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Four Ways to Keep Your Anger From Causing Physical Illness

Anger and Physical Illness


It is easy in the situation of divorce to find yourself filled with anger. Especially if you did not want a divorce and are feeling a lack of control over the direction your life has taken. The feelings are justifiable and understandable. That doesn't mean anger should become the driving emotion in your life. Studies show a direct relationship between unresolved anger and physical illness. Below are five coping techniques that will help you live longer, without toxic anger.

1. Release Your Anger

Anger is energy; the trick is to use that energy in a positive way. Expressing anger by lashing out only causes more tension in your body. It feels good temporarily but in reality only ads to the problem. Physical exercise is a healthy way to release the energy and tension from anger. Take up jogging, do some aerobics or kick boxing. If exercise isn't possible try relaxation exercises such as deep breathing. Inhale to the bottom of your stomach, hold for a count of 5 and then slowly release by consciously relaxing your muscles.

2. Adjust Your Expectations

You expected your marriage to last and your spouse to be around forever. Those are reasonable expectations and your anger is understandable. You need to get angry and get over it because to continue to expect your expectations to be met when your life experience tells you they aren't is irrational. You have to adjust, learn to live with the hand you are dealt and move on with your life. You can live with situations that you feel are unacceptable without letting the anger you feel take over your life. We all expect certain things when it comes to the behavior of other people. The truth is though; we have no control over their behavior, only over how we react to it.

3. Live in the Present

Don't look too far back and too far ahead. Constantly looking back at what you had means not paying attention to, today and what you have now that is of value. If you use all your emotional energy thinking about how things used to be, you will have no energy left for today. The same goes for looking ahead and how things would have been if you had not divorced. Staying stuck in the past or grieving over what we feel we lost in the future takes away our ability to live today with awareness.

4. Replace Anger with Empathy

Understanding the motivation behind someone else's actions can and will help alleviate some anger toward that person. You may not agree with what they are doing but delving into their reasons for doing it and understanding their emotional frame of mind helps you replace some of your feelings of anger with empathy. Your spouse may be as angry as you are, or their actions may be motivated by fear. Walking a mile in the other guy's shoes can give us great perspective and emotional release.

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