How to Use Anger Constructively (Instead of Allowing it to Consume You)

Have you ever wanted to express your anger – but swallowed it instead because it didn’t seem spiritual, responsible, or politically correct? I know I have.

I’ve definitely suppressed, and/or stifled my anger about people, situations, and events in an effort to ‘not rock the boat’ – or to maintain some level of calmness or passive acceptance because I had defined spirituality as being loving, peaceful and approachable.

I’ve since realized, however, that this philosophy is a load of crap.

And not only is it time to debunk this big fat lie, it’s also important to learn why believing it is dangerous and detrimental.

Anger is a Messenger

Well, in reality – all feelings are messengers. It’s just that anger seems to be the most taboo out of all of them all because it’s heavily associated with the damage and destruction of the self, the environment, and humanity.

Anger is designed to let us know what we are thinking and feeling about a given set of circumstances. As far as emotions go, it’s pretty loud because it’s meant to grab our attention.

In and of itself, anger doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Believe it or not, it can be therapeutic, motivating and even creative.

It can become dangerous, however, when it isn’t used this way and instead, overtakes us…controlling our reactions and behavior.

And since we’re such a reactive society, the understanding that we do have a choice as to how we wish to work with anger eludes many of us.

But it doesn’t have to be this way any longer.

Observing Our Anger

When it comes to our emotions, especially where anger is involved, we tend to spend a lot more time interacting with them, rather than observing them.

That surge of adrenaline rises to the surface – overpowering the present moment awareness and before we know it, the damage is done. And because this damage is permanent sometimes, anger has been viewed as a destructive force that warrants avoidance at all costs.

However, if you are honest with yourself, I think you’ll realize that denying anger, or any other feelings that exist within us, is not only a tough thing to do, but it’s also painful. Our emotions are living, breathing entities with messages to share with us, and trying to swallow them is no different than trying to swallow a very LARGE living organism.

Do the words reflux and indigestion ring a bell?

And not only that; it’s important to understand that the negative feelings we’re ignoring didn’t actually go anywhere. They’re still around – under the surface, ready to pop up at any given time, in any given manner.

Passive aggressive behavior, depression, physical illness, suicidal thoughts, bullying/ being bullied and a host of other glorious sounding conditions develop – therefore creating a toxic environment both internally and externally – like undigested food sitting in your gut.

Indefinitely.

Now doesn’t that sound like fun?

So What Do You Do with Anger?

Well, this is the way I see it…

When we make the decision to become observers of our reality in addition to being participants, we are in a position to watch things as they unfold with a level of consciousness that allows room for alternate angles.

It’s not a half bad thing to learn to do because it could mean the difference between gaining some form of ‘understanding thyself’, or creating a total disaster.

Say, for example, that someone mistreats you. If it weren’t for your anger, you may not understand that you have the right to stand up for yourself.

If it were to take place while at work, your anger would let you know that there are behaviors going on over there that aren’t ‘kosher’.

You would appreciate your anger for communicating to you that you don’t agree with the behavior and that you would prefer to respect yourself enough to do something about it.

And if it turns out that you don’t respect yourself, your anger is telling you this as well – as the repeated treatment you will endure will continue to make you angry until you face it head on.

It’s telling you – about you – via circumstance. It isn’t the circumstance itself, it’s the emotion the circumstance creates within you.

So if you were to change jobs, relationships, etc – you will most likely find that different people and events will pop up and reflect the same feelings in different ways. So what you would want to do is to ask yourself what your anger is telling you.

What’s the root cause? What do you believe about yourself? Are you a victim? Is the world filled with bad people who do bad things to you? And if so, why is this?

Get curious.

Dissect the feelings. Work with them by allowing your emotions to act as an alert – but nothing more for the time being. This will serve as a huge asset.

Anger can tell us a lot about ourselves. It alerts us to things such as:

  • A belief, judgment or opinion we hold about something (often conditioned and unquestioned at that).
  • Rights being violated.
  • Being unhappy with our lives/ decisions/ ourselves.
  • Feelings of disempowerment, or self-hatred.
  • The need to learn to love ourselves in the presence of others, or society mistreating us.
  • The need to wake up and see things differently.

Anger isn’t a cause. It’s a result that causes other results – depending on how you respond to it.

Making Your Anger A ‘Science Project’

My mom had once said to me, “Dana, act, don’t react”. I have since tweaked it to “feel, accept, observe and respond accordingly – rather than react from emotion”.

When you’re able to observe your anger in a way that fully allows it to transpire with a sense of curiosity, you are in a position to be objective enough to understand that you can – literally – orchestrate a response based on what’s best for everyone involved.

It’s assuming personal responsibility – which isn’t self-blame, but it is acknowledging that you and ONLY you can own your feelings.

And owning your feelings is empowerment – which is the solution to disempowerment – which quite often happens to be the problem to begin with.

So when you’re presented with a set of circumstances that make you feel disempowered on some level, the anger is LOUDLY informing you as to how you feel about your role in the scene playing out in front of you.

