Anger Management Secret #8: There are non-rageful ways to express your feelings.

Emotions Are Our Internal Weather

Everyone has emotions -- all the time. The simplest ones are "sad, glad, mad" -- but there are many, many more. Emotions are like the internal weather. We don't have control over what we feel, just like we don't have control over the weather. And, like the weather, emotions are always passing through. Whatever you are feeling right now, it's for sure that you'll be feeling other emotions soon. Also, it's possible to feel more than one feeling at a time. Most of the time you will be feeling some mixture of feelings: excited and tired and hopeful; upset and angry and sad, etc.

Feelings Want Expression

If you don't have control over your feelings, what can you do about them? Feelings pass through you most efficiently when they are expressed. Unexpressed feelings tend to linger and intensify. Unexpressed anger, for example, often gets worse, becoming smoldering resentment, bitterness, or rage waiting to happen.

Getting Creative About Expressing Emotion

"But how can I express my feelings? It's not OK to say these things -- nobody wants to listen." Well, sometimes that's true. But there are many ways to express what's going on inside. Writing or keeping a journal is an excellent way of expressing feelings when there is no one available who cares to listen. Writing poetry, making art, playing music -- there are many ways of expressing emotion. Talking to a friend or a trusted advisor such as a therapist or counselor or pastor can be very helpful.

Expressing feelings helps take the edge off. This reduces the internal pressure and makes it less likely you will explode.

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