Anger is a very common emotion and may be one of the hardest of which to let go. Often you’ll feel that your anger at someone or something is perfectly justified, making you very reluctant to let whatever happened pass and thereby in some way trivialize the way you feel. This is of course just your ego talking.
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Though anger serves a purpose, hanging on to it hurts you in the long run and can make your life a real mess at times. Let’s look at some strategies that will let you deal with your anger all the quicker.
Acknowledging Your Anger
First of all, you need to acknowledge that you are, in fact, angry. Often we find ourselves telling ourselves or others that we aren’t angry when we are. By looking at ourselves and acknowledging our emotions we can admit to the root of anger: powerlessness. Someone slighted us, we were unable to react in a fitting way and now we’re stuck in a loop where we wish we could have done something but couldn’t, for whatever reason. By recognizing that feeling for what it is, you can start the process of dealing with it. Another important part is understanding that it is, indeed, a process. Your feelings won’t just go away over the course of a single day.
Identify The Cause
It’s very important as well to figure out at whom or what we’re angry. Often it may surprise you after a few minutes of contemplation that you are not angry with the guy who cut you off in traffic, but rather with your boss or someone else with whom you feel you can’t deal directly. Anger can be an expression of underlying tension or stress and the target could simply be someone who is convenient. Things that you’d normally shrug off, like being cut off or having someone bump into you become huge deals that can’t be dealt with calmly just because you had a fight with your spouse that morning. By correctly identifying the cause of your anger, you can deal with it a lot more effectively.
Shift To The Positive
The first thing you can do to actively combat anger is not by suppressing it, but by being more positive. This doesn’t mean looking at the bright side of the situation, (after all, what’s so great about being cut off in traffic?) but looking at things that are so much better than focusing on it. That guy might have bumped into you at the coffee shop, but it’s a beautiful day, so why worry about it? There’s always something more interesting to do with your precious time and energy, so why waste it on feeling angry? Anger only leads to bitterness that sucks up all the positive energy out of life, so why go down that road? Just relax and keep on going and everything will be just great.
Another tip is to forgive whoever is making you feel angry. This may be the toughest thing you’ll ever do, but it is the ultimate form of letting go and, in the end, makes you feel stronger and healthier. We all make mistakes and we all deserve to be forgiven for them, so why should you not forgive people who angered you? It’s more than likely that at some point in your life, you made someone feel angry, and by realizing this and remembering what it was like when he or she forgave you, you’ll feel more willing to extend that hand of friendship and accept someone’s apology and move on. Painful as it may be, it’s still better than hanging on to that angry bitterness.