How do we let go of the anger that we are feeling inside towards someone, something, or just in general, when it is eating away at us constantly? Particularly when we have in fact, been wronged?
First of all know this: anger is normal. It does not mean that something is inherently wrong with you, it does not mean that you have to be sent to some special classes for anger management (though it could, if the problem were to escalate down the road). I am constantly amazed how many people I see believe that experiencing anger makes them a bad person, and that they should not feel the way that they do. Anger merely means that you are human, and at the core of the issue, is hurt. You have been hurt in some way(s), and our natural instinct when we have been hurt, is get worked up and upset.
Where anger becomes problematic, and downright toxic, is when we are holding onto it for far too long, and it is starting to interfere with our functioning in other areas of our life (job, relationships, hobbies, interests, etc.)
So how does one let go of the anger that is eating them up?
The following are some useful suggestions, and a good place to start:
1. Writing/journaling: When you write, you can let go of your feelings. I always tell people, that it gets it out of your head, and out on paper. It makes it more concrete, whereby you can filter through it more easily, to decipher what (if anything) , you can do about it. You can always write an anger filled letter to the person who has wronged you as well, that you never send.
2. Gaining Control Over Your Thoughts: If you view something as horrible for example, you may have a corresponding reaction to that that is equally awful. If on the other hand, you view something as unfortunate , you may be able to lessen the hold the specific issue has on you. (Hint: #1 is a big step in starting to work thru this).
3. Behavior Adjustments: Changing behaviors can in fact change your thoughts. Learn to engage in activities that are physical/productive and help you cope positively when the going gets tough. For example, very recently, my husband and I were confronted with an outside situation that had I not had my home gym, complete with kettle balls, and weights, I honestly am not sure how I would have gotten thru it. The anger that this situation evoked in us both was so intense, had I not had that positive coping skill available to me, the outcome could have been much worse.
4. Forgiveness: Whether it is self-forgiveness or forgiving others, this is a crucial to moving forward, and healing. Self-forgiveness usually has to do with releasing the guilt, shame, or pain that is directed towards yourself and regrets you may have. Forgiveness of others, is about letting that person(s) go, releasing the hold they have on you, and trusting, that in the end, it will all work out the way it is supposed to.
Obviously, if the above suggestions are not enough to help you move forward in a positive direction, consideration should be given to seeing a professional therapist such as myself, who can help give increased guidance on letting go of anger, and underlying feelings and emotions.