Spiritual vs. Non-Spiritual

Through listening to teachings here and there from people who dispense some interesting information, I’ve learned a few things. I don’t just accept anything I hear – nor do I believe that there is any one teacher (or anyone at all for that matter) who knows the secret to life.

This includes religions, historical figures, etc. But if something makes sense to me, and it brings a new way of seeing things to my life that has made a positive impact and seems to have digested well for me… then I view it to be true until, or unless, new information makes itself available to me through an expanded sense of awareness.

While, at one point, I had viewed spirituality as not allowing myself to be angry, sad, confused, depressed, etc – I now see that such emotions aren’t to be ignored, but observed, acknowledged and respected.

The difference between spiritual and non-spiritual isn’t whether or not we allow such feelings to transpire, but rather how we allow them into our awareness  and learn about ourselves from what these feelings have to offer.

This is what personal responsibility looks like. It’s the act of living in situations, some easier to deal with than others no doubt, and observing what’s going on and what buttons are being pushed in you.

And THEN taking action from a place of understanding and wisdom.

Is it easy to refrain from allowing anger to overtake your better judgment?

Not always.

And since anger is capable of showing itself rather quickly at times – a delay in ‘releasing the beast’ may seem unrealistic and impossible.

This is why awareness is your friend.

Because it isn’t about managing anger.

It’s about understanding it, and holding the desire to have your anger work FOR and with you rather than against you.

True spirituality isn’t about expecting the world to cater to your desires or refrain from conflict. Instead, it’s the conscious choice to be in full attention of your life, and every emotion you experience – to learn about who you are and why you feel the way you do.

Because then, and ONLY then will you ever be in a position to NOT WANT to avoid anger because you’ll see it as a teacher.

My Own Example

Many years ago, I held a job in which the manager treated me like shit. She acted like a childish fool, yelling at me in front of other people. I didn’t deserve it, it embarrassed me and I felt totally disempowered.

Years later, after enduring similar treatment from different supervisors while working different jobs, I observed the pattern.

I finally got angry!

And I realized that I was the one who needed to decide that enough was enough.

So I did.

And you know what? It marked the end of the workplace bullshit that I no longer had any tolerance for. I didn’t have to do anything destructive. I simply had to get real and assume responsibility for my perception, my experience, and my response.

I had to make the decision that I would no longer tolerate such treatment…and become that person.

If it weren’t for my anger, and my desire to look it right in the face, the pattern could have continued and most likely, would have gotten much worse as time went on.

Every job I have held since then I am treated with dignity, respect, and warmth – even after quitting. It was because I FINALLY listened to my anger – and made it my friend.

And it’s still a work in progress.

I still get angry, and I still have my little outbursts.

The difference now is that while I feel the anger, I observe it as well. It’s made a huge difference for me, and if enough of us did this, I feel it would help bring about a society of people who treated themselves, and each other with a higher level of consciousness, compassion and awareness.

Which we so desperately need.

And if all else fails, try meditation.

It’s an excellent way to observe your own thought process.

I have one you could start practicing right now.

So how do you work with your anger? Do you observe it? Or does it consume you?

Image courtesy of DigitalDesigner

Dana Gore

Author of the books "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" and "Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity)", Dana Gore is a health and fitness professional, wellness coach, and freelance writer. Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner while inspiring her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

42 thoughts on “How to Use Anger Constructively (Instead of Allowing it to Consume You)

  • at 4:03 pm
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    Negative emotions are usually seen as bad which is not true at all. The universe is balanced and since we are part of it, that law applies to us too. Positive and negative emotions reveal our personality and the way we perceive the world. Anger is one of them but many people are afraid of it because it may lead to other destructive attitudes such as abuse. As far as we find the core issue of anger, then we should be able to fix it and bring balance again to ourselves.

    PS: The meditation video is awesome!

    Zaria

    Reply
    • at 7:16 pm
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      Hi Zaria,

      Welcome to my blog 🙂

      This —-> “Negative emotions are usually seen as bad which is not true at all.”

      Yep, that’s correct.

      I’ve written about allowing our emotions to communicate with us freely in other posts because I feel it’s so important to get to know what lives in us. Our emotions are there for a reason, and while so many of us run from them or try to judge or deny them, etc – they tell us so much about ourselves.

      It takes courage to face this stuff head on, but if we do – we can transcend this. This is why I believe we’re here.

      This law you mention reminds me of the Law of Polarity – it’s a Natural Law principle designed for our benefit. It’s to help us establish balance.

      You mentioned people fear their anger because they’re afraid of what it’ll lead to and that finding the core issue can lead to this balance we need. I agree.

      I personally feel the anger which we don’t acknowledge has a bigger hold on us than what we’re willing to own. That’s how the shadow works.

      There’s a big difference between observing our emotions – and ruminating in them. It helps to know this – and practice the art of being a witness to ourselves to bring about a sense of compassion, wholeness and well-being.

