Five Tips for Releasing Anger and Letting Go

by | Mar 5, 2020 | Relationships | 0 comments

Anger is difficult to overcome, especially anger that stems from the past. Humans naturally hold onto negative memories. This is why we can so vividly remember our first heartbreak, or the day a family member died. While feeling angry about the past is normal, it can become a problem when it starts to consume our lives. Holding onto anger and not letting go of the past can prevent personal growth and affect our mental and physical health. Anger can cause people to behave in ways that are outside of their character and lead us to do or say things we may regret. Have you ever lashed out at someone and then felt bad about it the next day? That was the anger talking. 

Releasing anger and letting go of the past is an important step in the recovery process. When we remove pent up anger from our lives, we allow more space for positive experiences and the tools that can help with recovery. Recognizing the root of our anger is the first step in eliminating it and moving forward. 

Here are a few techniques to help release anger and let go of negativity and anger from the past:

  1. Change your surroundings
    • Staying in the same place or with the same people who are causing your anger does not allow you to let go. However, removing yourself from people, situations, or places that are constantly upsetting you can help you reflect on what is making you feel this way. Try reaching out to new people. Change up your routine. Find a specific place that makes you feel at ease and helps you let go. This is a crucial step in the process of letting go, and in the process of recovery. 
  2. Recognize triggers and find alternatives 
    • We often get angry about the same things over and over again. Determine what makes you feel angry and pay attention to when you begin to think about it. This specific thing is called a trigger. Recognizing your trigger(s) can help you let go of the past because it can lessen the amount of time you spend thinking about them. For example, if you find yourself getting angry about a bad break-up, avoid watching a movie about a break-up and focus your attention on things that make you feel at ease.
  3. Practice mindfulness and relaxation 
    • Something as simple as taking a few deep breaths can provide short term relief. Practicing other relaxation and mindfulness techniques can also go a long way when used often. Some of these techniques include: 
      1. Incorporating meditation into your life
      2. Listening to soothing music or watching calming videos that allow your brain to relax
      3. Writing a list of all the things you are grateful for and reciting it aloud to yourself
  4. Use physical activity as an outlet
    • Exercise has been scientifically proven to be a great way to release anger and uplift your mood. Exercise produces chemicals in the body that help our brain feel good. The more you exercise, the more you experience the release of these chemicals. Exercise also forces your mind to focus on something else for a period of time. Even something as simple as a one mile hike can leave you feeling better than you did before.
  5. Seek help 
    • Sometimes we need a little help to move on. While it is totally normal to have a hard time letting go, if you find yourself in a bad mood more often than not and always angry, it may be a good idea to talk to a professional. Local hospitals and online resources can refer you to a therapist who can help you address your anger. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

It is important to note that just like in recovery, results are not going to be seen overnight. It’s okay to slip up and find yourself feeling angry at times. It’s natural and something we can all relate to. However, the most important part of releasing anger and letting go of the past is getting back on track with the habits that allow you to do so.