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According to the American Psychological Association, anger is a state of an emotion that is characterized by antagonism towards someone or something which you feel has deliberately done you wrong.
Repressed anger is a wave of rage built over several years. Anyone experiencing it may not know why it is there or for what reason it is there. It is a dangerous state of emotion that can put you and the people around you at risk of physical and mental harm.
Repressed anger usually comes in the form of depression, fatigue, sarcasm, violence, and all sorts of havoc wrecking activities.
How do you identify that you are suffering from repressed anger? Check out the following signs below to ascertain that you have repressed anger.
Some signs of repressed anger
Irritation is one of the significant signs of repressed anger. A person suffering from repressed anger usually finds himself upset and irritated over trivial things. You see such persons lashing out to those around them over trivial matters. They always seem angry about little things. This doesn’t mean they are mad, but the repressed anger is gradually showing its claws in small forms.
Passiveness is a state where someone tries not to be bothered or affected by things that should naturally elicit a response from him or her. In such an instance of passiveness, a lot of anger is repressed. The repercussion of the indifference can be sudden lash out on someone or overreaction to certain things.
While it is good to control one’s emotions and not get angry unnecessarily, it is equally good and natural to express one’s anger as often as possible.
When you are passive about your feelings for so long, it is a sign of repressed anger, and if not addressed sooner, it may lead to a disastrous situation later.
3. Obsessive or Compulsive Behaviors
This arises when someone is known to obsess over certain activities or makes some activities compulsory. This shows that the person wants to avoid confronting his or her emotions. The actions in which he engages himself are said to be means of diversional therapy.
For instance, say a person is a workaholic who works all day of the week, works overtime, and still insists on getting more work done. This same person still insists on doing more work even when the job is taking a pronounced effect on his or her physical and mental health. If someone experiences this, it shows how desperately such a person wants to avoid his or her emotions.
Note that not all obsessive or compulsive behaviors are signs of repressed anger, but someone suffering from repressed anger may show signs of obsessive or compulsive behaviors.
4. Negative mindset
Chronic cynicism about a lot of things, like the people around you, your health, your self-image, decisions, and so on, can be associated with depressed anger. People with pent up anger are often bitter about their lives, and exhibit such bitterness in their daily activities and interactions with others.
They never view themselves in a good light. They hardly see the positive sides of things and rarely have positive things to say to people.
A negative mindset often stems from low self-esteem and passiveness towards life. Someone with low self-confidence may become passive about life. If this builds up over the years, it may lead to repressed anger towards himself or society.
5. Unexplained Depression or Anxiety or Panic Attacks
Many people often undergo unexplained depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Studies have shown that these mental illnesses are consequences of unmanaged emotions.
Repressed anger can lead to depression or anxiety or panic attacks that have no explanation because your subconscious is looking for an outlet for the rage.
Depression comes from a loss of will or as a result of unresolved emotions like anger and anxiety. Panic attacks, on the other hand, may occur from situations that trigger the root of the feeling.
Other repressed anger signs are:
- Chronic fatigue
- Inexplicable tiredness
- Chronic pain (e.g., jaw tension, neck pain, back pain, muscular tension)
- Digestive issues
- Frequent constipation
- Stomach ulcers
- Workaholism or other obsessive or compulsive behaviors (drinking, drugs, compulsive sex, gambling, overeating, etc.)
- Passive-aggressive style of communication
- Sarcasm, being overly cynical, or being flippant in conversations without any reasons
- Sleeplessness or difficulty sleeping
Repressed anger is harmful, no doubt. Here is the good news; you can get rid of it. Yes, you can be free from those years of pent up anger.
All you need is to do is to identify the signs with which the repressed anger manifests itself and accept that there is a need to get rid of it.
With the right thinking, attitude, and help from an expert, you can be free of your repressed anger and hold the reigns of control above your emotions. So, how do you get rid of this unseen enemy?
How do you get rid of your repressed anger?
Getting rid of your repressed anger is the next step after the identification of its signs. You can get rid of your repressed anger by practicing the following steps:
1. Find the cause of the repressed anger
Repressed anger is pent up anger built over several years. The roots of this anger can be linked to childhood traumatic experiences, societal stereotypes, unmet physical and emotional needs.
You may need to think deeply and devise a way to get to the root of your anger or even seek the help of a therapist. With deliberate willingness and need to get to the source of your anger, you can get the answers you try to find.
2. Find a solution to your repressed anger
identifying the root of your bitterness is one thing; solving your repressed anger is another. While some causes of this unresolved anger are permanent, some can be undone. However, the most important help you can do for yourself is to come up with ways to resolve your anger or ways to solve the future ones before they are repressed.
You can meet a physical or emotional need that is causing your repressed anger or fix family issues. For societal stereotypes, you need an escape mechanism to channel your anger out.
Scream whenever you feel frustrated, release your anger on punching bags, or exercise aggressively. Talk it out or confront the source of the offense. Taking up yoga classes or listening to angry music may come in handy here.
Whatever means that is suitable for you, work on it, and ensure that you have a positive outlet for your emotions.
Take active steps to resolve your anger, and do not create diversional activities to avoid confronting it.
3. Acceptance is key
Accepting that it is natural and healthy to be angry brings you a step closer towards getting rid of your anger.
Accepting yourself for who you are, improves your self-esteem, and helps you confront your anger rather than repress it. Accept every situation for what it is, tolerate the people around you, and be responsible for your decisions, either right or wrong.
This helps you to move forward and have better control over your emotions.
Anger is a natural and justified emotion; however, a rage that is repressed for a long time can be dangerous. It leads to increased blood pressure and other physical changes. It makes you lose rationality of his thoughts when it manifests, making it detrimental to your physical and mental health.
If you experience any or a combination of the signs mentioned above, you are most likely suffering from repressed anger. Learn to tolerate them while you work towards getting rid of them altogether.
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