What is Anger?
Anger is a natural human emotion, and its something we have probably all felt at some point in our lives. People tend to think of anger as a negative, but anger can be a fuel for greatness and has enabled positive change in the world. Anger can also tell us a lot about who we are, and what we’re passionate about. It can also help us identify the things that are bothering us.
When does Anger become problematic?
Although anger can be a healthy emotion, it’s important that you don’t let it consume you. You may not even realise its happening. I didn’t. Here I share my story of how anger destroyed me, and how I got through it.
‘Last year I found out that my boyfriend had been unfaithful. It was probably the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced and the months that followed were the worst of my life. I tried my hardest to stay positive, but I was consumed with anger. I completely changed as a person, and my friends and family started to notice. When friends talked about their relationships, I was incredibly bitter. I wasn’t a very nice person to be around. I was hurt, and I was projecting my hurt out on to the rest of the world. I didn’t trust anyone after that, I thought everyone was out to get me. It was ruining my relationships with everyone but especially the one I was trying desperately to save. I decided to give my boyfriend another chance but I realised that in order for me to do that, I had to let go. It was the hardest thing to do but I truly believe our relationship and our family is worth fighting for. We don’t know what relationships go through behind closed doors and none of them are perfect, least of all mine. When I started to forgive him and others, I began to let go of my anger.
I finally started to feel like the person I was before. Infidelity destroys your confidence, and I was finally starting to heal and feel secure in my self again. Ross had completely changed and proved to me our love was worth holding on to. Not everyone agreed with my decision but this is my life to live. At the moment, I’m happy. But I think it’s important to talk about our downs, as well as our ups. Social media can lead us to believe our relationships are inadequate, they can make us think that the grass is greener but the truth is, the grass is only greener where you water it. Life is to short to be angry and I’ve learnt that now. Forgiveness is the first step, and once you truly forgive then you can move forward. Don’t let anger destroy you. I almost did. Things do get better, I promise.’
Signs anger is becoming a problem.
- The way you’re feeling is preventing you from moving forward in your life – When you’re angry about something you tend to fixate on it and it consumes your entire life. If you find yourself always mentioning something, and bringing it up in arguments then it’s likely there is an underlying reason for your anger that you need to address.
- Your behaviour is impacting others – You may be angry with someone but it doesn’t justify treating them badly. If you are becoming violent or aggressive because of anger then it’s important that you seek help as soon as possible. I was violent towards Ross when I found out, and even through I tried, there’s no justifying it. I admitted how I reacted was wrong.
If you identify with any of these things, it’s okay. I went through a period of anger and I was able to get through it. There’s a lot of reasons we can feel angry, but there’s also a lot of ways we can calm ourselves.
- Breathe – It sounds obvious but controlling your breathing can really help reduce anger and can help you regain clarity. I usually try counting to ten, and that seems to work for me but there are plenty of breathing techniques and relaxation tips on the internet, you can find a lot of useful guides on YouTube.
- Think – When I was angry, I said some horrific things to people. I said and did things that were completely out of character for me. When I calmed down I would always feel bad about my behaviour. Now, I try to take five before I respond. I think to myself, would I say this aloud to my mother, and if I couldn’t then I don’t say it.
- Let it out – There are plenty of health ways to release anger. Exercise is a great way to start. Especially things like boxing and martial arts. Even if you just scream into a pillow, or write all your emotions down in a notebook. Give your anger somewhere to go
- Face it – Whatever is bubbling under the surface is soon going to erupt. You must face it and find out the reason for your anger. Letting go of hurt and anger was the only way I could move forward in my life. If you don’t face it, then you risk letting it ruin your life.
If you or someone you know are affected by anger issues then there are services available to help such as anger management. Help is available through your GP and local mind services.And remember, if you identify with feeling angry, it’s okay – you’re not alone. Let it go, and let your life begin.