Retained Anger & Body
Hiding anger and avoiding confrontation takes a lot of energy. The same goes for someone who gets angry all the time and constantly accuses others. Anger activates a large charge of energy that you can use both constructively and undermine. Your anger does not have to lead to aggressive behavior and does not have to hurt anyone.
Controlling your anger is important, which is different from suppressing this emotion. Everyone has feelings of anger from time to time. You get angry when you feel hurt. When someone tells you that he never gets angry, he is actually saying that he is hiding his anger because he is afraid of what he will encounter in the emotion of himself.
Caroline Bont: ‘Retained anger puts a strain on your body. For example, one of my female clients had a repeated migraine attack after there was an unspoken conflict with her husband. Another client, after recurring problems with a neighbor, invariably had hyperventilation one or two days later.
These physical complaints disappeared in both persons when they learned to handle their anger well and became more assertive.’ Pretending you’re not angry won’t make the feeling go away. Unprocessed anger remains in your energy field until you accept it, understand it and express it in a healthy way.
Healthy and frustrated anger
Healthy anger gives strength. Your energy field is charged and that extra charge of energy gives you strength and clarity. It is a fit of short-term anger and afterward, you experience it more as vitality. You use her to survive, to set boundaries, to set things right, and to communicate better.
You use that energy to take on challenges and activate your perseverance. Things get tricky, though, when this anger mixes with frustrated anger related to unresolved frustrations and hurts from a distant or more recent past. It also lasts much longer and continues to smolder until the first spark sparks the fire again.
To distinguish between healthy and frustrated anger, answer the following questions: What is the positive intention of my anger? Are there unprocessed experiences that stimulate this emotion? And what do I need to process this? Have I become angry because my expectations are not being met?
And to what extent is it better to let go of those expectations? Expressing your anger physically in a peaceful way is good for releasing energetic ballast, which creates clarity. When you manage to resolve frustrated anger, you avoid unnecessary problems and your outrage becomes constructive.
Exercise: Transforming Emotional Pain
Focus on the experience of your anger, sadness, or fear, rather than the why. Direct the power of that energy into your consciousness. Take a few minutes to do that. The problem doesn’t go away, you can always deal with it in the usual way. Do this experiment to give yourself a little more space.
- Shake your arms and legs loose.
- Center yourself, dwell on your anger and separate it from your thoughts about it.
- Let go of all the reasons for it, you can deal with that again later.
- Just focus for a moment on the experience of anger, not on what makes you angry.
- Notice how your body reacts, and how that feels physically and emotionally.
- Focus on the experience of fear or sadness, not what makes you anxious or sad.
- Purely and consciously feel its energy and breathe it in and out. You can do this until you feel it changing and dissolving on its own.
- Imagine your entire energy field becoming clean and flooded with golden light.