What if you have a dark side? What if there’s a part of you that is so despicable, selfish, petty and angry that it makes you feel like the world is against you?
Let’s say this side of yours isn’t a deal breaker. You still want to be around other people and function well in society.
So how do you let go of hate and anger before they consume your life?
The answer lies in working through our darker emotions before they take over us.
As much as we don’t like admitting it, sometimes we fall prey to negative feelings without knowing why.
But the good news is there are ways to conquer these destructive emotions before they grow into something worse.
Below we will discuss the characteristics of negative thinking and how to identify when your thoughts are headed down the wrong path.
This is an important step towards overcoming anger or hate because if you know where those thoughts are coming from, then you can change their course before they spiral out of control.
What Causes Hate and Anger
Hate and anger are two of the most destructive emotions that can take over a person. They often originate from fear, which includes worrying about what people think about you or if other people do not like you enough to provide support.
They also come from having an inferiority complex in which you feel like someone out there is better than you.
When we don’t figure out how to deal with our negative thoughts, they get worse. And they can turn into hate or anger if they are left unchecked.
The Power of Forgiveness
The most important step in overcoming anger or hate is understanding the root of these feelings. Forgiveness is the key.
Forgiveness doesn’t come easy, but it can help you let go of the past and move forward without carrying some of that baggage with you.
Forgiving yourself and others helps you feel better about yourself and your actions as well as gives you a chance to start fresh, without any regrets in tow.
There are many ways to forgive, including through prayer, writing a letter for someone else, through action–such as volunteering–or even forgiving someone by saying “sorry” after they hurt you.
Some people find it easier to forgive themselves because they know what they did wrong and why. Others still find forgiveness difficult because they don’t know where their anger comes from or why they feel so deeply about something not being right when nothing has happened.
In either case, forgiveness can help lower the intensity of negative emotions we face daily and renew our hope for a brighter future.
What Does it Mean to Forgive?
Forgiving is the act of releasing resentment, anger or hatred directed at someone or something. It gives you peace and allows you to move on from that time in your life.
Forgive yourself for every mistake you’ve ever made, even if it was an innocent mistake. And forgive those who have hurt you.
When you forgive someone, you release them from any responsibility for the pain they inflicted on you.
You also free yourself from those negative feelings–whether anger, resentment or hatred–because now the person doesn’t have the power to ruin your day anymore.
Healthy Ways to Release Anger
There is an important distinction between feeling angry and acting out on that anger. You may be hurting yourself or someone else if you act out on your anger.
You may even be putting yourself in a dangerous situation. But the good news is that you can learn to release anger in healthy ways.
To release anger in a healthy way, you need to ensure that it’s not coming from a place of self-loathing or guilt.
It’s not always easy to tell the difference between when we let our feelings take over us and when we are actually being driven by something more personal than our negative emotions.
The following are some signs that your actions may come from a place other than pure emotion:
- If your angry feelings are accompanied by anxiety
- If you’re angry for no reason
- If you’re mad at someone and nothing has happened
- If there’s an underlying resentment about something that is causing the anger
Breathing Techniques To Let Go of Anger
Breathing techniques are an important step toward letting go of anger or hate.
Practicing breathing techniques can be very calming and help you return to a place of peace.
- You can focus on your breath as it flows through your nose and through your mouth.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, filling the lungs with air before allowing it to escape slowly through pursed lips. This is one slow, controlled inhalation.
- Exhale equally as slow and deeply, forcing the air out slowly through pursed lips without any noise or effort.
When practicing these breathing techniques, you’ll find that they are much more effective when you focus on a specific point in time or something else besides your thoughts.
So you may want to focus on a spot on the wall where there isn’t anything else around for a distraction.
If negative feelings come over you during these breathing exercises, try alternate breathing techniques such as deep abdominal breathing or alternate nostril-diaphragm breathing to help calm those feelings and allow them to pass away quickly.
Once your negative feelings have passed, take a few seconds for reflection before moving on to the next exercise:
- What happened? This is where you look back at what just happened during that instance of anger or hate to evaluate how it made you feel afterward.
- Was it worth feeling this way?
- Was there something worth getting angry about
Meditate to Calm Yourself Down
Meditation is a great way to develop self-control and find peace of mind.
Practicing meditation will help you to become more aware of your thoughts and the emotions they provoke, which can help you let go of hatred.
Setting aside time each day or week to meditate not only helps us learn how to control our thoughts but it also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
Go For a Walk to Calm Down
One of the best ways to overcome anger is by taking a walk. Studies show that this strategy can help you calm down and make finding your way back to a peaceful state of mind easier.
The best way to overcome hate and anger is by learning how to forgive. Forgiveness is a key step in letting go of hate and anger.