LET GO OF ANGER!
“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.”
– Carter Scott
Do the little things in life make you feel infuriated and annoyed? A missed promotion, getting stuck in traffic or a friend who cancelled plans at the last minute?
Anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences almost every day. It is triggered when you feel extremely upset or disappointed by a particular situation or person. Anger is an outward reaction that is triggered by many other emotions such as fear, guilt, jealousy, worry, embarrassment, disrespect, and helplessness. Unfortunately, instead of expressing what we are truly feeling, it is easier to default to anger. This is because anger is our physiological response to a perceived threat and when we feel any of those other emotions our brain perceives it as a threat to our safety. This causes the natural fight or flight response to being triggered resulting in our default angry reaction. At the moment, we do not have the time to decipher what we are truly feeling.
Now, just because anger is an automatic default reaction of our survival mechanism, it doesn’t mean that we are unable to control how we react. We have a choice in every situation, and it simply takes practice in recognizing our triggers and choosing to respond in a responsible way. It is important not only for our mental health but also for our physical health to learn how to control and let go of our anger because continuously being in that fight or flight response is detrimental to our body. The constant release of stress hormones increases our risk of developing heart disease, increases inflammation, increases anxiety, and can cause sleep disturbances which then increases the stress on our body.
Anger is one of the most detrimental emotions to our ability to connect and develop healthy and stable relationships. As a result, it is extremely important to learn how to recognize our anger, recognize what triggers our anger the most, and practice not being so reactive, so that we can maintain control over our anger and deal with it responsibly. Only once we learn to let go of anger, can we let love in. It may seem impossible to control at the moment, but there are simple strategies to use that will help you gain control of your anger and learn to address the true underlying emotion instead.
Here is a simple tool to use to learn to let go of Anger: S.C.R.A.M.M.E.R
- S is for STOP– Stop yourself when you feel your anger is triggered. Do NOT react
- C is for CHECK-IN– Check-in with yourself and how you are feeling
- R is for REALIZE- Realize that you are about to lose your temper
- A is for ACCEPT– Accept how you are feeling. Do NOT make it wrong
- M is for MINDFUL– Practice being mindful by taking slow deep breaths and counting to 10
- M is for MOVE– If you are unable to calm down remove yourself from the situation. It’s ok to leave the situation and return to deal with it once you are calm. Let the other person know that you need more time to calm down and will return to address the situation.
- E is for EXPRESS– Once you are calm down, express yourself by calmly explaining why you got so mad and how the situation made you feel (underneath the anger).
- R is for RESPONSIBLE– Be responsible for how you react and communicate, apologize if you were not kind.
It takes time and practice to be able to recognize your triggers and what emotions you are feeling underneath the anger. Be kind to yourself as you endeavour to learn to let go of your anger. You will not be perfect at it right away, it’s ok-forgive yourself, everyone gets angry. The key is to be responsible for how you feel and react. With time and patience, you will be able to Let GO of anger and Let LOVE In!
Until next time, let go and let love win!