I have read a few posts lately from people writing about dealing with anger. Some of the comments were about “controlling the anger”, doing certain things to calm one down and get to the WHY. In my opinion, these are not the answers. If you try to control it or go immediately to calming yourself, you are suppressing it. If you start asking why, then you will enter your logical mind, which will only protect your ego’s rationale for being angry. Anger is pure energy and when you can palpably feel that energy surfacing, you want to do the opposite of think harder and analyze it…you want to move it! Insights about where the anger stems from may come then or later, but that doesn’t matter so much in the moment you feel that surge of energy. Most of us were not taught as a child or in society to express our anger. Anger was always an unconscious emotion to me. I’ve always been a pretty happy, optimistic person and didn’t find myself angry a lot. It wasn’t until the last five or six years when I started to access it.
Now I would say to anyone that the time to express anger is any time you feel it arising in your body! Your body is intelligent, it’s telling you something if you feel agitated, frustrated or restless. It may not always be convenient or your first instinct to go deal with your anger by yourself for a few reasons. First, it is often other people that trigger our anger and it is easy to direct or blame our anger on something they said or did. Second, we are conditioned from childhood to stuff it down and “mind our manners.” Anyone raised in the south, I’m sure can relate to the latter, as “southern manners” are emphasized. However, there are many healthy ways to release your anger from your body. First you have to excuse yourself if you are around anyone else. Then you can pick your medicine by following what your body wants to do (not your mind).
“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
Healthy Ways to Release Anger from the Body:
- Punching (preferable something soft)
- Repetitively hitting a pillow against something
- Screaming/yelling into a pillow
- Jumping or stomping (think of a little child throwing a temper tantrum)
- Grunting (from your gut) with any of these can be very effective
It is totally healthy, as long as it is not harming anyone. For some, it’s not always easy to access anger, so when you finally do feel it, then be sure to move it! Also, it’s important to note that this can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It can be startling to the nervous system if you haven’t connected your anger to your throat before.
There is one last hint I’d like to share that helped me identify when I was angry, as I mentioned before it’s always been a difficult emotion for me to access. I learned that whatever your primary emotional reaction is day to day can be very telling to the underlying emotion you are holding. So if frustration is your primary emotional reaction (this is true for me), then anger is right underneath it. On the other side of your healthy emotional release is a surge of the good nutrients of anger, which are clarity and power!
Dr. Somer Nicole
Founder of YogaDoctors.TV
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Kundalini and Hatha Yoga Teacher
CranioSacral Therapist & SomatoEmotional Release Practitioner