It’s happened to us. We’ve done it to others. Anger builds up like steam in a tea pot until we’re screaming and whistling, boiling at our pressure point. Like the steam in a teapot, that energy is hot. We wouldn’t put our face right into the boiling hot steam and expect it to make us feel any better. Likewise, we wouldn’t put someone else’s face right into our own steam and expect it to make us or them feel any better. Yet, when we vent our anger, that is exactly what we do. We expect letting off the steam to help us stop boiling. However, even when we take the pot off the hot flame and the steam recedes, the water inside is still very, very hot and can damage us. Research has found that venting doesn’t actually help with anger, but can make anger worse and reinforce the experience of anger. Anger is both a natural experience and a choice. As part of human evolution, anger has formed for survival and protection against predators. Today, anything from a waitress to a driver on the road can be a predator and we feel as though they are threatening our survival. Most often, we are truly experiencing a threat to our ego and sense of self.
Feeling is the key word. Feelings are not facts. Feelings are passing energetic experiences which we can choose to let overtake us or not. When we choose to vent, we aren’t choosing not to feel our anger. We are actually choosing to let our anger completely over take us, just for a minute, and then we think we are choosing to let it go, but we don’t. There are healthy ways to vent and process anger. The more we can regulate our anger, the better we can understand it, make peace with it, and learn how to experience it differently.
Spend time with anger before acting out of anger
We run mostly on autopilot with our emotions without taking a pause to contemplate them. Most people aren’t aware that they can contemplate their emotions. Learning to take a pause when an emotion comes up is a secondary step to learning to notice when emotions are coming up, before they are completely overwhelming. What are your signs of anger and triggers for anger? The more awareness you build the more time you can earn for yourself in taking a pause with anger before acting out on it.
Talk to yourself about your anger first
It’s easy to ask someone if you can vent and then let it all out. Before you try to release the energy, talk it out with yourself as if you are talking to someone else. With someone else, you might not be as authentic as you would be with yourself. With yourself, you can be vulnerable and admit what is really triggering you and why you are getting angry. Anger is a secondary emotion to fear and sadness. Allow yourself to identify fear and sadness then feel those emotions.
Recovery is about so much more than quitting a habit. Hired Power wants to help you find the changes in life which make living in recovery a full experience. From anger management to drug and alcohol addiction treatment, our dynamic team of recovery professionals are here to support you every step of the way to help you bring recovery home. Call us today for information: 714-559-3919