Issue 3 of The Art of Self Care
Now that you are aware of your needs and feelings and the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries, anger may begin to rear its powerful head.
When your needs, feelings and boundaries are not acknowledged and respected, understand that angry feelings emerge as your warning bell.
Anger is meant to be listened to.
Anger is powerful energy that lets you know when you have been disrespected or betrayed by someone else (or even by yourself). It’s unchecked anger that is problematic, both internally and externally.
Here are a few truths about anger:
- Anger is an emotional response to a perceived injustice.
- Anger and Intimacy cannot co-exist.
- Anger is energy… it moves toward action, and you alone are the one who can determine if that action is for your greater good.
Anger that is left unchecked and unexpressed causes a myriad of health issues including high blood pressure, migraines, skin ailments and heart problems as well as depression.
The goal for today’s ‘daily bits of’ is to learn healthy ways to communicate your angry feelings in the most productive and constructive ways possible.
Anger that is turned inward becomes depression… not helpful or productive.
Anger that is turned outward without thought becomes hostility or rage… not helpful or productive, and consequences are often feelings of guilt, shame and ruined relationships.
Anger that is expressed in passive-aggressive ways indicates that you are afraid of speaking up for yourself
Angry feelings clearly need expression. The expression, however, must be done in thoughtful, meaningful and productive ways.
5 Steps to healthy communication of your angry feelings:
Step 1: Do a ‘brain dump’. By yourself… express your feelings… orally or written, let your feelings out, but not ON anyone… you have to feel it to heal it.
Step 2: Focus on your desired outcome(s). Remember that a desired outcome has to be what you want, NOT what you don’t want, and it has to be something over which you have control.
Step 3: Speak to the “offender” calmly, clearly and with compassion. Use “I” statements: I need, I want, I feel.
Step 4: Stick to specific issues. Do not globalize, attack or criticize. State your needs, feelings and desired outcomes as requests, not demands
Step 5: Take a time-out. If your anger starts to boil up again, stop the conversation, take a break from each other, and repeat steps 1 and 2 before resuming steps 3 and 4.
Remember, dealing with anger is an ART: Acknowledgment, Respect and Time
... and we breathe,