What Does Anger Teach Us?
Anger is an intense emotion. Among other bodily sensations, it can make you feel sick to your stomach, or it can make you feel a lump in your throat. And it can be hard to know how to properly resolve it.
When you feel angry, something happens in the nervous system, in the blood, and therefore, in the whole body. It stirs up your hormones and neurotransmitters, preparing you for action. However, you have to be able to learn from it so you don’t get hurt.
Anger: just another emotion
Anger pushes you to release the energy that you build up inside like a pressure cooker. When there’s no way to channel it, it can cause you a lot of harm, contaminating the rest of your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
If you don’t resolve it, you’ll feel stuck, frustrated, powerless, and defenseless. Like any other emotion that you feel, you are the only one responsible for it. Nobody else is to blame, even if you associate it with or project it onto someone else.
Anger towards others
Sometimes anger just escapes from you. It has to get out, and for that reason, you sometimes feel like you can’t control it. It often arises when someone says or does something that bothers you.
We often externalize our anger towards the person who triggered it, acting impulsively, with no control over our words or actions. However, this doesn’t actually solve the problem that led to the anger in the first place. It just causes more conflict and damage, which you’ll probably regret later.
Anger towards yourself
Other times, you feel angry at yourself. This happens when the anger triggered by a situation, and not so much by other people. Which means you’re directly attacking your character and blaming yourself for the unpleasant situation.
In any case, getting angry at yourself also won’t set you free from the problem, it’ll just make you feel even worse. Instead of fading, it will grow even more inside of you, making you feel overwhelmed by all the unresolved, self-destructive emotions.
“Anger is detrimental to everyone, especially to the man who experiences it.”
Anger is destructive when you don’t know how to resolve it. If you let it drag you around, you’ll hurt yourself and others. On the other hand, if you repress it, it’ll multiply within you as if it were radioactive waste, growing with time and destroying your own self-image.
It’s necessary to learn how to resolve and manage it so that it doesn’t destroy you. However, it’s more important to discover where it came from and why you’re feeling it. Only when you get to know it in depth can you heal it and make it go away.
“It doesn’t matter what the doctors say, anger in human beings is often a booby trap.”
-Gabriel García Márquez-
How anger can teach us
Anger is a sign that you’re feeling some sort of personal dissatisfaction, something unresolved that might even originate from childhood. To discover its true origin, it’s important to observe the situations in which it appears and the ones where it remains dormant.
It’s likely that all those situations have something in common, since it often conceals dissatisfaction, pain, unmet expectations, feelings of inferiority, abandonment, frustration, lack of support, perfection-seeking, etc.
If you observe your anger, it will show you what you need to work on so you can become stronger, accept failure, respect the way other people are, or feel satisfied. Only then will you stop feeling this unpleasant emotion.
“Cherish your own emotions and never under-value them.”
Channel it and manage it
It’s important to know how to properly manage and face your anger when you feel it. You have to be able to release it without hurting yourself or others. This takes emotional intelligence, or knowing how to express, resolve, and confront your emotions without hurting anybody.
To do so, you should look for a physical activity you can take your anger out on, and during that physical activity, you should picture the anger leaving you as you feel the relief of exercise. You could also kick something, hit a pillow, or even throw stones, and visualize your anger leaving your body during these activities.
You could also find a safe place where you can shout and express your feelings without anybody hearing you. That way, you can say everything you want to say out loud, knowing that nobody will hear you. And afterwards you’ll feel relieved of the pain that was living inside you.
Transform the emotion into learning
Don’t forget to look for the origin of your anger and learn what it’s trying to teach you. Learning from your emotions is a form of growth. Knowing how to manage them means expressing them without hurting yourself or anyone else. Transforming your anger into learning means healing yourself from deep inside.
You’ll be learning every day if you dedicate enough time to observing and recognizing your emotions. It’s important to learn how to manage them and discover their origins so they don’t cause you harm or discomfort.
“When I say manage emotions, I only mean the really distressing, incapacitating emotions. Feeling emotions is what makes life rich.”