“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
hurling it at someone else; you are the one that gets burned.”
Anger…its one of those emotions that takes so much from us and yet, gives us so little. We have all felt the sting of anger whether we were directing it at someone or were on the receiving end of it. Either way it wasn’t very nice and that’s putting it lightly. The above quote provided by Buddha gives a very insightful and concise analogy of what anger does to us. If we do not know how to deal with our anger, it burns inside of us doing more harm than good. When we are in a state of anger we often let ourselves be taken away by that anger and get swept up in its grasp leading us to sometimes do things we’ll later regret. This can lead to very destructive actions that can cause us to have problems in our relationships, our professional life, and within ourselves.
I like to consider myself an amiable person. As a child my teachers always joked about how I always made friends with anyone and everyone. The running joke in elementary school among my teachers was that you could stick me in a room for an hour with 50 people and by the end of the hour everyone would know my name and I’d have new best friends. Yet, amiability aside, I had anger issues as a child and well into my adult years. Some people would feel a certain way about admitting it, but I’m a huge advocate of not only being honest with readers, but of talking about what I know and trust me I knew anger. I say knew because I’ve made large strides in dealing with it and though I may have my moments, I have learned to manage it in healthier ways other than letting it spew out.
I think that at times might be one of the hardest things for people…learning how not to just let it all out uncensored. When we are angry we want to almost automatically lash out at whoever or whatever pissed us of or got us in this state. This is a problem on so many levels. For one, when we are in that state of anger it seems that our brain goes on a hiatus and our mouths take over control in an all out bid to hurt and attack. We often say things without truly thinking it over first and considering what the consequences of our actions will be. As such, we end up saying things that can cause serious harm to our relationships with those people. We can even put ourselves in situations that can escalate past words to physical aggression. Sometimes not knowing how to stay quiet in moments of anger can lead to situations that get blown way farther out of proportion than necessary and creating a bigger problem than initially was present.
I, in no way however, am suggesting that you mask your anger or that you even deny you feel it. On the contrary, what I am suggesting is that you face your anger head on and learn how to deal with it as opposed to masking it. So often, we will try to bottle our anger up thinking that by doing so we are avoiding confrontations. Yet, this is just as harmful as letting it all out without thinking first. What ends up happening is that similar to a volcano, all the pressure of bottling up our anger grows to a boiling point and it ends up in a blow up which could have been avoided. In either scenario, we end up hurting ourselves and others. Something that should also be considered is the feelings of guilt and regret that can arise from not being able to control our anger whether we blow up right away or bottle it up.
This is a clear case of how hitting either end of the spectrum can be too extreme, as well as detrimental. Instead there needs to be a healthy meeting in the middle, a balance of being both vocal and choosing our words wisely. There is nothing wrong with being angry…it is a normal emotion and we all feel it, but the thing is figuring out how to experience it without letting it overwhelm us. Being able to take a breathe and step away for a moment to think when we are experiencing anger can make a big difference in the way we address it and allows time to really consider what has caused it.
I know, however, for many people this is easier said than done. I was one of those people and while I understood that what I was doing was not good for me it was hard for me to not do it. I was a bottler and as such, I bottled all my angry feelings until finally they would just bubble over and I would “lose it”. I thought that my anger gave me some type of power, except it really didn’t. What it really did was show what little power I had over the situation and myself. On top of that, not only would I lose my cool, but immediately after I would feel a sense of guilt and regret for what I had done. This only made it worse for me because I would go from anger to guilt in regret in such a short amount of time that it would leave me confused as to what to do next. I was hurting my relationships, myself and at the end of the day nothing was being resolved.
So what did I do? I went to a hypnotist. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that I needed someone to help me figure it out. Yet again I will restate it: I knew what I was doing and what I was doing wrong. My problem was following through and pushing past this wall that I had built up. Anger can stem from a lot of different things and for me a lot of it was from a feeling that I had to constantly prove myself and defend how I felt. It took doing hypnosis for me to really combat the issues that I had to deal with within myself to find a healthy balance for dealing with my anger.
Does this mean I don’t have moments where I slip? No…but they are nowhere near as bad or as frequent as they once were. Honestly, its a rarity now and a lot of that has to do with the work I was able to accomplish working with my hypnotherapist. Whether I was conscious of it or not the work we did during hypnosis helped me on a subconscious level to readdress the way I was dealing with my anger and that really made a big difference. I learned to pick and choose my battles, so to speak, and started to realize after a moment of reflection, that some things were really not as big of a deal as they had seemed during those moments of anger.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours to make: you can continue to live with anger and the negative consequences it brings or you can take steps towards stripping away the shackles of anger. As the quote above states: the longer you hold on, the longer you burn yourself. If you find yourself having a hard time dealing with your anger maybe you should consider hypnosis…it helped me come a long way.