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Can Anger Really Help You Heal?

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  • Well it wasn’t long after breaking through some of my fear issues, that anger showed up and showed up it did.

    Anger Defined
    According to www.answers.com, anger is defined as “a strong feeling of displeasure or hostility”. I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with that definition. When I was going through this phase during my healing process, I definitely exhibited “strong feelings of displeasure and hostility”.

    Where It Shows Up
    My husband, my daughter and I lived in our house for approximately six years before my husband moved out. Everything seemed to be working just fine, by everything I mean the appliances, etc. Well, my husband moves out and within that year everything decided to go wrong. First the refrigerator quit working, so I needed to buy a new one. And of course it decided to stop working in the middle of summer during a dinner party I was having. Around the same time, every faucet in the house decided to leak and the tiles in my daughter’s shower felt like popping out. Trust me I am no plumber or carpenter. It so happened that the year he left was the rainiest year on record so needless to say my basement flooded. Finally, the fuel pump on my vehicle went and if any of you know about fuel pumps when they go they just go no warning. So mine decided to go bad when I was driving my daughter home from work at 10:00 pm at night, stopped running right in the middle of the road.

    Can you see where all of this is going? Sure I blamed him for all these things going wrong. My favorite saying was “Boy he knew when to jump ship”. During that year I experienced a great deal of anger. Anger that manifested itself so strongly that I ended up in tears more times then not. Was it really his fault that all of these things went wrong? Certainly not, but it was easier to be angry at him than take responsibility for what I was feeling. Determined to get control of my emotions and use them in a constructive rather then destructive way, I went looking for tools to help me deal with my anger.

    Ways of Dealing with Anger
    The first step in dealing with anger is to acknowledge it and find out the source. Once you have done this it is easier to feel it and move through it. Some ways that can help you move through anger are:

    Venting - either alone or with a venting partner
    Journaling
    Anger Letters
    Physical Outlet - punching a pillowing or exercising

    Venting: this provides a safe outlet for your angry words and emotions. A venting partner is someone who is willing to listen and support you, without input, during your venting process. Venting occurs when you just let all of the emotions flow uncensored. It is not a pity party that is why it’s important that you pick a venting partner who will listen and not provide feedback. Any feedback can lead you right into a pity party, which defeats the whole purpose of a venting session, to get the garbage out. Pity parties make you the victim and keep you stuck. Venting allows you to purge and move forward.

    Journaling: provides you with a similar outlet as venting, you can write down all the angry words that you are feeling in a safe place. Getting the toxic thoughts out of your head and on to paper helps you move safely through your anger.

    Anger letters: you write a letter to the person that you believe is the source of your anger this could be a spouse, a child or yourself. The important thing to remember is that this letter is not going to be sent to the person. It is a safe way to address your feelings while respecting the other person. After the letter is written, you should destroy it, by ripping it up, burning it or during a letting go ceremony. This is a great way to release those angry feelings toward others or yourself.

    Physical Outlet: it is proven that physical exertion provides emotional release and encourages positive thoughts. In addition, many of us who have experienced divorce are experiencing different levels of low self esteem. By taking action through physical exercise you can increase your self esteem tremendously. Not only do you become stronger physically, your emotional strength increases as well.

    Action Step
    I encourage you to try one or several of these methods to deal with your anger. If you try any of these options I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, if you have methods that you found to be effective in dealing with anger I would love to learn about them. Please email me at coach@lisafredette.com or post under this discussion thread.

    Lisa Fredette
    http://www.lisafredette.com/takecontrol
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by CoachLisa on 7th October 2008
  • Great points!
    I utilized all of these methods in my Banish the Bad Mood Mama! workshops.
    As womman we are taught not to be angry, however anger when channeled can be a great source of motivation and healing. Without anger how would we know when someone has step on or over our boundries? Without anger how would we know something is not working for us?
    The proplem with anger is ...too often we get stuck in anger. We do not use it to propel s to new levels, to push past challeges, to learn about ourselves.
    The only thing I would add in is breathing...its a simple in the moment method that can help you clarify your thoughts and calm your mind so you can use anger, not have it use you.
  • Brandy:

    Thanks for your comments. Your statement "the proplem with anger is ...too often we get stuck in anger. We do not use it to propel s to new levels, to push past challeges, to learn about ourselves." Is so very true. Many of us do get stuck in the anger rather than allowing it to propel us foward. I don't know how many times I hear women make negative, spiteful remarks about others, particulalry their ex - it is evident they are stuck in their anger. Your suggestion about breathing is right on too - thanks for adding that.

    Lisa
    http://www.lisafredette.com
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by CoachLisa on 12th October 2008

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