So what’s hiding out in your unexpressed anger?
The Answer: Your Freedom! Anger that’s withheld or repressed can eat away at your desires, robbing you of the intimacy you crave, your dream career, prosperity, peace, wellness and joy.
Last month on my radio show I had a lovely listener, Jennifer from NJ, ask me about anger and I think it’s such an important topic that I want to take some time and shed a little more light on the subject.
I want to start by saying it’s ok to be angry and feel anger. But so many of us bury the emotion, internalize the anger and even reject that we have a right to be angry. As if being angry is not “proper” or “appropriate” to feel. And then we disown and dissociate from it.
Most of us think anger looks like an explosion of aggression and hostility. And yes, anger can look like that. However, unexpressed anger surfaces in different ways for different people – like neediness, control, anxiety, being overly critical, cynical, depressed or like the caller…stolidly independent. And it’s hard to recognize this as unexpressed anger because we don’t have a relationship with it. The expression won’t look the same, what you need to look at is the emotion underneath the behavior.
And what you’ll find, if you dig a little deeper is you actually draw people towards you that do express anger and mirror your unexpressed anger back to you.
So what I want you to do this week is explore your relationship to anger. Think about how you express—or don’t express—your anger and how anger may be expressed in a healthy way for you.
And if you’re wondering how to express your anger in healthy ways, here are a few I’ve picked up over the years:
- Take a plastic baseball bat to a pillow
- Yell outside from a hilltop
- Take a shower in the dark and scream
- Go kickboxing
- Sing it out
- Write about it
- Blast music in your car and shout it out
Give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel and learn to own your anger so you can heal into a life of greater freedom.