Healthy ways to let go of anger – Cosmopolitan


Rhona features amongst a range of experts and suggests healthy ways to let go of anger:

“Western women in particular tend to be socialised to deny and suppress anger, resulting in many women not knowing how to express anger in healthy ways. Anger then accumulates and is instead forced to come out under a variety of different guises – depression, anxiety, rage, or even low energy levels and isolation.

Unexpressed anger can also create other low level but still detectable conflicts such as arguing with someone in a shop, lashing out at well-meaning parents or innocents such as pets and children! Anger is often a result of feeling out of control and powerless, and in the longterm unreleased anger becomes resentment and ultimately illness.

A powerful antidote to accumulated anger is self-expression – especially by getting the anger out of your body! There are a number of ways to do this:

1) Wait, don’t react: when all you are seeing is red mist give yourself 24 hours before responding in a volatile way. If you need to, turn off your phone to avoid the temptation to react and get further embedded in conflict.

2) Write it out: grab a pen and paper and write out your frustrations thoughts and feelings about what has made you angry. This will both simplify the issue and give you clarity. It’s likely that the anger has been accumulating, and writing it down will  help you to feel heard and reveal the root cause.

3) Move it baby! All emotions have energy and anger is powerful! Use the force for good and move that body! Put loud, angry music on and dance around the room, punch a pillow, scream into a damp towel, do whatever you need to do to get it out of you! Take your anger to a yoga class, on a 30 minute run or even a 20 minute walk or dance class!

4) Breathe: it might sound simple but even taking three slow inhales and exhales will help calm your nervous system down and bring you back to neutral.

5) Talk it through talking the situation through with a good friend is a great way of getting your feelings off your chest, but be mindful it to do it in a way that discourages drama! Avoid talking about conflicts or three-way dynamics which encourage gossip or revenge – this won’t help. You want to be soothed and supported, not further enraged!

Begin to see anger as a helpful emotion as it helps us to get in touch with our needs and boundaries by being the first warning sign that a line has been crossed. When handled properly anger is a powerful guiding force for what feels fair, comfortable and right, rather than a source of stress or strife,it is a great gauge of what is OK and what isn’t OK..”

A summarised version of this article featured in “Cosmo’s life commandments”Cosmopolitan, UK, March 2014

Top image by Rhona Clews