By Brittney Bergen
What makes you angry?
Do you let people see you angry, or do you hide it?
Are you afraid of your anger?
Do you have a healthy way to process anger?
What if I told you all emotions are good? What if I told you your anger is there to guide you a little closer to your highest self? It’s there to help you shed a belief that’s no longer serving you.
What if I told you that when you’re so angry at your situation, or at someone else, the person you’re really the most angry with is yourself?
I know this because over the last five months I’ve gotten to know my anger so well. And I know that every time I’m pissed at someone or something, if I dig a little deeper – if I’m willing to look at that person, place, or thing a little more closely – I’ll actually see a mirror shining back something inside of myself that I didn’t want to see.
Most of us aren’t willing to go there – to feel our rage fully until we’re forced to see our own shadow. But you know what happens once we’ve felt it fully? Once we’ve trudged courageously into our own caverns of darkness?
The anger vanishes.
We find the light that was always waiting for us on the other side. We’re left sitting comfortably cross-legged in our own compassion. We bask in radiant rays of love.
(And surprisingly enough – this love, compassion, and light is usually there for both ourselves and that person, place, or thing we were pissed at.)
So the next time you’re angry, instead of pushing it down, masking it, or hiding it, get curious. Go deeper. Ask questions until they guide you back to why you’re really raging with yourself.
Here are 4 Healthy Ways to Move, Release, and Process Anger, starting with my personal favourite:
1. Lose Your Shit On Your Couch
(Thank God I spelt, “couch” right – sometimes I accidentally put “coach.” #awkward)
But super seriously, I used this strategy when I identified the pattern I had of allowing my interactions with people to leave me feeling inadequate and worthless. I turned my music on really loud so my neighbours thought I was partying (at least if they called the cops, it would be about something that sounded fun, instead of traumatic, hehehe), and then I yelled at every person who ever made me feel that way, into the back of my couch.
I said all the things I wished I’d said at the time. I cried out all of the pain I kept stored inside me, because I’d taught myself I wasn’t worthy enough to feel it.
And you know what I realized? I realized I was actually mad at ME for not standing up for myself against those people.
So then I yelled at my past self into my couch cushions.
And in that moment I realized past Brittney was doing the best that she could, and so were all the people who hurt me.
All that was left was compassion. I forgave them. But more importantly, I forgave me.
(If your coaches are anything like mine, they’d probably let you yell your rage into their backs – just make sure you ask first.)
2. Do A Fire Ceremony
Write down everything you’re angry about on a paper, and then burn it. This is especially helpful if you’re pissed at someone from your past or present. You can write a letter to them saying everything you wish you could’ve said or could say, and then you can burn it when you’re done. You might notice that your anger towards that person shifts towards yourself. Write about that, too, and then let it go.
3. Let’s Get Physical
Lift a heavy barbell, go for a run, or scrub your apartment from top to bottom. Move the energy that’s building up inside you. I’ve heard it said that, “Health is flow.” Don’t let that feeling settle inside you.
We don’t need to always understand things with our mind. Set the intention before a tough workout, “I’m going to release this anger.” Intention is everything. Do that, and you’ll be surprised how great you feel when you’re done
4. Fight For Your Right (To Feel)
(Put on loud, party music for this one, too if you want.)
Fight your pillow. Sign up for a kickboxing class and take out your rage on one of those pad things (I’m obv a weightlifter, and not a boxer). Express the energy you have stored up inside you. Work off everything that’s causing you to feel heavy, and then step away in all of your inherent lightness.
I know for sure that when you get to the bottom of your anger, all that will be left is compassion. All that will be left is love.
All feelings are good. All emotions are there to guide you in one direction: towards greater love.
Properly directed anger can leave your house incredibly clean, can help you PR a lift, but most importantly – it can help you uncover and release the love you kept stuffing all your anger on top of.
Let it go.