When it comes to summing up anger, quotes don’t get more apt than this one: ‘holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die’. The origin of this quote is unclear; it’s been attributed to everyone from Buddha to Nelson Mandela, but wherever it originated the message remains the same: anger hurts us more than anyone else.
Now, you may argue that anger is just part of the human experience and you’d be right. Even the happiest of people get angry and given the world we grow up in, with all its social pressures, anger is pretty hard to avoid. This isn’t a bad thing. We’ve all felt the relief of beating a pillow when we are just too frustrated to keep the anger in (seriously give it a try if you haven’t). In this sense, 10 minutes of letting your aggression free does you a world of good; not only do you release pent up energy, but you clear your head in the process.
But all too often we let this anger stick around. For some reason we become so attached to it that we refuse to let it go until it festers into a resentment that lasts a lifetime. This is where anger does its damage. By holding onto our annoyances we allow them to become more important than they actually are, not realising that each time we do this we become less and less in control of our emotions. Soon enough, the way we feel depends on everyone else’s behaviour.
Our choices determine the life we live. When something or someone makes us angry our response is what controls the situation not the event itself. If you knew you were doing it would you ever choose to feel bitter, resentful and annoyed? No, of course you wouldn’t. And here lies the problem: anger is an automatic response and it’s one that we weren’t born with. Instead, we have learnt how to react angrily from what we have picked up in our environment, but the good news is that we don’t have to accept it as a part of our experience.
Next time you feel your blood boiling take some time to think consciously about the situation. Ask yourself if you really want to be angry in this moment and if the negative energy is really worth it. Chances are you’ll realise it won’t be. If this doesn’t dissolve your anger then wait until you’re in a safe and comfortable place and give yourself permission to let rip for 10 minutes – scream, beat a cushion or even smash an (inexpensive) plate, whatever it takes to fully release your pain. When this is done spend 5 minutes sending good vibes to the object of your anger in the first place, be that a person or situation. Making this a habit will improve your improve your happiness and allow you to enjoy life on a deeper level.
You owe it to yourself to release the negativity from your life; after all, holding onto it means you’re hurting yourself more than anyone else. Nothing negative comes from letting go of your anger so try it today and see how it transforms your life for the better.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/85608594@N00/25336558096″>Buddha Whoever doesn’t flare up at someone who’s angry wins a battle hard to win</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Like what you’ve read? Help to keep me going 🙂