Anger is a part of life. It is an emotion that is giving us information. Just as excitement is telling you something. Yet the problem with anger is that if it is left unchecked, it creates more problems. This article will cover how you can let go of your anger in a healthy way.

Not ignoring it. Not taking it out on others in a hurtful way. But instead in a way that allows your emotions to be acknowledged. And solves the issue that triggered your anger.

These are the actual steps that I take in order to understand and let go of my anger. Let's get right into with step one, recognizing our anger.

how to let go of anger

Recognize Anger

Before you can ever let go of anger, you first have to acknowledge that you are angry. For some situations, you will know right away that you are angry. Your heart starts to race, you feel the anger. And you know it's not another emotion. In these situations you can quickly move to the next step.

However, many times we don't even recognize that we are angry.  For example, you might first think you are disappointed that a vacation has cancelled. Yet, if you explore further you realize there is also anger there. Perhaps it was cancelled because your boss took away approval.

In situations, where there are many emotions, anger can often hide. It takes some exploration to even know you are angry.

My two favorite ways to do this are journaling and meditation.

Journal Prompts to Help You Identify Anger

  • What am I feeling right now? Don't stop at the surface feeling. We often have many feelings that occur at one time. Your anger might be hiding!
  • Am I fully acknowledging my feelings? This is another way to ask the last question. Sometimes we just need to be asked slightly differently!

Guided Meditation to Identify Feelings

Often the best way to identify our feelings, is to release control and allow answers to come through our subconscious. Meditation is a great way to do this. Try this meditation.

How to Calm Down When Angry

It is hard to get over anger when you are still angry. It is like a catch 22. You can't solve the issue making you angry because you are angry! So, first step is to focus on calming your emotions and mind.

When your anger is triggered, it is easy to want to react right away. But when we do this, it usually does not turn out great. Why? Because we are emotionally reacting. While we want to listen and honor our feelings, we also don’t want to take action from them when we don’t understand them.

To make this even harder, when we are angry your entire system gets on board. Your mind and your body are ready for action. It is hard to stop and act from a space of calm when your body is ready for a fight.

Because of this, calming anger requires we calm both the mind and the body. Here are some techniques that can help you. Some of these you can combine together to get quicker results.

  • Deep Breathing - using our breath to calm the body and mind is one of the fastest and easiest tools you have at your disposal. The key with calming down using your breath is to ensure the exhale is longer than the inhale. This will activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your bodies calming state. Even just three rounds of breathing will dramatically help you.
  • Exercise - physical movement will help your body release all the pent up energy from anger. It doesn't have to be any specific type of movement, just one that works for you. I do find that the angrier you are the more you need to release the energy, so a more intense exercise may be required.
  • Meditation - this is a great way to clear your mind when angry. This is a great one to pair with some of the others. For example, do a meditation that is focused on the breath. Or a meditation that guides you to sit and feel the emotion. Another great option for meditation that can help you calm down is a Loving Kindness Meditation. One note about using meditation, if you are very angry it may not work till you physically get the energy out. In my experience really intense anger first requires me to at least walk, and then I can sit. If I don't, then my meditation ends up just being fuming anger!
  • Walk Away - if you are in a situation where you are angry, but are also engaged in the situation actively, then you may need to ask for a break. It is okay to say "I need a minute", and to go take it! There have been many times I use this in parenting. You don't have to react right away, you are allowed to stop and gather your thoughts. 
  • Sit With the Emotion - our emotions are there to communicate something to us. If you ignore it then it can't help you. By taking a minute to allow yourself to feel the emotion, it gives you the opportunity to acknowledge your feelings. Often after you do this it will start to dissipate on it's own. This can quickly be done, by closing your eyes and determining where in your body you are angry. Then tune into that and just observe it until it starts to release. You may find your anger is in more than one location. You can focus on each location or choose to do your entire body.
  • Talk to Someone - you don't have to process your anger alone. In fact talking to someone about the situation can help give you more perspective and support in releasing the emotion. As a friend, counselor or coach to help you with the situation and how you are feeling.

