My reputation as a purveyor of calm and happy is now pretty entrenched in what I do…
But there are times when saying “it’s all good” and turning a blind eye and ignoring big problems for the sake of calm is not what I consider to be healthy.
Are you OK with getting angry sometimes?
While anger as your daily emotion is pretty universally destructive, if you think about it… anger is a human emotion that, at times, is very useful.
I’ve been holding in a lot- way too much- injustice lately (well, not just lately, but intensely, lately)- and one such a feat of injustice finally set off alarms in my body today. Alarms that had me doing research for hours. Alarms that have moved me to major action. Alarms that had me to go for an enormous hike this afternoon, one that will bring me so much more than the momentary rush of anger has taken from me.
So, I’m finally so sick of it that I finally got mad enough to make sure I make it end.
Complaining, venting, feeling hurt and frustrated… all of those things aren’t bad in themselves for a moment… but if you need to break out of a bad thing, and just sit around venting, nothing will change.
That’s not productive, you know? You become the person sucking the air out of the room.
Sometimes you need anger, because a little anger can break you out of a haze. It can shake up your world in positive ways. Just channel that anger productively, use the rush of energy to your advantage, and it’s just another emotion, albeit one charged with the kind of force that it can be used for good…or for not good.
Today, it’s about anger used for good purposes.
You can’t drop me in New York and New Jersey for a week and expect me to come back to LA as a pushover, can you?!
PsyBlog reported on The Upside Of Anger:
“That’s the wonder of human emotions: happy isn’t always good and angry isn’t always bad (although it may feel that way). An unhappy person is also more likely to spot mistakes and an angry person is highly motivated to act. We need reminding that even scary and dangerous emotions have their upsides, as long as they are used for the correct purpose.”
I couldn’t have said it better, and THIS whole piece is illuminating about positive anger.
If you are sitting right now in a situation you know is wrong you can either internalize it all and let it create fear inside (I almost stopped writing the blog for a while, a few months back because of plagarism that I didn’t want to confront— then I finally did confront it!) or you can really face things head on.
I pop out of anger quite quickly when I take action. It’s when I hold it in that the evils take over:
- no motivation
- shelving your art
Don’t let these things grip you. Let yourself get angry if you need to get angry if that’s what it takes to get to a place where change happens.
Sure it’s not elegant. It’s also not productive to scream and yell and throw things. But it is productive to let yourself feel things completely you know?
Some people say anger is not “evolved” and that it’s never good. I disagree.
It isn’t un-spiritual to get angry in my mind.
It isn’t “crazy” to get mad.
And anger definitely isn’t something we do that doesn’t help us. In fact, we get angry to protect outselves and survive, and THIS awesome video breaks down lots of the science behind it.
That said, you can avoid huge explosions of anger if you are more present and self-expressed and not “letting things slide” that build up for a long time…. But in this imperfect world, if you need to finaly get a little mad, let yourself do it.
Anger is one of the stages of grief, too. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross set forth these stages of grieving the loss of a loved one, and they tend to apply to grieving everything, including losing a job or moving from a home… Dramatically changing reality usually involves a little grief. Grief includes anger sometimes.
So, why deny this is a part of life? Anger can be part of healing.
It’s only helped me when I’ve gotten mad and used it to fuel my art, used it to drive reseearch, to dig deeper into a relationship, to become more clear for myself… To confront things head-on.
That said: before you head-on confront things though, you might want to calm down!
Right now I’m boiling some water to make a big glass of Natural Calm (my favorite magnesium drink, I talk about it here in this piece on eliminating hidden stress), taking an aromatherapy-filled shower and hitting the rest of my day with an illuminated sense of purpose.
After all, why get angry to stay angry? Get angry for a minute if you must (or a while, just not a long intense while…!) and let it chart your course to rise above that anger and into a feeling of super-clarity and solutions! xoxo Dana
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