Learning to Let Go of Anger

Why Anger Arises

Anger arises when we lose control of our emotions. Something happens that makes us feel overwhelmed by negativity, and we react poorly the situation. Our resentments and grudges can weigh us down and become a stumbling block on our journey of recovery if we do not take action to let them go. It may take time and practice, but when we learn to respond to situations from a place of compassion rather than react with anger, we find that we are better able to maintain a sense of serenity and peace of mind throughout our day-to-day lives.

Addiction is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out physically and mentally.” Anger and resentment can easily cause us to seek emotional relief in intoxication.

Instead, we make the conscious effort to accept our feelings and work toward letting them go. Beverly Flaxington, in a Psychology Today article entitled On Grudges and the Importance of Letting Go explains, “Anger might be the strongest emotion you can identify, but it rarely walks alone. Resentment, frustration, sadness, envy and jealousy are some of the less obvious yet very potent feelings that feed into your grudge.

Recognize Your Emotions

Don’t try to deny or ignore them if you really want to overcome your grudge. Recognize the emotions and then make a conscious choice to release them. You can put a time limit; say, ‘I will be sad for the next two hours and then I will let the sadness go forever.’ It’s like losing a part of you at first, but then you might find you can fill the emptiness with something more positive and creative.” Holding onto our anger and resentment serves no purpose for us.

Rather, it keeps the wound fresh and we continue experiencing the pain of the harmful situation. Psychotherapist Nancy Colier explains in her article, Why We Hold Grudges and How to Let Them Go, “To let go of a grudge we need to move the focus off of the one who ‘wronged’ us, off of the story of our suffering, and into the felt experience of what we actually lived. When we move our attention inside, into our heart, our pain shifts from being a ‘something’ that happened to us, another part of our narrative, to a sensation that we know intimately, a felt sense that we are one with from the inside.”

Maintaining an awareness of our emotions and responding to situations rather than reacting can keep us from being overwhelmed and lashing out. When we approach each situation with a mindset of love and tolerance, and are aware of our feelings, we are in much less danger of making poor decisions from a place of anger and resentment.

Your life can become one of peace and serenity in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future. The Lakehouse Recovery Center offers highly effective and individualized treatment options designed to address addiction from every aspect. For information about individually tailored treatment programs, from Detox to Aftercare, please call today: (877) 762-3707


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