Body Scan Meditation to Calm and Restore

Understand Your Anger

You know you are angry, and you have calmed down. Now it is time to begin to learn more about why you are angry.

The more you understand your emotion, the better you can deal with it. But this is not just about the situation at hand. It is also about healing any limiting beliefs that may be showing up as triggers for the anger. The best way to do this is by journaling. Below are some journal prompts that I use to gain a deeper understanding of the situation.

If you don’t like to write, then you can talk out loud the answers. Many people think while talking. You can also use art as a way to dig deeper into the materials. Art therapy and art intuition are great ways to understand better.

Journal Prompts for Anger

  • Vent - yup that is right. Sometimes starting with a good old fashioned vent session is helpful. Be careful to not get stuck in this phase. Write for a bit and then move on to analyzing the situation.
  • What thoughts come to mind when you think of this situation. Just write down a list of the thoughts that pop into your mind when you think about the situation. No need to dig into them yet, the goal here is to get all your thoughts onto paper.
  • Are any of these based in fear? Looking at the list you just created, are any of them fear based?

Journal prompts for the ones that are fear based:

  • Is it a valid fear? First before we get into this, all fears that you experience are real to you. When we are looking at valid we are looking to see if the fear has a sound basis in logic or fact. For example on a recent anger issue I was working though a couple of my items were: I would be homeless and that I was completely wrong. While both fears were real to me, the only one for this situation that was based in logic what that I could have been wrong. So while ending up homeless was a fear, it was not a rational fear. So only the fear of being wrong would be on my valid list.
  • Looking at the valid fears: how can I deal with these fears? So in my example, I could ask others opinions to see if the fear is real or one triggered by a limiting belief.
  • For the remaining fears that are not valid, what limiting belief may be triggering the anger? So for me, without a long winded story 🙂 the fear of being homeless is based in the limiting belief that I am not worthy.

More Journal Prompts for all anger situations:

  • Is there any action I can take to resolve this situation? Time to start problem solving! Create a list of everything you can do to handle the situation causing your anger.
  • What outside of this situation could be impacting my reaction to it? We are often triggered by old events, that have nothing to do with this issue. But when the event occurred our minds brought forward all the old emotional wounds. Make sure your anger is pointing at the right direction and not residual from an old event.

Now it is time to take this information and create a plan!

At this point you might realize that you are dealing with some misplaced anger. I have more journal prompts and advice for you in a separate article. How to Deal with Misplaced Anger

Taking Action to Resolve Anger

Anger will not go away if you don’t handle the triggering event. So based on what you discovered in your journaling it is time to create a plan on how to solve the trigger.

If you had actions you could take from your journal work on doing those. Add them to your calendar or to do list.
If it was limiting belief based then start working on rewriting your limiting beliefs.
If it was based on old events, start working on healing those old wounds.

The important part here is to create a plan, and act on it. Otherwise the next time a trigger appears you will just be angry again!

Final Notes About Anger and Emotional Healing

The level of anger that surfaces is proportional to how much you are emotionally, physically and spiritually worn down. If you are already worn down from other issues in life, then when something triggers your anger you react more intensely than if you have extra emotional space to deal with it.

There are two ways to prevent getting yourself into a space where you melt down each time something bad happens. The first is emotional healing work. By healing old wounds and the limiting beliefs tied to them, fewer things will trigger you. The second is to have a self care routine that focuses on bringing your nervous system back into balance. This means to focus on thing like meditation, yoga, energy healing and anything else that builds your reserve of inner peace.

While self-care though things like pedicures, nights out and a healthy diet are all beneficial. They are not quite the same as working on things that nourish your soul and build inner peace. Start creating your list of what nourishes you and add it to your day. Even five minutes will help you!

Understanding and managing our emotions takes time. Most of us are not taught this from a young age, so give yourself some space to learn. If you ever can't control your anger or are confused by it, seek help. Don't risk the damage it can do to your relationships.

Need help with doing the emotional healing work? Check out my coaching service or my Reiki services.

For video resources on Anger, check out my YouTube anger playlist that has how to videos and meditation.

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