Break Free From Unresolved Anger So You Can Feel Better
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha
When clients come to us for prison coaching and consulting, they’re often experiencing the effects of unresolved anger. Maybe they’re angry about being accused of a crime they didn’t commit. They might be angry because they feel they’re facing harsher penalties than they deserve. In some cases, anger is justified, but in all cases, forgiveness is a powerful key to feeling better.
Wallowing In Anger Doesn’t Help You
Unresolved anger can infiltrate all your important relationships, wrecking your happiness and stealing your peace of mind. How many sleepless nights have you spent rehashing a situation you felt angry about? Did dwelling on it and wallowing in the anger make you feel better or worse?
Unresolved anger can…
- Cause you difficulty with trusting others
- Make you feel anxious and depressed
- Interfere with your sleep
- Erode your sense of self worth
- Cause you to snap at people you love
Forgiveness Is Key
You don’t need to wait around for a person who wronged you to apologize. You can forgive someone without them even being sorry. You might be thinking, why would I want to do them a favor by forgiving them? Forgiving that person is as much, if not more, for you than for them. To break free from the bondage of unresolved anger, you have to release the negative emotions.
How To Forgive Someone
Forgiving someone can take practice, so be prepared to do the work on a regular basis until you’re able to release the unresolved anger and move forward.
Start by writing the name of every person you’re angry with, and the story behind it. Include as much detail as you can. Write until you feel emptied out. You might notice feeling tired or a sense of calm.
Next, go back to the first page and read the person’s name. Read what you wrote. Then, state the following…
I care about you.
I forgive you.
I release this anger.
Why Say You Care?
By stating you care, you acknowledge the side of you that is loving and feeling. Confessing this sort of vulnerability disarms your usual defensive mechanisms and opens you to making progress.
Why Say You’re Sorry?
This step helps you feel empathy toward the other person and acknowledges that you are sorry this happened.
This is not necessarily to say you caused any part of the issue. You may have; maybe you did not. Saying you’re sorry in this step is more about stating you wish the situation hadn’t happened.
Statement Of Forgiveness
As you learn how to forgive, this step will probably get easier. In the beginning, it is normal for this to feel difficult or even forced. Stay with it and keep repeating the exercise. Remember, forgiving someone who hurt you is courageous and it’s a big step in finding freedom and peace.
Releasing The Anger
Try to picture what your anger looks like. Maybe it looks dark or like a ball of sharp razors. Maybe it has a stern looking face. As you say the words for each step, envision the anger leaving your body. Close your eyes and see it moving away from you. Notice if you feel lighter or less stressed. It’s normal to have an emotional reaction as you let go of the anger.
Clarity About Forgiveness
It’s important to understand that forgiving someone does not mean that you agree with what they did. Forgiving another person better allows you to forgive your own wrongdoing and it lets you free up the head space the anger was controlling. Anger is heavy and carrying it everywhere you go can take a big toll on you.
Prison Coaching For Freedom From Anger
If you’re going through a federal prison related situation and you’d like some guidance on working through the anger, give me a call and let’s talk about how our team might help you. You don’t have to stay angry and you don’t have to go it alone.