[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last]Let’s dive into this astrological new year by igniting our fires and facing our anger square on. CosmoMuse mental health expert, Lauren Eimers-Wangrud, shares some brilliant thoughts on how we can do this in a very constructive way.
“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” – Maya Angelou, Poet, 1928 – 2014
It’s the beginning of the astrological new year, and with new beginnings comes refreshed energies to clean house–literally, emotionally, psychologically. One way to “clean house” emotionally is with anger. Many of us were taught that anger is a purely negative feeling, but anger can be a positive and curative force when uncoupled from violence and aggression. This Aries season, the season of fire, ignition, and clarity, we can address anger in our lives and learn how to convey our anger in constructive ways.[/one_half_last]
[full_width]Sitting on or stifling your anger isn’t the best idea for your emotional or physical health. Just as a wound can fester if not cleaned and properly cared for, so can anger that is left pent up. That anger can turn into a grudge or bitterness and creates an energy drain on your internal resources. Anger that is not expressed ultimately damages the person carrying it, not the source or cause of the anger. Understanding now that unreleased anger serves no one, let’s talk about how we can channel our anger and express it in a positive way.
“Fighting fair” isn’t about not letting your emotions be known or sugar-coating how you really feel. Bringing honesty, maturity, and empathy into an argument can make your expression of anger a starting point for better communication and even possibly a solution to the source of that anger. Much like a debate, there are ground rules that need to be followed for an argument to have a chance at a positive outcome.[/full_width]
[two_third]The first and most important rule is that aggression and violence have no place in “fighting fair.” That said, your next rules need to be agreed upon by both parties and are best discussed during a time where emotions aren’t running high, i.e. don’t try to discuss new mutual ground rules in the middle of a fight:
Try to remain calm and open to communication. When we are overwhelmed or “flooded” with emotion to the point where we aren’t hearing what the other person is saying, it is 100% okay to take a “time out” until you aren’t feeling flooded any longer.
Be specific about what it was that caused your anger. Using phrases like, “It makes me feel XYZ way when ABC happens,” helps the other party to understand what you are trying to convey while not getting defensive. Your feelings are valid and talking about them only helps in reaching a positive outcome, as opposed to accusations, which shuts down communication in no time.
Old issues aren’t allowed in the fight. Bringing up something that happened in the past isn’t going to help the situation at hand. If you are still carrying a wound from the past, pick another time to discuss that, so you can release that from yourself. Try not to let your anger build up over time, so the only arguments you have are of the “kitchen sink” variety.
[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last]Try not to use words like “always” or “never.” Generalizations not only are inaccurate, they can make an issue seem bigger and that there is less room for change.
Stonewalling is not an option. The silent treatment won’t help in two-way communication or the reaching of any sort of resolution. If you are feeling flooded, let the other person know you need a breather, but are committed to resuming your conversation when you are better able to talk constructively.
Remember this isn’t a “win or lose” situation. Many an argument have resolutions built on respect and compromise.
Your spring cleaning can take many forms this year. With a little planning, honesty, and empathy, you can let that anger burn brightly and emerge unburdened with new emotional clarity.[/one_half_last]