Being angry is not always bad. It can be healing too. Here’s how.
Anger is one of the strongest and purest of emotions. Pure anger is never caustic; it is wholesome and powerful. And so, as complicated as it may sound, anger is good for us.
Petty or formidable it needs to be addressed! It is always good to get the anger out of our systems as long as it is not mindless anger that stems from suppression and low self-esteem. The release does good to us; not the bottling. It gives us a sense of our worth, and a clear anchoring to our feelings.
Anger at our fingertips
Opportunities to get angry abound. It could be a social situation that went haywire. A reckless response on a burning issue at home from your partner could backfire. It could be the silly but hurtful comments on your Facebook page; the most insensitive tweet; assistants’ misunderstandings, irritating co-passenger and so on
Ire is global; it is universal.
Benefits of expressing anger
The best way to tackle anger is to express it instead of allowing it to fester away. The benefits of giving vent to your wrath are many:
- It helps you to self-explore your feelings and get a handle on it.
- The more you mine your memories for the reason for your anger, the more you are in touch with your deepest feelings and personal values.
- You become mindful and alert.
- When you revisit, relive and express old hurts and painful moments, you are more ready to let them go.
- There are no shadows, debris or residues.
- Coping becomes easier.
There are many ways to express anger. But at some level, a discrimination exists in recognizing female and male anger. Female anger is translated as an expression of her emotional state. Historically, it has been given derogatory names such as hysteria and brushed away. But female ire has the resilience to establishe its goal. The recent #metoo movement is a sterling example. Male wrath has been legitimized and is considered honorable as compared to female anger.
Pitfalls of avoiding anger
Is avoiding anger easy? No, never! Avoiding demands a lot of effort and there is always a side effect to side-stepping your anger. Like most other negative feelings, anger also points to evolution. Harnessing your anger sets you on the path of growth.
Ways to channelize and express your anger
Learn to tame your anger. Unbridled anger is self-destructive and lethal. Explosive anger is destructive and misses the point.
Deal with your anger right away when it is small and minor. If you let it stew and grow big, it could erupt in unexpected, uncontrolled and unwanted ways.
The Harvard anger report claims that any emotion by itself is not good or bad. It lies in the appropriate situation and the way it is expressed. And that’s the reason, anger should be directed to the situation and not the individuals.
Indian mythology celebrates Lord Shiva’s anger and his anger-ridden dance- the Rudra Thandavam. Our scriptures advise us to get used to and manage our anger. We also know about the great Seer Viswamithra’s misplaced anger and its consequences.
We often hear the maxim: angered are those who lack intelligence. Here it means that anger without a reason is a vent for your other stress or disappointments. In expressing it you lose sight of your own position and the end result.
In understanding anger, we must be our own judge and police. Recognize the source of anger and express it with equanimity. Don’t play the blame game. Most of the situations that need change also need self-initiation. Pure anger provides that charge. So, be the change yourself and then inspire others.
Vijayalakshmi Sridhar’s stories explore human relationships and their dynamics. She is enjoying her journey as a writer of fiction and features.