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May 24, 2022

Anger isn’t “Bad”—& Why We Need to Let Ourselves Feel It.

 

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Anger is a natural emotion.

And it’s one that we all feel.

But it’s still too often talked about as if it’s something that we shouldn’t feel, almost as if there’s something wrong with us for feeling it. There’s still a collective feeling that it’s “bad.”

But it’s just an emotion—and one that has a lot to tell us.

Does anger feel good? No. Is it a positive-feeling emotion? No. Can it be all-consuming? Yes. It can definitely feel uncomfortable. When we’re angry, we’ll feel the heat of anger in our bodies, and the thoughts will take over our minds. It can be difficult to focus or concentrate. We can’t think clearly and often get thrown off-center. But it’s just an emotion. It’s not “bad.”

And we couldn’t stop ourselves from feeling it even if we wanted to. If we try to consciously stop feeling anger, all we’ll do is suppress it—keeping the energy of it stuck somewhere inside of us.

We can’t stop feeling it by consciously “trying”—and we shouldn’t even want to. We should just feel and process our emotions while they’re happening.

There are reasons for why we feel angry. It would be much better to just fully feel the anger, and then see what we can learn from it.

What kinds of beliefs or feelings or experiences lie beneath the anger? What is really happening when we’re filled with it, triggered into it?

We can feel anger because someone crossed a boundary that we find unacceptable or because they triggered a wound or belief we already hold inside of us.

Why are we really angry? What can this emotion tell us about us? What is it pointing us toward?

The best thing we can do is just be who we are in every moment—feel every emotion, allow our thoughts to move through us, and be present with ourselves through all of our experiences.

It’s like when people say “forgive” or “let go” or “be compassionate.”

We don’t forgive because someone told us it was the right thing to do. We don’t even forgive because we want to forgive. We forgive because an awareness, an understanding, arose within us. We can hold the intention and willingness to forgive, but it’s not actually a conscious process. It’s something that blooms from within us.

We don’t let go of something because we said, “I let go.” We let go because something happened within us, an understanding came to some place deep inside of us. We don’t actively let go; letting happens within us through us.

We aren’t compassionate just because we do a certain action. Compassion is a feeling that arises from within us. If we just do something to “be compassionate,” but it’s not accompanied by the soft, warm, genuine feeling of compassion—it’s just a superficial, performative act. And we’ll likely end up feeling resentful or angry. Compassion arises within us because of an awareness or understanding that moved through us.

It’s the same with anger. We don’t stop feeling anger through force or through judging ourselves or through telling ourselves that it’s bad. It doesn’t happen because people tell us it’s wrong or destructive or harmful. Anger lessens because we’re present with it—because we become acquainted with what resides beneath that feeling of anger, because something changes within us, because an awareness or understanding happens through us, because something blooms inside of us.

Our society—political, social, cultural, religious—condemns anger and says that it’s something we need to stop feeling. All this does is create an environment for suppression, as well as a culture of shame. We’re made to feel as if there’s something wrong with us or “bad” for feeling an emotion that is totally normal! And one that will happen.

Does anger feel good? No. Do we feel more peaceful and loving if we’re not angry? Yes. But anger comes to us for a reason; there are reasons for why we feel angry. And it’s far better to just let ourselves feel our emotions and then learn what we can from them instead of trying to force ourselves to not feel them—because that suppressed energy will just come out in other destructive ways. Suppressed anger can, for example, lead to depression or anxiety.

Energy doesn’t leave us just because we refuse to pay attention to it.

Anger is just an emotion. Something happens inside our minds and bodies and we feel anger. That anger happened for a reason and can tell us a lot—if we’re willing to look.

Instead of suppressing our anger or trying desperately to not feel it, we’d be far better served by just allowing ourselves to be angry, feeling the full energy of it, and then learning what it has to tell us.

What lives beneath our anger? Why are we really feeling angry? What is triggering this feeling? What does it say about us or our beliefs or self-beliefs?

Anger doesn’t feel good, but it’s here to tell us something.

We just have to be willing to feel it and learn from it.

~

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