Releasing Anger

Releasing Anger

The Misunderstood Emotion

People misunderstand the function of anger. While the results are often unpredictable and at times destructive, anger is a neurological signal notifying the person some part of their value system has been violated or hurt. Like all emotions, the signal and its interpretation may not be accurate, but its intent is to provide a means to support the person in standing up for themselves and their values.


Don’t Internalize anger

The problem comes when the emotion occurs with more intensity then the person can process or the emotion is not allowed some form of release, it is internalized. The more one internalizes anger the more it makes unfair actions or violations feel personal. Those who consistently carry anger this way never really become efficient at dealing with things they don’t like, understand or can’t control.

Without releasing anger they stop themselves from finding resolution. Over time the emotional residue from negative past events or abuse gets trapped and stored both in the mind and body. Unconsciously they teeter at the emotional threshold of discomfort and even minor discomforts may trigger an outburst.

Those who become effective at processing and releasing anger, get the full benefit of this important neurological signal. Anger is a subconscious feedback signal to help evaluate our interactions with the world. This feedback mechanism is neither good or bad. How we are able to process and interpret these messages and whether we react or respond determines the emotion of anger supports or hinders us.

It doesn’t mean the perspective we get when feeling anger are correct or that the emotion should be expressed. But like all repetitive signals, they should not be ignored, because either you find some means to do something about the violation or some part of you needs reinterpret the perspectives you are holding on to. To suppress the emotion creates unresolved stress, which of course can create all sorts of negative outcomes.


Anger surfaces in the places we are most sensitive and vulnerable.

angerThese areas need special attention and if we ignore the signals, it can create physiological difficulties. Anger increases our susceptibility to high blood pressure, elevated levels of adrenaline and muscle tension. In the long run, unresolved anger increases the chance of heart attacks, stroke and cholesterol levels. The constant tensing of muscles causes fatigue, stress, headaches, back problems and even affect vision.

Because health issues from anger occur over long periods of time, most disregard the warning signals; continuing to deal with disagreements and adversity inefficiently. Left unchecked, anger supports any number of psychological issues or substance abuse.

Shame is often attributed as an emotion supporting OCD, yet anger can also be a strong contributor to stuck thinking patterns and compulsions. Luckily that which is learned can be relearned. That which is held onto can be released.

At Designed Thinking we hold the emotional states of all clients with the highest regard and believe there are always positive and healthy alternatives available. Our client’s have proved it to us time and time again. Releasing anger and other unwanted emotional responses, making them less personal. If you are serious about changing and ready to explore new ways of being yourself, call our toll free number; 866-718-9995 and explore the options you can have for the rest of your life


  1. Hi – my son has this anger. He wants to reconcile – but when we meet ends up digging old stuff up – getting really angry – trying to isolate himself again. It is sooo sad. He is a dear clever young man in his twenties. I apologise for putting him into hospital – he has moved on – but keeps anger deep down. What can I do? Please please help.

    • When dealing with issues concerning relationships, there are always many considerations to keep in mind.
      We know you son tends to hold on to issues of unfairness. Whether his perspectives are real or vividly perceived matter little, since on a neurological level, the mind does not differentiate between the two.

      Since your son keeps digging up old pain and throwing it in your face, it’s likely he has generalized multiple past injustices or issues into one big pit of discomfort.
      If this is the case, the hurt from numerous events can suffer with any event he brings up. That will make it difficult for him to effectively process his pain and to communicate it.

      If he has associated his pain to you, the anger is a defense mechanism needed to keep you (or anyone else he perceives might hurt him) at bay. He doesn’t trust his relationship with you or his ability to process the affects of the relationship. He most certainly can’t trust his emotions, they overwhelm him. It doesn’t mean he there is no love in the relationship, just he does not have the means to process or express it. It’s doubtful he will be able to tell you what he really wants. My suggestion is, if your son is willing to improve his mental well being, to get him to see a professional.
      The problem is when people get into a blaming mode, they think they are right, thus they don’t have to change. But they are the ones holding on to the suffering, which he needs to be able to process more effectively.

      When dealing with anyone who is stuck in a particular place of sensitivity, if you want to communicate with them, always ask if you can talk to him first. If the person resists or hesitates, don’t force it and most certainly don’t attempt to address the issue you want to talk about. They are already closed off and any attempt to talk to them brings a high risk of them feeling further violated. Instead ask when it would be a good time to talk
      If you get a willingness to talk, delicately bring up the real issue, which is he feels hurt, upset about you or your actions. If he feels he can talk about it, great do your best.

