I believe all of the emotions we experience are here for us to learn something, express ourselves, pay attention to our needs. Anger is one of them.
Although it might seem paradoxical, expressing anger is one of the most important habits to live your life with ease and grace.
Releasing anger, how do you do that?
First of all, it is important to keep in mind:
Feeling angry isn’t the same as being aggressive.
Sure, you could destroy something or yell at someone, but we don’t want that – world peace and all.
8 effective ways to release anger
Here are 8 ways to effectively express and release your anger, without hurting anyone.
1. Scream in nature
Find a quiet place in a forest, at the beach, on a mountain. Feel the sun touching your face, the air blowing around you. Place your feet firmly on the ground, feel the connection with the earth. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold your breath for a couple of seconds, then out again through your mouth. Focus on a point in the distance. Then, scream. With all you have. Repeat as often as you need. You will probably start crying or shaking – no worries, it’s just energy leaving your body.
You can scream anywhere, of course, but you don’t want to keep that angry energy inside your house or car. If you decide that is the place you feel safe to express your anger, that’s fine too, just make sure to clear the space with some fresh air afterward.
I don’t usually encourage swearing or cursing. However, if you don’t aim your words at a living creature, it can be such a relief to scream f————–ck!!! Shake your body and your anger is gone. Usually, I add out loud: “thank you – this energy may now leave my house”. After all, I’m still a hippie.
If you don’t feel comfortable swearing, opt for a kinder ‘aaaaaaaaargh’ instead. Works equally well.
4. Stamp your feet
Remember when you were a child you would stamp your feet when you were upset? I recently started doing that again. There was a reason why you did this intuitively when you were a child. Try it.
You may find yourself automatically combining this with number 2 or 3.
Studies have shown that keeping a diary or writing about your feelings and emotions helps to experience and then release them. Whether you are feeling sad, consumed with fear (for recurrence for example) or furious – pen & paper help. If the trigger of your rage happened recently, it is usually enough to simply grab the first piece of paper you see and start writing everything that comes up. Do include all the incredibly mean things you want to say – just get it all out, baby! If the anger has been simmering for a while, you might find you need to take a moment. Just start writing “I feel so much anger inside me, because”. If nothing comes up, write that same sentence again. And again. Until something does come up. That first reason might not be the actual thing that is bothering you, but it will start the writing process. Soon enough, you are writing about everything that you’ve kept inside.
6. Sing out loud
Music is always a good idea (check out my Spotify list with more than 10 hours of uplifting and motivational songs). Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff is my favorite for angry moments. “I feel like shit. My suggestion is to keep your distance, Cause right now I’m dangerous”.
Running, or any sports for that matter, is a good way to get out of your head and into your body. We best connect to our emotions when we feel them, not when we think about them.
A week before my surgery, I was in Spain with two friends. We had planned to spend two weeks floating on a giant unicorn in the swimming pool, sipping one cocktail after the other. Then, I got a hand infection (one of the delayed side effects of chemo) and therefore wasn’t allowed to swim or drink alcohol for a month. F—–ck / aaaaaaargh / *stamp feet* – I was so upset. First I cried, then I yelled, then I put on my running shoes. I didn’t get far, but it certainly offered relief to release the anger and disappointment. After that, I put on gloves and poured myself a nice cold 0% alcohol beer and enjoyed the sun. Acknowledging and releasing the anger allowed me to adapt quickly.
8. Breathing exercises
Paying attention to your breath is a powerful way to check in with your body and let go of what doesn’t serve you. My favorite breathing exercise is so simple, you can do it anytime, anywhere:
– Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds.
– Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.
– Breathe out with open mouth in 8 seconds.
That’s it. Repeat 4-5 times, or as often as needed. You’ll feel much calmer after that and are ready to look at your emotions with a clearer mind (this breathing exercise is also amazing to help you fall asleep).
What triggered you to feel angry?
After you have fully felt and expressed the emotion, I invite you to ask yourself why you were triggered in the first place. Where did this anger come from? What does it teach you? Did somebody cross your boundaries? Were you unable to live up to your expectations?
Listen to the anger – it’s here to tell you something.
Do you embrace your emotions? How do you release anger?