As a TMS Counsellor, the majority of my clients struggle with chronic pain, anxiety, depression and suppressed rage. I have significant experience with these challenges even on a personal level. Personally, I have come to recognise anger, whether suppressed and/or expressed, as one of the roadblocks to recovering from chronic pain and mental health challenges. Commonly, we experience anger whenever things don’t go our way or when others let us down or fail to meet our expectations, wants, needs and desires, including feeling angery at ourselves for not being where or who we want to be in life. We may also feel angry due to something that we regret having said or done (or vice versa). When anger becomes chronic – suppressed and expressed on daily basis – it often leads to road rage, accidents, violent behaviour, mental health issues and even wars! There are many reasons for feeling angry. But when we allow for anger to become chronic, we risk making life much more difficult for ourselves and for others. The truth is that feelings of ill-will, irritation and rage or jealousy hold us back in life and weight us down. These emotions can also lead to further physical, emotional and psychological problems that prevent healing. It also keeps us stuck in a victim mentality where the source of our misery and happiness is always outside of ourselves as opposed to within our control. We may live our lives constantly feeling annoyed, irritated and in a reactive state of “fight or flight”.
In order to recover from chronic pain and/or any other emotional or psychological issue, we must first work on healing anger from within. Chronic anger not only harms us but it can also contribute towards a great deal of hurt to those around us. It can push people away, increase the level of cortisol release and stress chemicals within the body and contribute towards relationship difficulties and isolation.
Anger is neither healthy when suppressed nor when chronically expressed. With regular practices such as expressive writing (journaling), shadow work, consulting with a therapist, breathing strategies, improved communication strategies, mindfulness, affirmations on healing anger and forgiveness, we are better able to lead a life free from anger and blame which will in turn empower us to live our lives with love, joy and greater ease, implementing the art of surrender. Surrender literally means to stop fighting. Stop fighting with yourself. Stop fighting with others. Stop fighting life and the natural flow of things. Just stop fighting and see how your life will change in the most amazing ways.
Helpful Affirmations to manage anger
- I can feel my anger and still stay in control.
- I have the power to regulate my emotions.
- I can do better next time.
- I have the power to release all my embodied anger, whenever I want to.
- I will remember to stop, breathe and think before I act.
- I allow myself to acknowledge angry feelings without losing control.
- I can express my anger in a respectful way.
- I find it easy to calm myself down and relax.
- I am free of anger and live in a state of joy.
- I transform and heal my anger to passion and choose to use the energy positively.
- I am free to be happy, peaceful, and joyful.
- I clear all the ways I allow anger to direct my life!
- I remember to breathe deeply when I feel angry.
- I can tap into compassion and release my need to be in control.
- Each time I chose peace of mind over anger my life gets better.
- I now choose to stay calm in difficult or frustrating situations.
- I clear all the ways I feel like boiling over with anger!
- I release my anger, and instead I choose peace, passion, and playfulness.
- I allow for life to flow and let go of my need to control any outcome.
- Diffusing anger is easy for me. I can be angry without exploding.
- I notice when I am becoming angry and I choose to deal with it in a positive way.
- I can communicate my needs with calm, even if the other person does not know how to understand or meet them.
- I transmute the anger into the energy of peace.
- Anger is temporary. Peace is forever.
- I speak my truth with confidence and calm, rather than let frustrations build up.
- I attract peace and harmony in all situations in my life.
- Each time I release the anger in my heart, I regain space for peace.
- I choose to respond from love and compassion in all situations.
- Each time I breathe in anger I choose to breathe out peace.
- I remain patient with myself and others as I learn to manage my anger.
- I clear all the ways I dwell in anger!
Self-Reflection & Journaling Questions
- What happened in my life today? What angered or frustrated me today? What do I think could be the reason behind that?
- In what ways do I take responsibility for my anger?
- What could I be doing for 15minutes every day that would make me feel more centered? What is the feeling of being centered like for me?
- Am I able to acknowledge my anger when it happens? What does it feel like when it starts to develop?
- When I think about my style of self-criticism, do I remind myself of someone else I know?
- Does my anger become excessive? When?
- How does my anger effect me and my bodily symptoms on daily basis?
- Do I have a need to always be in control? If yes, what is the fear behind my feelings of NOT being in control?
- What do I need to do in the future to stay in touch with my emotions on daily basis?
- In what ways am I willing to let go of my need to have people and things go my way?
- In what ways is my anger effecting my relationship with others?
- Am I willing to let go of anger and any outdated belief that is no longer serving me?
Sarah is a Psychotherapist, Mental Health Social Worker, Art Therapist, Artist and Writer. She is also the Practice Manager at Mental Awakening.