Anger is often misunderstood as an emotion. People tend to think of anger as something that we must learn to rise above. That it is something that we must shun, or even beat into submission, so that we can be the perfectly calm enlightened masters of our own universe. I would argue that isn’t quite true, and that anger is not the enemy.
Anger is a beautifully positive motivating powerhouse of an emotion. It can get us out of unhealthy situations, jobs and relationships. It tells us when something isn’t quite right in our world, and it shines a big spotlight on an area that needs our attention.
Just as we are all unique individuals, we all have unique relationships with anger. We learn how to process anger at a young age from societal cues, family members, role models, spiritual guides, and any other number of sources.
How do you experience anger? Are you aggressive? Passive-aggressive? Assertive? Do you suppress it? Whatever way anger shows up in your life, it is always being processed. The key to a healthy relationship with anger is to process it cleanly and consciously.
Now, some of us may be thinking, “But, I don’t really experience anger, or I keep it in check, so this doesn’t apply to me.” I used to be one of these people! Though my work in hypnotherapy, I came to learn that I definitely was experiencing anger, and that I became so adept at suppressing it, that I didn’t even know what anger felt like anymore.
From a young age, I felt like it was not acceptable for me to express painful emotions like anger, so I started to stuff them down. Eventually, my subconscious took over that task, so that I could spend my conscious brainpower doing things that demanded more of my attention.
Our minds are always streamlining processes to be more efficient, based on things that have worked for us in the past. However, sometimes our minds operate on outdated information and limiting beliefs that may not produce the results that we desire and can actually be harmful to us.
Anger is always processed. With anger, there is no putting it in a box to deal with it later. It is an active emotion, and will leak out of whatever container we may try to keep it in and infect the rest of our lives – sometimes surprising ways.
Stay tuned for my next blog, which will go over what happens when we process anger unconsciously and messily, & for tips on how to process anger cleanly and consciously!
If you need help improving your relationship with anger,
reach out to me and let’s work on it together!