There are five ways to use anger constructively:
A – Attack Anxiety
N – Negate Negativity
G – Give & Grow
E – Empowerment
R – Relinquish Resentment
Anger and anxiety are opposite emotions and simply cannot be felt simultaneously. So when you feel anxious – get angry and watch your anxiety dissipate! For example, suppose you’re feeling really anxious before an interview, use your anger and attack that anxiety. You can shout – “Yes I can do this! I’m going to do great! God’s on my side, so I accept whatever the outcome may be – for it’s all for the best!”
When noticing your inner critic throwing negative thoughts your way – tap into your anger and negate those negative beliefs. You can shout things like: “It’s not true! I am worthy even though I’m imperfect… I am lovable even though he can’t love me… I am deserving even though I’m so angry etc!”
Give and Grow
Anger gets ignited when we feel our ego has been attacked. The best way to sooth our ego – hence our anger – is by giving and growing. When we give we move beyond our juvenile self-centered selves and the belief that “it’s all about us.” We come to realize that the “attacker” may have been feeling insecure or insignificant and that is what caused him or her to say or do something hurtful. We can give through thoughtful actions, kindhearted words, or simply by praying for others, especially the ones who have hurt us. Giving to those who have hurt us, helps us forgive them, as our egos have been soothed through positive growth.
There is no doubt that anger empowers us. However, we need to be sure to use our empowerment to spur us into positive action, as opposed to putting others down through an empowered and inflated ego. When we use our sense of empowerment to break through resistance and take positive action, we sooth our egos and anger vanishes.
Resentment comes from suppressed and repressed anger. Yet having resentment sit on ones heart is extremely uncomfortable for their soul. So how can one let go of resentment when they’ve been hurt so badly?
Crying is the body’s natural way of releasing painful emotions and then healing. As anger is our natural response to feeling judged or attacked, we need to get angry in order to bring up the hurt lying right beneath it and then embrace our pain and cry. When one turns his or her pain into prayer and begs God to help him or her release the resentment, he or she is doing what needs to be done to heal the heart and free the soul.
Here’s one technique to do alone: Take a pair of old shoes and use it as a metaphor for feeling judged by another – “She had the audacity to step in my shoes and judge me” – by throwing them on the floor while shouting out all your true feelings. You can say something like: “I’m so angry at you… how dare you judge me… you have no idea what I’ve been through… you are so cruel to have said those things and hurt me… why should I forgive you – I hate you! etc.”
Although it can feel quite uncomfortable to allow oneself to feel this kind of anger, it’s extremely therapeutic and it’s okay to forgive oneself for using the anger to bring up the hurt and free oneself from the resentment.
Remember: “Your deepest pain lies right beneath the very emotion you are running from.”