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How to release Anger - Releasing Emotions Series pt 1

Releasing Anger

FREE PRINTABLE version https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YXG0SSeZ_js1Q9Ux9Cacpoh0S1s5bUDW/view?usp=sharing

Before starting this journey I was terrified of anger. I thought of it as a inherently 'bad', dangerous emotion. Now I understand its place and importance in life, and that it is just as valid as any other emotion.

Not releasing anger and allowing it to sit in the body can cause it to pop up in somatic ways, such as a headache, TMJ/jaw pain, back pain, irritability and it can cause resentment towards others.

I find that my mind always feels so much clearer after I let out anger, and that I also no longer harbour resentment to whoever it was that upset me. This does not necessarily mean I forgive the person that upset me, but it allows me to feel better and move on. I release the anger for my benefit, not for theirs (I will be writing on the topic of forgiveness soon!)

I often end up crying after releasing anger. At the time of writing this, releasing anger is a fairly new process to me. I have noticed after getting angry that I often want to cry with both joy (because I've learned how to get angry), and with sadness - as getting angry helps me to tap into my sadness and the grieving process.

Quick note: don't beat yourself up if you feel like you can't get angry! I used to think there was something wrong with me and that I was a failure because I couldn't get angry. All these processes take time, and there's no way of forcing it. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Your caregivers didn't teach you how to emotionally regulate, so it makes sense that this may be a new, scary, and uncomfortable process to you.

Also try to remember to reject the inner critic if you feel it getting in the way of your emotional release. Below are some of my inner critic thoughts I get when releasing anger and how I speak back to them:

-something is wrong with me, I can't even access a basic human emotion

-untrue: There is nothing wrong with me, my caregivers never taught me how to emotionally regulate. I also had to dissociate from my emotions in order to cope with the stress.

Here are also some of the biased thoughts I have related to anger and how I speak back to them:

-anger is dangerous - untrue: it was only dangerous in my household because it was repressed and then released in a dangerous, unregulated way.

-i'm going to be like my father if I allow myself to get angry -untrue: he took his anger out on the defenceless, in a very unhealthy way. I am not him. I am nothing like him. This is a healthy and natural process. As long as no one is getting harmed, it is safe to release anger.

-I have to be perfect, getting angry means I won't be angelically perfect anymore -untrue: firstly, I do not have to be perfect. I was born fully lovable and will always be fully lovable regardless of my internal perfectionism status. Secondly, anger is part of the human spectrum of emotions, just like sadness, happiness, joy and grief.

-I am not allowed to get angry -untrue: I am allowed to get angry, it is safe now. I am no longer in that unsafe childhood environment.

(btw: Don't force yourself to get angry if you don't feel ready. I tried to force myself too early on in the healing journey and simply couldn't. And that's okay.)

How it started. After a session with my therapist where we finally discussed my abusive father, I got home and felt so irritable. I initially tried to shove the feeling aside like usual, but this time I couldn't. I was unable to focus on studying or anything. I could feel my heart racing and the warmth of my skin. I had such a strong desire to self harm. I know now that self harm was my coping mechanism for dealing with anger - I would take the anger out on myself. But about a month before this particular day I had promised myself no more self harm.

So when I recognised the feeling of wanting to hurt myself, I realised I was either feeling extreme sadness or anger. After a short bit or journaling I realised it was anger. I was angry at my father for what he did to so many of my biological family members.

So I told myself that I was no longer going to allow what he did in the past to hurt me in the present. I was not going to hurt myself in order to numb the pain. I was not going to self harm because of him.

I took to google, looking up 'how to get angry' and 'how to release anger', where I found some very helpful lists. Some ideas included:

-throwing ice at a wall (has a very satisfying breaking sound to it)

-throwing stuffed animals at a wall

-hitting your pillow

-screaming into your pillow


-expressive dancing

-verbally ventilating


-simply saying what you would want to say to that person out a loud

-writing a letter

-burning said letter

-tearing up magazines/newspapers

-stomping on torn magazines/newspapers

-writing said person's name all over magazines/newspapers, ripping them up, and then stomping on them

-throwing magazines

-throwing a tantrum (just like a child, screaming with arms and legs flailing, it feels really good!)

Ripping up magazines and throwing ice appealed to me. I'm someone who likes to release emotions through my body, rather than speaking or writing, most likely because my family taught me to never talk about emotions. So verbally ventilating doesn't come naturally to me. When it comes to writing, I find that it sometimes makes me feel more frustrated because I can't type quickly enough to match how fast my mind is racing.

I started with the ice. I also got my earphones and decided to blast some angry metal music to help put me in the mood, and it worked. Initially when throwing the ice I felt stupid, but I decided just to go with it because it beat sitting around feeling upset.

With some time I found myself muttering A LOT of "f *ck yous" while throwing the ice. I felt guilty at first for thinking in this way, but I decided to continue and go with it to see where my mind and body would take me.

Thirty minutes later and I was yelling "f*ck you" to the wall while hurling the ice. I yelled about all the things my father had done, followed by a lot of profanity. I felt energised.

After a while my arm actually started to get sore! (I am very unfit). So I decided to pull out the magazines and I ripped them to shreds at a lightning speed while ventilating about how sh*tty my parents were. I said all the things I could never say out loud to them. I said all the things I was never allowed to say out loud before. It felt liberating.

Afterwards I took a nap.

I woke up feeling refreshed and somewhat like a new person!

I've done this technique of ice and magazines at least a dozen times since! With time the entire process does get quicker. I find I need less time of physical movement (whether in the form of throwing ice, running or ripping magazines) to release the anger.

I feel much more emotionally regulated since i've started to release my anger. It is empowering to know that I can allow myself to feel an emotion, work through it, and then move on. I feel much happier and freer.

I hope this blog post helped!

Comment some ways you like to release emotions, lets all help each other out :)

P.S. You are loved. You are safe. You are enough.

You always were. You always will be.


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