Often we can label emotions as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Happy, for instance, is good. Anger, however, is ‘bad’.
While something commonly done, this doesn’t necessarily make it the right way to view things. Emotions, after all, are just that – energy in motion. So with the knowledge that every single emotion is fleeting, it doesn’t make sense to label them as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ does it?
Much like anything else, in life comes the yin and the yang – this is the natural state of being – living a balanced life. The masculine and feminine, Summer and Winter, happiness and sadness. Every single thing has its light and its shadow and in fact, neither the light or the shadow are right or wrong. They just are. It is the way we choose to deal with these emotions as they come up, that can determine our true experience of them.
When emotions like anger arise, it can feel more comfortable to resist them. To force them to the side and pretend they do not exist – instead putting on a ‘brave’ smiling face, insisting that everything is okay (when in reality you want to scream at the top of your lungs that it isn’t).
Resisting emotion can be incredibly detrimental to our emotional and physical health, however it is particularly common especially in people-pleasing personalities, and those who don’t like to admit when things are not feeling great. It is easier to put on a smiling face than to admit that yes, we feel something uncomfortable (be it anger or sadness) and no, we do not know how to deal with it.
If we actually allowed ourselves to fully feel an emotion as it came up – no matter if it were sadness or anger or joy – that emotion would last, on average, 7 minutes – maximum. So why are we so resistant to feeling these emotions fully as they arise? Why is it easier to dismiss them and act like everything is fine?
Because we fear what the emotion means. We start to create stories – If I am angry, it means I am ungrateful or unloveable or a bad person. When in fact, we ALL feel anger – it is just how we direct the anger that matters most.
Firstly, when anger arises, sit with it rather than run from it. How does it feel in your body?
What does it make you want to do? Yell? Cry? Scream? Great. Take yourself off to a private place and do just that. Scream into a pillow. Yell into your bed. Journal furiously until the rage seeps out of your mind and onto the page. Cry, cry and cry some more. What matters here is we honour the physical response in our bodies rather than resisting them. Allow ourselves to fully express without the fear of what that may do – because it only ever has positive results.
You will find in truly allowing yourself to feel and express the emotion as it arises fully, it will pass by far quicker than if you were to resist feeling it entirely.
If anger is a dominant emotion for you, and one that continues to arise more than you would like, it may be time to get to the bottom of deeper triggers. Consider seeking the help of a coach or counsellor, who are trained in uncovering what your deep-seated challenges may be. Start to track the times anger arises for you – are there common themes or patterns? What specifically are you angry about? Once you uncover these triggers, it can be far easier to deal with.
But above all things, remember that anger is not something to be feared. It is a necessary human emotion – just like joy or sadness. What is most important is you do not run from it – and you do not let it rule you. Because it is just an emotion after all – and emotions are always fleeting.
Don’t know how to feel the feels? Read more here.