Every one of us has experienced the pain and frustration of an all-consuming anger that we just cannot seem to move past. It may be anger at a loved one, family member, work colleague, or the anger could even be directed inwardly.
Holding a grudge is an unhealthy practice which only harms the bearer, and leaves them unable to move forward with their lives. This article gives tips on how to release yourself from emotional blocks, and set you on a path to a happier, healthier life.
You Deserve Peace
Sometimes the anger you feel is justified. A person may have wronged you, or committed some act that goes against your moral code. You may feel that you are doing the right thing by remaining angry, and that forgiving the person would be letting them off easy.
While this does seem logical, it is important to remember that your feelings are only damaging you, and the other person is most likely completely unaware of your inner torment. This famous quote sums it up best, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other to die.”
Take a deep breath, visualise all the stress and pain of the problem in question, and release it when you exhale. Don’t allow another person’s mistakes, or even your own, to detract from the beauty of existence. Breath in, release, move on.
Put It Into Perspective
Our emotions have the curious ability to take even the most mundane of problems, and turn them into tragedies. It could be as simple as our cell phone running out of battery at the worst possible minute, someone stealing our parking space, an annoying co-worker, or catching a lover in a white lie.
All these situations can send our anger levels skyrocketing in seconds. These types of situations are now being humorously referred to over the Internet as ‘first world problems.’ In the grand scheme of things just how severe are these problems?
Is the situation really worthy of the amount of time and emotion you have already given it? UNICEF estimates 25 people die of starvation every minute, and that every 30 seconds a child in Africa dies from malaria.
Another organisation estimates that worldwide more than 10 people die from cancer every minute. These are problems worthy of our time and attention, not the banalities of everyday life.
Write It Down
Another good way to see the situation from a different angle is to write down exactly what it is that’s troubling you. It could be in the form of a diary entry, or as a letter to the person you are angry with.
After you have written it down, set it aside for a few hours, or even overnight before coming back and rereading it. Does it seem like such a big deal anymore? Seeing it in printed word often takes the emotional edge off of the problem, and allows us to see it in perspective.
After you have read it a number of times, burn it or rip it into pieces, and visualise your anger evaporating along with it. It is never a good idea to show the person in question what you have written, as it may escalate the problem further.
Take The High Road
Waiting for the other person to apologise or atone for their actions can often lead to increased frustration, anger, and stress. Make the first move by approaching the other person, and letting them know you are no longer angry with them.
You can do this without condoning their actions and simply let them know that although you do not agree with what they did, you are no longer angry and are ready to move on. If the person is a close acquaintance or loved one, this is best done face to face and informally over a coffee.
If your grievance is with a co-worker, a friendly ‘good morning’ or warm smile will suffice. Even if you are morally right, remember that holding onto the anger is only harming you, and that by releasing it you are benefiting yourself and not the other.
This is also important to remember when the anger is with yourself, as this can manifest itself in a number of harmful ways. It has been proven beyond a doubt that those who suffer prolonged stress are at a higher risk of contracting heart disease, cancer, and have a decreased immune system. Forgive your own mistakes, not just for your peace of mind, but for your physical wellbeing.
Release It Forever
Once you begin to feel better and have released yourself from your own mental prison, make a conscious decision to never refer to the incident again. Many of us file away these experiences to use as ammunition in future arguments, but this is only suppressing the problem beneath the surface.
What’s past is past, and carrying it forward into our future robs us of the chance to accept each new day as a positive experience. Once your anger has subsided, visualise all the negative feelings rising up from within your body, and as you exhale, let them dissipate into the air around you.
Read more: Seven Ways To Build Optimism
Once you have learned to let life’s problems wash over you without causing grief and inner torment, you will immediately begin to see both mental and physical benefits. Happy people are healthier people, and have the ability to embrace life without fears, doubts, or anxieties clouding their experience.
Take a moment to imagine just how different your life would be if you were free from worry and self-doubt, and lost the damaging habit of carrying your emotional baggage with you through life. We all deserve to live a peaceful, joyful life. With a little time and effort, we can learn to rid ourselves of anger, and move forward into a higher level of consciousness.