Anger and frustration are natural and healthy feelings that we all have. Anger is a gift, so use your feelings to help drive you towards positive change.
Give Yourself The Gift Of Anger
You and I both know that I write a lot about positivity. Being positive is important! It will get you to the places you hope for, the places you dream of, and the places you’ve worked toward. We need positivity to be a driving force in our lives and the lives of those we love.
But what about those times where you just don’t have positive emotions? You can’t find it and it seems so far away. Those times where you are just frustrated, have intense feelings of anger, and want to cry. Those are just as important, provided they are part of a process. Because the truth is, anger is a gift.
There is a popular notion that the emotion of anger is a negative emotion. That when you have angry feelings, it can lead to you being an angry person or have aggressive behavior.
But there is a healthy way to reframe anger as a good thing. Rather than thinking of it as a poisonous emotion, maybe it is a secondary emotion that can be used in productive ways.
Anger Is A Vital Tool
I am sitting here today unbelievably frustrated. I’m angry and crying and I’d love some answers. My body decided to start on another medical journey that, although not life threatening, is very painful, keeping me up at night, and making daytime difficult.
The ER staff was amazing, but ultimately couldn’t find the problem (which is typical for my body). My doctors have some new path ideas, and so I am hearing them out. That said, I am not up for another medical adventure – I just finished one. I want to be a mother to my kids and a wife to my husband, a daughter to my parents and a shoulder for my friends. Frankly, I’m just not in the mood.
Things get in the way for all of us, and it is incredibly frustrating. It’s the times where you planned to go to the movies with your children or a friend, but have to cancel because you got the flu or were called into work. It’s the times where you are late for an important appointment and your car won’t start. Or the times where you find out a friend is sick and there is nothing you can do. Those “Come ON” moments in life. Some are more serious than others, but we all have them. We all get frustrated, and that’s okay.
Sometimes it’s okay to wallow. It’s okay to take a day and ask “Why me??” and beat the pillow with your fists. It’s okay to cry and be angry and wish that it could be some other existence where this is not reality. It’s okay. Take it. It is a gift to yourself – feel it. Get it out of your body. Because tomorrow is a different day. Tomorrow it will be time to put your big person pants on and face the world with a resolve that you don’t currently feel. So today, give yourself the gift of that anger.
Anger is a valid emotion that comes with a racing heart, tense muscles, and a facial expression that isn’t the most inviting. But unless you are reaching pathological levels of anger (i.e. having been diagnosed with anger related mental health conditions, engaging in a destructive force of violence, or behaving in an aggressive way towards others), you don’t need to be on high alert. Use anger to process your pain.
Process Anger In An Effective Way
We live in a society where anger isn’t always socially acceptable. Two siblings are fighting and our first instinct is to say, “Everybody stop it and get along!” instead of letting them feel what they are feeling and work it out with their words the best way they can.
We all know why we do it. We don’t want things to get out of hand, we don’t want to hear the arguing, and if it’s squashed now, it’s done. But while we hope that we are sending an “everybody be kind to each other” message, we are also communicating that anger and frustration need to stop in the moment instead of be worked through and resolved.
I am not suggesting that we don’t keep our kids from fighting, but I am suggesting that we help them understand that anger and frustration are feelings that are healthy and normal. That there is a function of anger and even while experiencing it, there is a right way to behave so that it doesn’t impact our healthy relationships.
Anger isn’t something to be afraid of unless you feel like you need to take it out on other people. Please don’t take your anger out on others – or yourself. It is tough sometimes when things aren’t going your way, but it is important that you get it out of your body – not turn it inwards or at a loved one or stranger.
Go to the gym and let the anger out on the equipment, go for a run, punch a punching bag or go into the car and scream at the top of your lungs. Do some deep breathing exercises or write in a journal. Find your coping mechanism and get it out of your body. Because if you let it stay, you can’t get back to your real life. If you invite that anger to live in you, it will enthusiastically dwell. It will melt into the crevices of your happier moments and you won’t even know where it is coming from. Don’t let that happen.
Anger and frustration are things that we all feel – and man, I’m feeling it right now. So, I’m allowing it, because it’s okay. I’m taking a little time to myself so that I can cry and wallow and obsessively think “I have other stuff to do!” – because tomorrow, I have to start a new medical adventure. My medical support “team” has already started playing, but I need to get in the game. And I can’t do that without a clear head.
Life goes on – with us or without us. If you want to live, you’ve got to get in the game. Take your moment, process what you need to, remember that anger is a gift, and then get in the game. You can do it.