Healing from Repressed Anger
How anger is linked to the unresolved psychological wounds back in our childhood and healing from it
Do you get extremely angry easily when you encounter scenarios that seem trivial? Are you often labelled as “oversensitive”, “grumpy” or “bitter” by others? Do you tend to make mountains out of molehills even in small matters? The truth behind all this is that the anger is most likely developed way back in our childhood, and anything that reminds our subconscious mind about what had hurt us way back in the past, we react strongly towards the trigger with these emotions that has been suppressed for years. Since we didn’t have a healthy coping mechanism to deal with anger, these emotions are bottled up for a very long time, and a slight trigger will cause a huge outrage.
Although there are a lot of sites out there that talk about ways and activities that we can do to deal with anger, such as going for a walk, painting, pet a dog and the list goes on, I do think that they are effective in a way, especially when we are angry during a brief moment, but they do not really help us work on the underlying cause and root of suppressed anger.
Healing the wound
1. Identify the Root of Your Anger
The first step in healing emotional wounds such as anger is to identify the underlying cause of it. Where is the root of this excessive anger? When does it all started? It is most likely stemmed from our childhood, and from then onwards, we create a belief that is distorted from the reality we live in. For a more in-depth explanation, click here to read more about it.
2. Understanding Anger
Why do we get angry? Even though anger feels unpleasant, it is a vital emotion. We might believe that Anger is the bad guy and the culprit and we have to get rid of it. The truth is, Anger is like a body guard, all it wants to do is to defend us from potential danger and keep us safe. It let us know when someone has crossed our boundaries or when they have hurt us.
3. Acceptance and Visualisation
Now, we know why we get angry. The next step is to accept that we are angry. Stop reasoning with anger, and stop telling Anger that it is bad and should go away. Instead, listen to what Anger has to say. We have been ignoring and pushing away Anger for so long in our lives, no wonder Anger ranges furiously even at the slightest trigger, all it wants is to be heard and validated.
Take note on how anger feels in your body – your chest area tightens, your throat tightens and aches, your heart beats fast and your hands may tremble. Try to sit with Anger. Imagine Anger as if it were a person and be in the present moment with it. Feel and accept the emotions. The moment when we accept anger for what it is, we give validation to it. We validate that we are angry and we have the right to be angry. It is OK to feel the way we feel right now. Most of the anger are also stemmed from the denial of our emotional needs. We felt powerless. We felt as if our anger is not validated, and is wrong or bad.
When we are in denial with ourselves and deny anger, we only create resistance, causing the emotional pain to persist within us. The moment we understand why these emotions are there in the first place, we can start to learn accept and give validation to our emotions. Be with them in the present moment, accept them for what they are and embrace them, they will gradually go away.
4. Visualisation Technique (Let’s time travel!)
All the techniques above may not be enough when it comes to healing the root of the emotion. Since the wound has been inflicted upon us since a young age, the emotions of immerse anger might still latch onto us. Since we know the reason behind this now, which is due to the subconscious belief “If I am angry, I am not a lovable person.”, we can find a solution to deal with it.
While it might sound ridiculous to the conscious mind, the subconscious mind believes in it 100%. You’d be surprised to know that many of our actions and behaviour that we couldn’t explain are actually stemmed from this distorted belief.
To heal the wound, we should try to change this core belief. In your mind, try telling yourself that the feeling of anger is norma. Embrace it!
Now the next step is to visualise yourself going back in time where you are still a child. What age were you at that time? Where is the child? What is the child doing? Then, imagine your current self walking towards the child, and is face to face with the child (the younger version of you).
Tell the child that it is okay to feel upset when she feels that way, that these unpleasant feelings are a normal emotion that everyone will feel in their lives and he or she does not have to be ashamed of it, even though your parents might have reacted negatively to them. Tell the younger version of yourself that no matter what, you will love him or her for who he or she is. Visualise your current self giving your younger self a big warm hug. Lastly, tell the child, I need to go now, but always remember I will love you no matter what.
In a nutshell
Since we have a better understanding with anger, we can easily identify the feeling when it occurs again, what boundaries that have been cross and what we can do about it. It is important to understand about our emotions so that we can learn to set healthier boundaries for ourselves and with the people around us. Self love is important. To heal emotional wounds, it is best to give lots of love – unconditional love, to the inner child within us.
Artwork by This is my random life.