How To Get Rid Of Your Repressed Anger

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How To Get Rid Of Your Repressed Anger

Left unprocessed, repressed anger will wreak havoc on your happiness, your relationships, and your overall life. “But I’m not an angry person. I never get angry!” say most people everywhere.

Chances are, if you found your way to this article, there’s some repressed anger buried somewhere deep inside of you. And it isn’t your fault.

Regardless of whether it’s from old repressed childhood trauma or simply from living in your present-day overly stressed way in our unique era, it’s not uncommon for there to be an abundance of stored negative emotions that need to be moved through you.

Out of all of the emotions that we have access to, anger is most often the one that is the least encouraged in our daily lives.

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If there was a dinner party for all of your various emotions and society was hosting the gathering, anger would be invited last (if invited at all).

By facing, feeling, and healing your repressed anger, you can move from tension, stress, and anxiety, into ease, lightness, and emotional freedom.

How do you know if you have repressed anger in you?

If you experience any of the following with any regularity, then it’s quite likely that you have repressed anger and other stored negative emotions taking up space in your body.

  • Chronic fatigue and inexplicable tiredness
  • Chronic pain/jaw tension/neck pain/back pain/muscular tension
  • Digestive issues/frequent constipation/stomach ulcers
  • Workaholism or other addictive/compulsive behaviours (drinking, drugs, compulsive sex, gambling, overeating)
  • A passive-aggressive communication style
  • Heavily relying on sarcasm, being overly cynical, or being flippant in conversations for no real reason
  • Difficulty getting to sleep or staying sleeping through the night
  • Anxiety, depression, or panic attacks

Bottom line: it is exhausting to constantly be at war with yourself. It drains a lot of your vital energy to have non-stop chaos and turmoil churning around in your body.

Anxiety, depression, and chronic stress are all the result of one thing: residually accumulated unfelt feelings.

So, how do you go about feeling your way through your repressed anger?

Learning how to deal with anger is a lot simpler than you might think.

In order for you to be able to fully move through your repressed anger, it has to be expressed (on the emotional level) in a safe and controlled environment. You have to experience your way through it, while also understanding the root cause of why it is within you in the first place.

Here are the two highest leverage ways to release your repressed anger on the behavioural level. (Side note: do not do this with children or pets around, as they don’t have the intellectual faculties to understand that you’re doing this by choice, and that it has nothing to do with them.)

First, set aside at least 20 minutes (to make room for the warm up, release, and cool down period) and get in touch with the emotions in your body. Feel them in your gut, your heart, around your throat — wherever they are.

If you wish, you can name them out loud (for example, verbalizing "I feel rage in my chest"). Say things that start to get you worked up ("F you Todd from accounting!").

When you feel like you have some small connection with the repressed anger, do the following two things.

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1. Scream

A lot of repressed anger gets stored in our gut, chest, and around our throat. So, the first move in getting our stuck emotions out of our body is through our voices.

Maybe you were bullied when you were young and never had the courage or ability to talk back to them. Maybe your co-worker/employer/employee said some truly nasty things to you and it wasn’t appropriate to yell at them. Whatever the reason you have the repressed anger in your body, it’s time to let it out.

Scream into a pillow, couch, or mattress. Scream in your car (windows down is probably best). Go to a sporting event or concert and scream extra loud. If you have a partner that is helping you through this process, scream into their face.

You can either just scream noises ("AHHHH!") or specific words ("I hate you!" "F you!" or "Why were you so mean to me?!") to release your anger effectively.

2. Hit things

Getting energy out through your mouth is a valuable starting point, but to take it to the next level you’re going to need to involve your physical body as well. Physiological movement is key in releasing repressed anger.

Slam your fists down on to your couch. Hit the floor with some durable pillows. Go to a boxing gym and hit a heavy bag. Hit a mattress with a tennis racket. Lie down on your bed and scissor-kick your feet up and down like a child throwing a tantrum.

It might feel like you’re regressing to a pre-adult state during some of these exercises but that’s exactly the point. In order to release old stuck energy, you have to allow your body to access those same old emotional states and allow them to finally flow all the way through you.

Remember to keep breathing throughout these anger releasing sessions. By staying conscious of your breath, your emotions will be encouraged to move out of you more efficiently than if you have tense and shallow breathing.

Want to kick things into high gear?

Try putting on your favourite angry music during certain parts of your anger releasing exercises. Some people get inspired by it and find that they go a lot harder doing it to music, while others find it distracting. It’s a purely individualized exercises, so stick with whatever works best for you.

It can also help to repeatedly say the specific word phrases that stir up your anger throughout the exercise.

What can you do at the end of each anger-releasing session?

Anger is what is known as a secondary emotion — that is, a reactionary emotion that is covering something else up. Why is this relevant? Because once your repressed anger has been released, it is very common for their to be some sadness, grief, hurt, or fear underneath.

So allow some time to sit or lie down and feel your way through the underlying feelings.

Lie still, on your back, and put each of your hands over your stomach and chest and feel your breath rise and fall. Whatever emotions rise up, allow them to rise. Whatever you feel, simply accept it. Let it be there, without rushing or condemning your feelings. It will pass when it is meant to.

Remember, as much as you may want to, you can’t just think your way through repressed anger.

Yes, journalling, talk-based therapy, and CBT can help, but you can’t release the emotions through thought alone. You have to experience them.

Release the anger gradually (it will inevitably take multiple sessions), be gentle with yourself and allow your thoughts and feelings to bubble up afterwards, and eventually you’ll be able to find authentic forgiveness for the people who you believe wronged you, and you can send them love and wish them well.

RELATED: Life-Changing Anger Management Techniques To Use When You Feel Like You're About To Explode

Relationship coach Jordan Gray helps people remove their emotional blocks and maintain thriving intimate relationships. You can find more of his writing on his website, Jordan Gray Consulting.

This article was originally published at Jordan Gray Consulting. Reprinted with permission from the author.