responsibility for it: No one is responsible for making you angry. Others trigger your anger. How you deal with it is up to you.
Discharge it in a physical way: Do not speak to someone while you are angry. Move the emotional charge through your body with exercise, breathing, cleaning, or hitting pillows.
Identify and ask for what you want: As an objective observer, discover what needs to happen to take away your anger. Then ask for what you want from another person or group in clear, specific, simple language. Speak from your truth, not your anger.
When you speak from your power, be aware that some people have the communication skills to deal with you constructively and some do not. But often times it is how you approach another person or situation that determines the outcome. Others hear you when you speak with clarity, objectivity and confidence. They are more willing to work with you to find a solution that works.
How do you use your anger constructively? Click the words “Leave a Comment” at the top of the page under the title.
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