Anger is one of the most uncomfortable emotions we feel, yet it’s also one of the most important. For as much as we try to resist and repress anger, it will continue to surface until we give our undivided attention to it. This is because anger is a messenger, attempting to deliver crucial information as to how to heal our lives, shift our consciousness and raise our vibration.
Some experts tell us that anger is a result of our boundaries being violated or of unmet expectations. While this information may be true, it doesn’t usually help to heal anger. It may motivate us to set healthier boundaries or speak our truth in relationships, but the anger will remain or resurface.
Anger will continue to linger in our lives until we uncover its origin. Like all emotions, anger is a feeling in the body which reflects a thought in the mind. Without an angry thought, an angry feeling would not exist. Therefore in order to heal anger, we must become aware of the thoughts in our minds that trigger feelings of anger in our bodies, and be willing to let them go.
But bringing awareness to our thoughts in the midst of an angry episode is like asking a toddler to calm down in the middle of a tantrum – it’s almost impossible. And so when anger strikes, the wisest thing to do is to find the courage to feel it fully in the body, without projecting it outward onto other people or inward towards ourselves. Instead, just sit with it; “feel it in order to heal it.” This is the first step to healing anger – giving ourselves permission to feel this fiery emotion. By feeling anger, we allow it to flow and move, which dissipates the energy and prevents it from becoming repressed in the body.
A wonderful method that can help us with this is “tapping” or EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is a type of “psychological acupressure” that can help us to process uncomfortable emotions by tapping on the body’s energy meridians. EFT uses light movements with the fingertips on the head and chest to release emotion and alter the electromagnetic energy flow of the body. My favourite source for learning and practicing tapping is Brad Yate’s YouTube channel (consider watching his Intro to EFT or this video on Clearing Anger), or the book “The Tapping Solution” by Nick Ortner.
After the feelings of anger have dissipated, we can begin to examine what thoughts might have caused the anger in the first place. Through this practice, we become the observer of anger rather than the anger itself. This is a powerful realization. In the seat of the observer, we are able to question our thoughts and choose a new way of thinking, perhaps one that creates feelings of contentment or even joy rather than feelings of anger.
Author Byron Katie’s 3-step method entitled “The Work” is an excellent way of bringing awareness to the mind in order to heal anger and other uncomfortable emotions. The Work is an easy process of introspection that teaches us how to identify and question our painful thoughts. You can learn the work for free on Byron Katie’s website, or by reading her book “Loving What Is, Four Questions That Can Change Your Life”.
Know that anger is a healthy emotion as long as we know how to process it in a healthy way. Life happens, and although we probably can’t avoid anger altogether, we can become masters of letting it go.