How to release Anger through the method of journaling.
We all know that feeling, it generally comes on in the pit of our stomach then spreads to our whole body. Our fists tend to clench, we grind our teeth and a fire starts to burn within us that starts to rise.
Maybe we’ve been cut off in traffic, maybe we’ve been told something we didn’t want to hear, maybe a loved one has done something to hurt us.
It’s Anger. An emotion that if left unchecked can completely run our lives.
Emotions are a feedback mechanism. They’re there to let us know we’re getting off track or to remind us of what we’re holding on to.
When anger comes up it’s best to acknowledge it and neutralise it as quickly as possible. That way we can make far better decisions throughout our day, improve our relationships and best of all let go of all that tension and stress.
There are different ways to do this and the technique I’m going to describe here is journaling.
Like with any technique, try it and see how it works for you.
I’m writing about this one today because I have had great results with it both personally and with clients.
Once the emotion arises:
Sit quietly and anchor to your breathing. Take a few deep breaths and feel the sensation in your body. It might be in your stomach, chest, throat, or your whole body. The point here is to just acknowledge and feel it.
Don’t resist it.
Answer these questions:
What emotion is that sensation?
Is it anger/frustration/fury/rage/etc?
Label it and give it that name.
If that emotion, that part of you could talk, what would it say?
Give yourself free reign here. Be completely unedited. No one is going to read this.
What would this part of you like to do? (even though it isn’t going to).
Be vengeful, don’t hold back. Describe exactly what it would like to do. Get it all out on paper.
What am I angry about? (the situation that brought on the emotion).
What would I like to do about it if there were no consequences?
After this has been written down on paper we have expressed the anger, now is a great chance to go deep within and ask more pressing questions.
What am I sad about?
What am I afraid of?
What’s hurting inside?
What do I regret?
Now you’ve gone deep with the dark side, balance it out with the light.
Ask these questions.
What is it I truly want?
What do I appreciate?
Where do I have forgiveness?
Where do I feel love?
What do I want to apologise for?
The shift and lightness you’ll feel after doing this should be dramatic.
Not only have we acknowledged and neutralised the emotion, we’ve gone deep and found out a lot about ourselves and brought the unconscious into the conscious.
That process of bringing the unconscious to the conscious is the catalyst for any type of healing to take place.
Letting go of anger in this way really lightens the load. It means that we carry less tension in our bodies and those small, trivial events in life stop triggering us.
Anger is inevitable, it will come up. But holding onto it is only poisoning us.
Try this exercise as an antidote.
Ryan Hassan, Co-Founder at The Centre for Healing.
Specialists in Addiction Recovery (including Ice Addiction) and Mental Health at our Rehab Centre in Melbourne, Australia.