The hardest thing that we face as a species is our habitual tendency to want to shove our emotions down. We are told in many ways that hard harsh emotions are not good.  The solution has been to simply push them away.  This winds up being a much bigger problem than the emotion in the first place!  Psychologists all know about the idea that an emotion that is suppressed only comes back far worse later. This can lead each of us into neurosis-disease of the mind and emotions.  The answer is simple and takes a shift in how you relate to your emotions.

Anger is a natural emotion, and one of the hardest for us to deal with constructively.  It is also one of the most intense of our emotions because it is so driven by energy.  Anger uses a lot of energy and when it is pushed down, you are pushing a lot of feeling down into your subconscious self where it only festers and gets worse over time.  This can come back as emotional problems like anxiety and depression, or even disease over time. Suppressed anger can change your physiology in ways that you do not notice, small changes, but given enough time, can result in very real physical problems.  Adrenaline and cortisol are two very powerful chemicals in the body that relate both to fear and anger. They can deplete the body of a whole range of very important nutrients.  When this is allowed to go on for a long time, decades, the result is something that can emerge later in life as a chronic problem.  It is important, then, to learn how to deal with anger constructively and not push it down.

When you get angry, let yourself feel the emotion.  When you feel anger, remind yourself that the emotion is not you, it is a phenomenon like the wind blowing through you.  Let it be like the wind and think of it flowing through you.  What you do not want to do is to direct your anger at a person, because this can be hurtful to others.  You also do not want to fall into the trap of defining yourself in relationship to your emotions because this means that you ARE anger.  You aren’t.  Anger is an emotion that you feel.  We call emotions because they are in-motion. So let it BE that for you. When you are angry, practice being clear with yourself that this is your reaction to outward events.  It is not who you are. By associating so closely with anger, you allow yourself to be defined by it.  When you do this, you are no longer the master, but the slave.  Slaves will then complain about just how terrible the world is to them.  I ask you: is this a good way to live?  There is indeed a much better way to be.

Do not treat your anger as an entitlement.  You are not angry because someone made you angry. No one makes you.  You make you. You are angry because of your reaction to what someone else has done. Be clear about this one important point no matter how much you might want to make it the other person’s problem.  It isn’t the other person’s problem.  It is yours.  Own it.  The world may be a terrible place with mean hard people, but without you, there would be no reaction to it.  You are simply reacting.  Own your reactions.  When you are more mature and developed, you will grow enough to see that the world is the way it is for reasons that, if understood, would change how you see any “problem” in it.

By taking offense to something outside of you, you are trying to make your reaction someone else’s problem.  It isn’t.  The person who was short with you earlier and cut you off in mid-sentence may have had a drama playing out in their lives which you are not privy to.  They might have been hurting inside from something that is happening in their lives, they might have been terribly late for their next appointment. it could be anything.  Try not to let things become so personal.  When you identify so strongly with “I” you have trouble.  Most often, it isn’t so personal as you tend to make it.  When you can do this, you will find that your reactions to others is greatly decreased by owning your feelings and letting things go. The other side to this is that you wind up taking a banner against what angers you and you will very soon be using your anger to hurt many people, and you will wonder what is wrong with everyone around you.  After all, your identification with your anger has blinded and blocked you.

Allow anger to flow but do not direct it at people.  If you do, you will hurt them and then the effort of letting anger flow will have created more problems than they have solved. By letting anger flow, it will move through you and will not become subsumed within.  Do not capture or trap anger or else it will come back in larger uglier forms later. Anger can build up like an account that you pay into each day.  Later, the account will be so full that you will be paralyzed by the sheer mass of your anger and you will feel helpless to the power that you feel it has over you.  Anger will lead to emotional blocks in your body and awareness that can have very troubling effects, from hampering your relationships to harming your physical health.  You will also be very difficult to be around.

Children know very well how to deal with anger.  One minute, they are red in the face, their eyes are filled with rage, and the next minute, they are completely different, wanting to grab your hand and get into your lap, smiling all the while.  They are done with it, you see, and they do not think any more about what had just happened.  This is how we should deal with anger, too. So let it flow.

By following these simple set of ways of dealing with anger you can allow anger to move through you without hurting other people, and you will not be harmed either.  Let anger be a storm for you, a storm that will naturally pass as all storms do.  When you do, the sky of your inner environment will be fresh and clean after this emotion has been allowed to blow through you. Most of the problems related to how we deal with anger are themselves the very root of our problems, so do not let business as usual capture you.  Like every storm that comes, it will leave you feeling clearer and ready to feel happy again.