Ever let your anger get the best of you? Ever said something you regretted, hit something, thrown something, punched something, yelled at something, or cursed at something without meaning to? Anger is a tricky thing. Sometimes it can seem to come out of nowhere. Ask any Atlanta therapist and they’ll most likely tell you that anger doesn’t actually come out of nowhere. It’s deep rooted.
Anger is often a byproduct of other feelings. That’s right, if you’re angry there may be another feeling that came before it that is fueling the anger.
Rejection, sadness, grief, loneliness, fear,….all feelings are there for a reason. Feelings are clues to what’s going on with us. They warn us. They help us. They shine light on things. And, many times when we don’t experience the feeling and move through it we cannot find relief from it. That’s the tricky part that our Atlanta therapists often find themselves helping people with.
Negative feelings aren’t fun, and no one really wants to experience a negative feeling. So, we find ways to mask them or numb them altogether. This may look like self-medicating by abusing substances, keeping busy by working too much so you don’t have time to think about it, intellectualizing, or stuffing your feelings.
The thing about not experiencing your feelings is that they are deep inside, buried underneath and waiting to come out in unhealthy ways. So, you may lash out at others, experience physical illness, or experience heightened anger for little to no reason.
Our Atlanta therapists liken feelings to the liquid and carbonation in 2 liter Coca Cola bottles. Having a feeling and stuffing it is like shaking up that 2 liter bottle and then twisting the lid a little. What happens? The fizz comes pouring out and you can’t control it. It’s the same when you stuff feelings. They come out in some unhealthy way.
This concept gets difficult, which is where our Atlanta therapists come in. We help people learn to express, experience, and move through their feelings. We know it’s tough. Negative feelings are not fun, and it can feel bad. But, once you’ve processed it you don’t have it sitting inside of you anymore.
Some feelings are more powerful than others, and sometimes you need extra support when moving through a feeling. For example, if I get frustrated with a coworker because she didn’t consider inviting me to lunch, that may be an easy feeling to move through. On the other hand, if I’m needing to grieve the loss of a close loved one in childhood, that may take me some time and I may need some support through the process.
Support may look like talking to an Atlanta therapist or a close family or friend, writing in a journal, joining a social club, finding a church, painting again, or working out again. There are many different ways you can support yourself, or let others help support you when you are walking through your feelings. And, walking through your feelings doesn’t mean you have to fall apart. You don’t have to be needy. You don’t have to stay in bed for days. Although, some may do that. The point is to express, experience, and move through the feeling.