I used to rarely unleash my anger.
For some reason, I have yet to master being angry in productive ways. Usually, when I am truly angry, I start to feel like Dr. Banner as he transitions into the Hulk, my anger morphing into a rage that I cannot control.
When I was a teenager this usually meant when I was angry I would throw things and/or break things. As I have gotten older, I don’t care to break or damage my own things as much. And therefore I tend to swallow my anger. Which comes with its own dangers. As I push down my anger it festers becoming stronger as it marinates in the back of my mind. Until finally enough is piled on top of it and it comes out in a Hulk like burst anyway.
As I realize saving my anger isn’t helping cure me of my inner Hulk, I am slowly trying to learn to let out my anger or at least accept I am anger. Sometimes after all, if you are angry with your boss, you can’t march into his office and express your anger to him or her.
The first thing I do, which sounds kind of lame is a I say to myself “I am mad at so-and-so because of such-and-such.” Though it sounds so basic but for a long time, I would rationalize away the thing that made me angry. I would play defense attorney for those who had wronged me, pleading their case in my mind and explaining why in fact I had no right to be upset or angry. Though this worked on my rational center, my emotional center continued to seethe with rage. So now, I try to allow my anger to exist, no matter how stupid my rational side thinks it is.
The second thing I do, is allow myself to feel the anger. Sometimes anger is a slow burn in my gut. Other times it is the fight end of “the fight or flight response”, with the adrenaline pumping through my veins and my fists tingling to punch something. I try not to act on these feelings, just feel them, and acknowledge them.
And once I have done these to things the anger seems easier to master. I can then decide if I want to say to the person that they have angered me or if I just have to move on and be angry for a while.
By doing these things I am learning that my anger doesn’t necessarily need a leash. Maybe just a large yard it can run in sometimes.