Nothing festers under our skin and creates emotional stress quite like unresolved anger. It spreads and grows, eating us alive. Unprocessed anger creates an inner hostility that, if left to percolate, can harm our health and all other aspects of our lives.
Pent-up anger strangles our energy. It’s like a stopper in the sink preventing the clear flow of water through the plumbing — making it difficult to fully express our creativity, live joyously, or embrace daily opportunities to grow and heal. Below you’ll find some helpful insight on how to release anger in a positive way so you can get back to fully living your life.
What Happens When We Allow Anger to Build Up Inside
We occasionally express some anger when we lash out at others or lose our temper. This usually isn’t done consciously and is not the best way to release it. This can take forms such as road rage or as impatience with a slow-moving store clerk; as intolerance for others or irritability with those we care about; or even as an unkind word when we would have liked to say something nice.
Anger rarely shows up directly in response to what initially upset us. Instead of releasing the anger, gently and with conscious and constructive intention, we hold on to it. We put it in a subconscious “closet” and expect it to go away. But it remains trapped there and grows bigger. One day, it busts down the door and comes out swinging, usually at the most unexpected time and directed at the most unsuspecting target.
Repressed anger can make us push away the people and positive opportunities we desire. It’s truly in our best interest to clear the stuck energies out.
Processing and clearing the angriness — regularly emptying our closets of unresolved resentment and frustration — means finding ways to constructively release that energy to restore healthy emotional flow.
3 Healthy Ways to Express Anger
1. Let go of any guilt or anger you may have to begin with
Anger is a normal emotion and helps us learn our triggers. Understanding the source of our upset and why we’re holding onto it helps us learn better strategies for coping or avoiding more of the same — things like people in your life who regularly anger you, figuring out the root reasons why, and finding ways to set healthy boundaries for yourself to not be continually triggered by that person.
2. Accept your feelings of anger and then let them go
Feel the anger, move it through and out of you (scream, punch a pillow, shake your body to release it, write out your feelings in a journal, yell out alone what you’d like to say, and so on) and then let it be. Accept what happened, then accept you’ve processed it and declare it will no longer affect you. Your intention itself can be hugely impactful in productively letting go.
3. Transform emotions into positive actions (my personal favorite)
View the energy of anger and use it to fire up your actions and ambitions in a positive way. This could look like redirecting anger at a boss into searching for a better job or using anger energy at the current politics to form a committee to propagate change.
Releasing Your Anger Brings Many Positive Benefits
Not only does relinquishing feelings of anger remove energetic strings keeping us tied to the perpetuating event, but it can reduce stress, which helps our physical health and gives us clearer energy to apply to what we love. Releasing those closeted emotions helps us move into a more effective and effortless state of inner peace and freedom. And from that place we invite and attract more opportunities for love and joy and positive change.