As we've discussed, we must process and validate our feelings before we can move on. Repressing our feelings has been shown to negatively affect our physical and emotional health.
We know that stress chemicals are released through emotional tears. Therefore, we should never be afraid to feel sad or cry.
We also should never be afraid to feel angry. Unfortunately, many of us were taught to repress anger, especially women. Anger has a negative connotation because most people associate it with aggression. But in reality, anger is followed by violence only 10 percent of the time, according to Howard Kassinove, PH.D., co-author of Anger Management: The Compete Treatment Guide for Practice.
While anger may be a difficult emotion for some to process, it's important to note that it is the MOST POWERFUL EMOTION. Why? Because anger is the most motivating of all feelings. Anger will cause you to act more than any other feeling. Fear causes us to retreat. Sadness causes us to curl up. Shame causes us to hide, but Anger....Anger causes us to ACT!
Used productively, anger can help us restore our self-esteem and exert more control over our life. Processing our anger is absolutely critical to our recovery. However, we must be careful in how we process it. Anger is neither a positive or negative emotion. How we respond and react to anger is what makes all the difference in the world.
I feel very strongly that life is all about how we respond to it. Happiness and success in life is determined on how we choose to respond to what happens to us. Life is messy. No one ever said it would be easy or perfect. The key to success is making wise choices in response to life’s daily struggles.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it, in my opinion.
It’s how we respond and react to anger that makes a difference. It is the way we handle our anger that makes it negative or positive. The key is not to avoid anger, the key is to learn how to respond to anger.
Anger motivates more than any other emotion and we should recognize and utilize its power. To do otherwise is to deny our true self.
The idea of constructive anger is gaining a great deal of empirical support lately. Research tells us that processing our anger in productive ways leads to health benefits. Experts say that constructive anger can improve intimate and work relationships.
It is one thing to stay silent when you disagree with someone or something, but quite another to simply allow others to walk all over you. Some of you may just be starting to realize what an abusive relationship you were in. I would guarantee that feelings of anger at your significant other are what finally caused you to see the light and take action.
Anger is a natural defense mechanism designed to protect us from pain and abuse. We should never deny our feelings of anger. Anger like all feelings is a normal, healthy and essential emotion. Getting angry does not make you a bad person. Personally, I believe without this instinct we would be extinct! Anger is a biological safeguard to ensure our survival.
Anger is our body’s response to internal or external demands, threats and pressures. Anger warns us that there is a problem or a potential threat. At the same time, it gives us courage to face the problem or meet the threat by providing us with a release of the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline prepares us to meet the threat by raising our defenses and giving us a boost of energy. This in turn provides us with added strength to fight off our enemy or added speed in which to run from the enemy. This involuntary mechanism is known as the fight-or-flight response and is something we have shared with all other species since the beginning of time. Think of Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory. We cannot ignore our emotions. They exist for a reason: to warn us, protect us and guide us through life. As I said earlier, to deny them is to deny ourselves.
Do not hide from your anger. You must recognize it as a signal that there is a problem that needs to be resolved. We become angry because there is an issue of some kind that requires our attention. In my opinion, anger is like an internal alarm system telling us something is wrong. To ignore it is dangerous.
Research tells us women who do not acknowledge anger or do not process anger in a healthy way are more vulnerable to health problems. Rates of diagnosed breast cancer are found to be higher in women who have never openly expressed their anger.
Unfortunately, many of us do not realize just how powerful a force anger can be. If we do not allow ourselves to feel anger, we lose out on the benefits of it – motivation, strength, energy, power and protection.
When anger is used to motivate us to make life changes that promote our emotional well-being, it is positive. However, when we express anger through aggressive or passive-aggressive means, it is negative.
Anger can motivate you to make needed changes in your life or it can make you emotionally and physically ill if you hold it in. It can empower you or it can kill your relationships if you take your anger out on someone in the wrong way.
The way you handle your anger affects all of your relationships, including your relationship with yourself. Many of us are so afraid of anger that we direct the anger inward at ourselves instead of expressing it outward. Anger internalized causes depression and health problems. Do not repress your anger. Do not be afraid of it. It’s trying to tell you something. It’s there for a reason – to protect you!
"A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water."