We’ve been there. You feel your blood pulsing as the anger rises and then- wait, what? Why am I crying? If you’ve been caught out and are fed up with tears making an unwelcome appearance in your frustration, read on to learn why it happens!
The way we think about anger isn’t always honest
When you think about anger, what do you imagine? In films and television, you’re most likely to see anger as a loud external experience. There might be yelling, banging or slamming. The tension in these manufactured expressions of emotion is high, visibly so, and through these visual associations, we come to understand anger as those expressions. It is not. Anger itself can be quiet or lingering.
Like other emotions, it wears many hats, but there is something unique about anger: it is often just a mask for other emotions. Anger is a secondary emotion, one that’s often caused by or layered over other emotions that you feel first and may find more difficult to sit with. Emotions like grief, fear, loss, confusion or rejection may be at the root of the anger you feel when it brings tears to your eyes.
How do I stop crying when I’m angry?
To begin disassociating the experience of tears with anger, it’s valuable to spend time exploring why we cry when we feel anger. Science suggests it’s a way of self soothing, so your angry tears are nothing to be ashamed of. They are a healthy and healing way of processing an emotion that can be difficult to feel for you on every level.
Anger is complex and can be draining for your physical body, your mental reserves, and it can even tap the tanks of your spiritual well being. To stop crying when you feel angry, it’s vital that you also stop judging yourself for these complex emotional connections and begin to create space to feel each of them.
The secret to this tip is that it’s not a tip at all. There is nothing wrong with tears or frustration. Crying, nor anger, are inherently bad things. Both experiences invite you to feel deeply the truth of your experience with your emotions. To do so, they insist that you drop all pretenses and you may feel vulnerable or embarrassed by the rawness that is required of you. That’s okay!
5 Ways to feel safe in your body and mind
1. Breathwork that engages your whole body.
The way you bring air into your body is a powerful tool you can use to help regulate your wellbeing. Seem revolutionary? It is! Breathwork is a skill you can master with your body, mind and the draw of oxygen. There are many different methods of breathing with different purposes designed to help you feel safe at an emotional or physiological level. Some types of breathwork good for supporting anger are: belly breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, and ujayi breathing.
2. Intentional movement that empowers you.
The incredible thing about bodies is that you can use yours in any way that empowers you. For some people, they find release in movement like running, swimming, hiking or aerobics. Other women may enjoy practices like yoga, ballet or martial arts. But established exercise styles aren’t the only intentional movement available to you. If you feel connected to yourself through movement like roller skating, labyrinth walking or even simple stretching, all of these kinds of movements are intentional choices that you can celebrate and use to help you find grounding when emotions feel too overwhelming.
3. Focus on the big picture.
Have you heard the expression, “to see the forest for the trees”? It can be tempting to pour all of your energy into the metaphorical tree you can see most clearly in a moment where you feel angry, frustrated or lost. It can also be a false safety net. While sometimes you need to move one small step at a time, that’s not always.
When you are feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of your emotions, try taking a step back to see the emotion as part of the forest instead of the totality of your being. Put it into the perspective of all feelings so that it’s more comfortable to make sense of the way it feels in your body right now.
4. Root into the world around you.
Like those trees, rooting can be a powerful way to create space for safety in your emotional and physical self. Ground yourself in the most literal sense by putting your feet on the Earth and feeling the energy that comes through the bare grass, stone, dirt or sand beneath you. If doing this helps you to feel safe in your body with the Earth’s energy through your feet, you can try sitting on the ground or lying down and letting yourself sink into the Earth. Practice your breathwork for a meditative experience to reconnect with your sense of safety.
5. Remember to play.
This seemingly simple tip may be the most valuable one on our list. Play is a powerful part of the human experience, yet so many of us stop prioritizing play as schedules, stress and obligations overtake our days. Remember to take time to play as it remains the most powerful way to learn at any age.
If you’re looking for more tips on processing anger and finding space to play through your recovery, call Villa Kali Ma today to get started on the next steps to safety in your life.