I recently experienced an unsettling end to a longterm friendship. The intellectual side of me knew ending it was the right move, but the emotional side of me was left feeling upset and angry. I needed to shake it off and fast. I decided to face my feelings head on instead of shoving them down, employing several active tactics to free my anger and arrive at a place of peace, calm and clarity.
Here are 7 Ways To Shake Off Anger
Give yourself permission to be angry
If you’re anything like me you’ve been programmed to avoid feeling angry. We consider anger to be a negative emotion and therefore ‘bad’. But just like happiness and sadness, anger is a real emotion and the more we try to ignore it the more unhealthy it becomes, affecting us mentally and physically. Give yourself permission to feel your anger and acknowledge it is a natural and normal emotion. It doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ person, it makes you human.
Express your feelings loud and proud
A few nights after this friendship blew-up I sat outside under the stars and stated my feelings out loud. I used my voice to express how I was feeling, to connect my feelings of anger from my brain to my heart to my voice. I immediately felt calmer and more relaxed. I took several deep breaths, exhaling all the negative, crappy energy. I placed my hands together over my heart and sat in a moment of silence. I then stood up and stretched my arms towards the sky as I repeated this mantra out loud, ‘let it go, let it go, let it go’. I literally shook the anger out and away from my body and it felt fabulous. The next day I rarely thought of what had gone down and with each passing day it has eased more and more.
Write it down
Writing allows you to express and let go of your feelings. I grabbed my notebook and let the emotions flow onto the paper, not censoring or analyzing what was hitting the page. I had no intention of sending this to anyone, (especially the ‘friend’) and after I was done I tore the pages up into tiny pieces and buried them in the garbage. This old school tactic works even better if you can burn the pages in a raging bonfire. Write it down, purge, shake it off and move on.
Forgive and forget
Going over who’s at fault is a viscous cycle that perpetuates feelings of anger. What’s done is done and more than likely everyone shares a bit of blame. Instead of stewing over what or who caused you to feel angry, shift your focus onto feelings of forgiveness. Forgiving offers you the freedom to release the anger and the ability to forget as you move forward in your life with integrity and self-love.
Reach out for support
I was trying to pretend everything was okey-dokey while the anger bubbled inside of me. I called one of my best friends and asked her if I could vent. She listened to me, to the crazy breakup story, all without judgement. She gave me comfort, she helped me laugh at myself and the situation and she let me release some of that anger into the ether where it could dissolve and disappear.
Focus on the positive benefits
Anger can quickly turn into a grudge and that can be hard to shake. Once you’ve acknowledged your anger, shift your focus onto all the positive benefits of letting go of who or what caused the anger. You’ll have have less drama to deal with and more energy which will allow you to plug back into what is truly important and meaningful in your life.
Get out and move
While this anger was coursing through me I was in a funk and feeling stuck. I needed to follow the advice I give to my clients about exercise; its not just good for the body, but releases those feel good endorphins that help ease depression, anxiety, and in my case, ANGER! I laced up, put my headphones on and blasted some upbeat music while I went on a nice long jog. I stopped to do some push-ups and squats then sprinted the last stretch home. I took a few moments to do some deep breathing and I felt like a million bucks. Those endorphins took the edge off and helped me release my anger. I felt connected, powerful and free.
Acknowledging and honoring our emotions is an important step in healing and letting go.
The next time your feeling angry over something or someone, try any or all of the above tips to help you shake it off and move on.