Why you feel so angry and what to do about it
Anger can be a tricky emotion. We have been told over and over in society that feeling angry is wrong, so for most of us we try to shove our feelings of anger down hoping that they will just go away. Turns out that emotions buried don’t go away, they just fester and end up coming out sideways. If you struggle with exploding on your kids or partner you know what I mean, if you have ever been exceptionally rude to someone in public you know as well.
So where does this anger come from?? Grief can be a catalyst for anger, when your emotions overwhelm you and you have not been able to sit with them and allow them to do their work in you, when you have tried to rush your healing, bursts of anger can be the result. Anger almost always comes from other trapped emotions coming out sideways. We all cary around a root lie that can trigger anger in us as well. The way that I have found to uncover the root lie is to look back to your childhood, to one of your first memories. I also often use the enneagram with clients to uncover root lies they might be believing. For example, I work with a woman who is dominant in enneagram 2, a type that typically believes that they have to be serving others in order to be loved. When we talked about that, and we talked about how her most recent trauma made her feel, like she could and would be left behind, we were also able to go back to one of her first memories when she also felt like she had to earn her place or be left behind. Once we uncovered that lie, she could look back on dozens of memories when she felt that way. My personal root lie is that my voice doesn’t matter, and that is easily triggered by my children and husband who never seem to listen when I speak. The result is explosive anger and yelling so loud I can hurt my own ear drums.
The question is what do we do with the anger, when the emotion overwhelms and we feel ourselves snapping??
First: It is important to uncover what your trigger is, are you in a season of grief, or anxiety? Do you have a root lie that triggers an anger response in you? One way to uncover your reasons for anger might be to journal after every outburst, what exactly was happening? Where you hungry or tired? Are you grieving a loss or stressed passed your capacity? Is there a theme to what seems to set you off, like kids who ignore you when you speak?
Second: When you feel yourself on the verge of exploding, immediately take a deep breath. Inhale through your nose as deeply as you possibly can, hold that inhale for a beat and then exhale through the mouth until you have emptied yourself of all air and hold that for a beat. Then give yourself 4 box breaths, inhale for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, exhale for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, extra bonus points if you can find your heart beat and match the counts to the beat of your heart.
Third: Apologize if you explode on someone, if you don’t the feelings of shame can creep in and make it that much more difficult to get healthy. You may even still feel like your anger is justified (and it could be) but raging at someone is never the way to solve conflict and the spiral of anger and rage it can trap you in is unhealthy.
Finally, ask for help. A good friend or a therapist, someone who can help you sort out the root of your anger and help you come up with a plan for releasing pent up emotions in a healthy way. If you are interested in private yoga therapy, I would love to work with you. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Love and Light,