      Don’t expect to resolve this in one conversation. This is about opening communications and reestablishing a relationship. If he is unable to comfortably discuss this, ask if he wants to get resolution? Would he like to talk to someone who can help him make some changes? You son may need help in processing his experiences differently.

      • Yes blame the son.Because mothers and women in general are fluffy angels with big caring hearts.They will never do anything wrong.No one of these lovely perfect creatures ever do shitty things or are being sadistic,it never happens.So whenever there is a conflict between a mother and her son,the son is to be blamed.Or in a conflict between a man and a woman.The man is always wrong.(This whole post was written in a sarcastic tone,if you’d missed that.)

        • Thank you for this. It seems parents always blame the child instead of accepting how traumatic their actions have been for that child. She’s “sorry for putting him in the hospital”? Wow, talk about burying the lead. The way to understanding the son is in that sentence and instead of looking into maybe WHY the son’s angry, he’s just written off as mentally unstable or unable to cope emotionally? Typical. Even if he IS unable to cope emotionally, who raised him to be that way? The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree is a truism. Maybe the mom should look at HERSELF before blaming the son. And seriously, depending on how bad this hopsital stay was, or how long, she may have A LOT to apologize for, and frankly words are just hot air. Easy to say now that the trauma has been dispensed.

          But in my experience it’s always the woman who is at fault (I’m female). My divorce was laid at my feet (instead of being becaue his lies and gender issues, which he also lied continually about–though we are good friends now). Can we trade places? I’d like it to be the other person who’s wrong sometimes too….

  2. i have everything you explain, my situation is becoming insanity, me and my girlfriend broke up 4 – 6 days ago this is caused by my self my only solution was to end the relationship before i do somthing i’ll really regret i can’t control the feelings inside my body its hurting me to run as i have a daughter thats 1 years 4 months with her and i also care for her very much but because my feelings and twisted thoughts about things that i over think, it gets to the point were i cant calm down and in result my girlfriend thinks im a total loony bin i don’t know how much longer i can continue living like this, when im single i feel useless “unable” to be somthing at all, so i tend to degrade myself even further i know in my head this behavior i rediculess but no matter how much i try it doesn’t seem to work, it just gets worse my head always feels full when people talk to me i feel a sudden feeling of craziness and i start to feel hesitant to talk what i think second guessing myself thinking “dont say that your fucked” pardon my language ive been reading a few links on this site, and from me being an abuser making somone else feel small i do this everything that it said i was and in the back of mind im going no im not like that when really i remember my actions i know what ive done but still im not able to change people are sick of me IM SICK OF ME these feelings are stopping me from being somone i could be proud of.

    • Jesse
      I know it took a lot for you to write this and it’s great you have come to realize what some of your actions are. My guess is you are sensitive guy and your emotions get the best of you. Relationships are always easy, including the one we have with ourselves. In fact the relationship we have with ourselves is the one all other relationships we have are run through.
      It’s hard for others to be proud of you if you can’t be proud of yourself. It is hard to be proud of oneself if our emotions or thinking processes get the better of us. You want to change. You want to improve yourself. You also know if you keep trying the same thing over and over again, the results will be the same
      Have you tried working with a health professional or counselor in your area? Most abusers don’t want help because they don’t want to face up to acknowledging they have a problem. But you are acknowledging that you have a problem and that puts you way ahead of the pack. Give yourself a chance to prove to yourself and others there is more to you than how you’ve acted in the past. It will take some effort, but the results can be dramatic

  3. hi my name is caitlyn, and my boyfriends mother is having these issues, so from what i hear she has had a bad childhood, and i would think that would effect on how she treats her son( which is my boyfriend) she never lets him out of the house for some social time or anything only time he gets to hang with friends is at school, and ymca for 20- 10 mins, also when ever he tries to talk to her about hangin out with me or anybody she just ingores him and walks away, i want him to be happy with where he lives but she takes it out all on him, can you help?

    • Caitlyn
      While you may care a lot about your boyfriend, you don’t really have a say in what goes on in his family life. Unless the mom is being abusive (which each state defines its own laws for), she is allowed to minimize social activity until your boyfriend leaves home or reaches adulthood. Is this fair or healthy, no. Does it sound as if the mom has issues other than anger, yes.
      Every parent effects their children by how supportive and loving they are. Abusive or dysfunctional households most certainly make it more of a challenge for someone to grow up to achieve their best. It can be difficult to find happiness in these situations, but it is not your cross to bear. Your boyfriend should speak to a school counselor and see what options he has. They may also be able to provide him some counseling.
      As for the mom, she has to decide if she wants help and my guess is, she doesn’t

