We know that when we’re angry we often feel like we’re going to explode if we don’t say something, pretty human! But we also know that if we do we will often have a lot of damage control to clean up and leave a wake of bodies in our path. Anger, like anxiety, often carries with it, an intensity that tricks us into a false urgency that we have to do something NOW! When what it really is, is an avalanche of feelings colliding in our system at once, and triggering our fight/flight survival mechanism. I know first hand what that’s like. I’ve had my own share of impulsive confrontations that invariably end badly.
But anger and anxiety when channeled in an appropriate way are messengers to our psyche that something needs to be addressed. The more we ignore it, the worst off we are.
So how do we not flip-flop from implosion or explosion and find a happy deeply constructive medium?
Express Not Explode!
Here’s my own 4 step process that I share with my clients and the groups I speak to.
1) Let it rip….responsibly- I have a whole slew of ways I let my upsets out from screaming out loud to the air imagining the person or institution I’m enraged by. I also journal, call a friend and ask, “May I empty my basket, I’m so upset or angry and I just need to be heard,” sometimes I dance to my upset, certain music really helps me process it.
2) Shift my energy- Do something else, don’t hang on to the upset, let there be a beginning middle, and end, to your expression of feelings otherwise you’ll be re-triggering yourself all day, and then move on. You’re not forgetting about it, you’re just shifting it.
3) Process it- Unless you really get to the bottom of the upset, and really pinpoint what the issue is you’ll continue to be a whirling dervish of upset. Anger is often a great sign that your boundaries are not honored. Pet Peeves/Upsets send a red alert that a core value is not being honored. Get to the bottom of it.
4) Take An Inspired, Aligned Action- Through the beginning of time, when we use our anger, anxiety, or upset to propel us forward that’s when the healing happens not just for us but for the world around us.
To say that the election has been an upsetting frustrating time for most of us is a profound understatement. Early on, I noticed both my rage, but also my helplessness and hopelessness. It wasn’t until I got to the bottom of how powerless I felt, that I actually was able to be proactive and take action, have a voice and help others to do the same in specific, bite-sized ways that many people thanked me.
While it’s still beyond concerning for me, as it is for most of us, I feel some semblance of peace knowing I owned my voice and took some actions.
So I ask you today, how can you use this process to navigate the rough waters of your emotions during turbulent times?
Thanks for tuning in and not tuning out.