  4. nameless

    People confuse me.
    My parents and my brother are all Christians. So am I. As such, when it comes to things like anger and hate, we have no excuse. The Bible clearly teaches that we are to let it go.(“Do not let the sun go down on your anger.”)It doesn’t seem to make much difference in our family. Especially with my dad and me. The truth is I hate my brother. The Bible says that to call your brother a fool is like killing him. I know that in God’s view all sins are equal, but, from a human standpoint, how much worse is it to hate him?
    I wished for a while that I’d never met the first person I’d ever fallen in love because he joined the Marines and I thought something would happen to him. How do you wish that?
    So most of my anger is directed at me. And I know I’ll have to let it out sometime, but, when I do, what if it’s at someone who doesn’t deserve or need to have it unloaded onto them? How do I let it out without hurting someone?
    With God’s help, maybe I will. Otherwise, I’m out of options.

    • michael

      The bible also says “God helps those who help themselves”. Helping oneself means doing things that are emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually supportive of one self. You have to have all four. You are in a trap many Christians find themselves in, which is they intellectually support themselves with Christian ideals, but they can’t find a way to make these ideals relate to their emotions. What this creates is very judgmental people who preach one thing and live completely disconnected from the words they speak.
      To have knowledge of something is a mental process. That is OK for facts and tasks. But people need to intereact with each other, to relate to each other, to work through difference and find acceptance of things they do not understand. They also need to have boundaries and be able to say no and not accept things that are not supportive of their well being. This is lacking in your family, so you have anger.
      You also do not know how to let go and release hurt. You take things personal and my guess is others in your family do the same things. You may want to find a professional to work with to help you learn how you can begin to process your emotions more effectively

      • This advice is great. The only thing is that nowhere in the Bible does it say “God helps those who help themselves”.

  5. I have been in a relationship for 7 years and we have 2 kids. He is very helpful around the house helps with the kids .But he has a bad temper and when he gets mad he will insult me in front of my kids call me all sort of names ,help me understand

  6. David F.

    Hi, I need help please. For a long time and for as long as I have remembered, I’ve always internalized mean words people have said to me. Things I don’t like to hear. I’ve held on to things for as long as I can remember. Now I have an anger issue. Sometimes in the heat of the moment when arguing with anyone I hold off on what I want to say. For example, the other day my next door neighbor yelled at me for something. I got mad, wanted to yell back at him but didn’t, intead I internalized those feelings and carry that anger with me. What can I do to release that anger?

    • Michael

      Angry is not a bad emotion. It is part of you asking for you to stand up for yourself, for you to support your perspectives, ideas, or actions. If you don’t stand up for yourself when it is useful to support yourself, then it is hard to trust yourself.
      This can be a complicated as to when anger is appropriate or not and not everyone agrees when to use it or not, but my guess is yourself esteem suffers from your inability to hold your own position when others are getting angry at you.
      Many people have a black and white perspective to the options they have when others treat them inappropriately or things gets somewhat intense. You always have options, by asking questions to get clarification, to walk away, to hold your ground, to try and defuse the situation. It is useful to have these options and it can feel very limiting if one only feels like they have to push back or run
      You may want to work with someone to help give you more options and also work on the things you tend to hold onto. You probably won’t begin releasing your anger until you have some other ways of being able to deal with confrontations

  7. my wife and myself are living at my son inlaw due to medical reasons on my side. My daughter asked if we are prepared to come and stay with them and my wife can help with house dutys as they run a busness by day, wich was fine, my daughter was also expecting her 2nd child and we were very happy for them, at first everthing seems to go well and my grandson was born, we were so glad and proud and still is. Then some thing happened in the busness side also family wise like my youger son was also employed by my son inlaw, subseqeuntly it did not work out and he resigned, after a shouting match at the office. so in that scenario the whole thing started,like just being ignored while in conversation or talkingto me but as if i am not there, we will be outside at the pool and he will get himself a drink with out offering me one as in the past he allways asked if i want something. At dinner time or lunch we will all have a talk and again the snides and ignore a qeustion i ask just to keep in the conversation so i did some retrospective investagation if i have changed due to my incapacity not to work anymore and be on our own in our own house like it was for 30 years and i went for a session at a physcytrist who said nothing wrong witn me only regrets that i am not able to be self seficient anymore, i do not know how long i can handle this, my internet has been curbed like no facebook or social media because i think he might think i will talk out i have never done it after all he has done for us, i do not like the stuff that is going on and it affects every one in his house i am feeling worthless at this point in time regards danie ps. i am on anti depression meds already

    • Forced family situations can always be tricky, as they can bring all types of sensitivities, resentments, unreolved issues, etc, because people are in close quarters, the have high expectations, do not have enough personal space and everyone has there own ideas of how things should be and who is incharge. If the communications and openness to listening are not effective, things tend to build up and stay unresolved and the parties fight, ignore, act out in strange ways, etc because people don’t feel they have choice or options for others things to happen other then people be the way they want thim to be. There are no easy answers here, because family dynamics can be complicated. Any suggestions given can back fire for any number of reasons. What you know is you sone inlaw has some issues but you don’t know exactly what. You can start by asking your daughter how she thinks this is affecting him or try to open up dialog in some way with him. Professional help would be an option if all parties were willing to go, but I doubt that will happen here.
      Put aside the idea that this is your family you are living with and how family is supposed to be, because while everyone has ideas of how they think family should be, it really never is that way. If this wasn’t your family and you were in this situation, would you see it any different? There are no right answers, but if you can’t open up the communications, you are going to have to find other ways to see the situation you are in. Hope that helps

  8. Windy Williquette

    I have always had some anger problems. When I was young I would be angry when kids bullied me. I would hold it in and the frustration they caused was exactly what they wanted, until I would explode with physical force for them to stop. I explain my anger having only few triggers but taunting and being someone’s joke when I want to be taken seriously is one. I wish I could say I thought I was smart enough to not be the victim of emotional and mental abuse but it seems i give my attention to people who do not value much about me at all. I have hit my abuser and explode with frustration almost becoming the opposite of what I really strive to be. I’m constantly interrogated with my every move. I don’t seem to ever be good enough or able to please him no matter what the demands are. I can hardly ever do anything alone. When I work I’m accused of cheating or not doing my job because I’ve been on the phone with too many people even if I am talking to family or had an emergency. I am punished by silence and he ignores me for days but when confronted says nothing about what has caused the distance. Then later comes and tells me that he over heard me talking on the phone and he is now positive I have been out fucking around. It goes on and on. The insults and enuendos get to be so exhausting and I just can’t take anymore. I just fight and want someone to pay for the pain. I see my target I I want to make them beg me to stop like I beg them. I want to let it out and my body just hurts all the time.. lots of aches and pains. Head aches and elevated heart rate. The abuse didn’t stop even when I couldn’t move. I was laying up after back surgery and couldn’t defend myself. I thought I would get some sympathy and get to recover. Not my luck. All there was , had only a delay for my ability to react. I don’t want to be a crazy person. I want what we all want and deserve. To be treated better and when I’m not being treated better you have to hear me and take me seriously. I’m not going back but I do still have all this anger.

    • There are multiple dynamics at play here. One is your anger. This is an emotional issue, not one of intelligence. Very smart people can be violent just as those who struggle intellectually can be sweet. What you haven’t learned is how to deal with things you don’t like or understand. Stuffing emotions down until they explode is not an effective or mature way of dealing with differences. This erodes your self esteem as you cannot trust yourself to handle complex relationships. This takes us to the next point, why are you hanging on to a relationship you cannot be happy with or relax in. Again, your self esteem is letting you down.
      Find someone to work with. You do not need to be smarted, you need to be able to find resolution to things bothering you

  9. Kit
    Like everything else in life, there is no single answer that fits everywhere. Our sensitivities most certainly can be produced by genetics, but what we do with those sensitivies and how they develop is learned. Life style choices (lack of sleep, addictions, inadequate diet) can also bring sensitivities to the forefront, so it is important to know your limitiations

  10. When someones temper constantly gets the best of them, their emotions control them. At the core level, intense anger is a subconscious process where a sudden surge of energy overwhelms the nervous system. This energy makes things feel very personal and those getting angry are trying to push away the emotion or the those they associate to adding to or creating it. It has worked for your husband, since you now try to avoid him. Your husband has not yet found a way handle his anger, to deviate or disperse this energy.
    You want to help, but you are also close to him, meaning you always risk the chance of triggering something that might activate his anger. He should get professional help.
    You can however, when he is calm and only when he is calm, ask him how he would like you to talk to him about things he might deem as sensitive and you feel are important. This may be a very sensitive subject for him, so don’t try to fix it or solve it for him. This is conversation that needs to unfold only as quickly has he is ready to approach it. Don’t expect he will have answers right away, otherwise he would have already changed.
    The first few times you bring this up, just ask and encourage him to think about it. Give him a few days or a week and if he is calm, ask him if he has given it any thought. You are doing this because you love him and want a healthier relationship, not to push your ideas on how he should act, so be gentle


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