      Thanks for contributing to this conversation 🙂

      Reply
      • at 6:10 am
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        You said “There’s a big difference between observing our emotions – and ruminating in them.” and I will add to that “And even a bigger difference to embrace them because they are ours not something outside of us.” It is so easy to embrace positive emotions but negative emotions are pushed away because people feel they are bad people along being judged as ones.

        I am so glad I found your wonderful site and participated to this conversation. I love mind provoking conversations like that. Keep it up with the great work Dana!

        Zaria

        Reply
  • at 8:30 pm
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    Hi Dana, loved your post, anger is something that easily comes out within us, most of the time, unexpectedly but you are right, if we try hard to be aware of this kind of feeling, it will work for us not against us, it will make a big difference in our life. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • at 9:15 pm
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      Hi Sherill,

      I have NO idea how this slipped by me. I sincerely apologize for not replying sooner.

      I’m so glad you found value in this post. The truth is – when we allow our feelings in (not to ruminate on them, but to observe them), they certainly can become that cherished messenger to enable self-awareness.

      As you’ve said – this is when our feelings will work FOR us rather than against us.

      I appreciate your comment and your visit Sherill.
      Better late than never – I hope this finds you well 🙂

      Reply
  • at 6:00 pm
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    Oh this is a topic close to my heart Dana and I really appreciate your story! I stuffed a whole lot of anger as I was growing up but when I moved away from home I thought that just changing my environment would be enough and determined to just put it all behind me. A few years later I was just a month away from my wedding day and started experiencing stomach pains and got a horrible rash on my neck – not a good look for a bride. After a full check-up and a heart to heart with my doctor the diagnosis was that the stress of the wedding and all the associated changes had been a tipping point for all that repressed anger. It took awhile to work through all that sludge, but it was a valuable lesson and I make a point of no longer ignoring my emotions.

    Reply
    • at 11:30 am
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      Hi Marquita,

      I know a bit about your story, so I’m not surprised you can relate to this.

      Isn’t it interesting to think we can change our experiences by simply changing our environment? It works a little, but not entirely.
      I’d heard the term “Everywhere you go, there you are” a while back. It has proven to be true time and time again.

      We can’t escape ourselves. With the variety of methods available to help with this – one thing always remains.
      As within, so without.

      You mentioned you went to see your doctor when you experienced some unpleasant physical symptoms before your wedding. It’s really cool your doctor actually took the time to have a heart to heart because many of them (especially these days) will prescribe a pill and send you on your way.

      It only proves the point that when we swallow our emotions, they don’t go anywhere. They show up and manifest as symptoms or behaviors that wreak havoc in other ways. I’m thankful you were able to face your own emotions – especially since you’ve put your insight to work positively for you and others now.

      Reply
  • at 9:47 am
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    Hi Dana,

    Your personal example is so powerful!!!! Good for you!

    I will say as a Christian and former Army Chaplain that anger can be a very good thing. The Bible never teaches us not to be angry, in fact we can embrace it. What it encourages us not to do is to use it negatively to hurt others or use it as a reason to hold on to our hurts and hangups and lash out for the purpose of only hurting others.

    Anger can be a great way to express to others how they are hurting us or those we love. But, we shouldn’t be holding onto our anger. That’s what gets us in trouble. It shouldn’t be dictating our behavior or our emotions.

    In should come and then it should go.

    As the old say goes, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Deal with it appropriately and be prepared to forgive. The power of forgiveness is the tool that aids in dispelling our anger.

    Fantastic article Dana!!!! I will be certain to share your wisdom.

    Have a great week.

    ~ Don Purdum

    Reply
    • at 5:53 pm
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      Hi Don,

      Wow, what a great comment 🙂

      Yep, anger can be a very useful tool. I used to deny my own anger because I hated confrontation, so I would swallow it. Eventually, it would come out in several other harmful ways and I, along with those who didn’t deserve it would suffer from not using it consciously.

      As you’ve pointed out, there is a way to use our anger constructively. We allow it to alert us when we aren’t happy with the way we’re being treated. Just like in my own example…at the time, I didn’t allow my anger to make itself known. But once I decided (years later on) to pay attention t, acknowledge and respect my feelings, I made the necessary changes that led to different results on their own.

      If more of us can learn to deliberately use anger, it can be a gift.
      In a world where so many of us feel disempowered for various reasons – anger can either be a blessing…or the very thing that destroys humanity.
      It’ll be our choice which of the two we exercise.

      Reply
  • at 3:10 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    That’s a really empowering personal story. It makes you want to always stand up for yourself no matter what.

    Anger can be quite the motivator when it comes to making dramatic changes in your life. Especially when you’ve gotten to the point where you’re so sick and tired.

    I used to let anger consume me but I realized over time that it didn’t help. In fact it was a distraction, it would take over my life. I always try to pay attention when something angers me because it opens my eyes to something that I may not have know about myself before. Then I try to minimize the situation from happening again.

    ~Lea

    Reply
    • at 4:21 pm
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      Hi Lea,

      You’ve pretty much summed up the entire post in your comment.
      Nice 🙂

      Anger CAN be a motivator – as long as it isn’t used for revenge – but to better ourselves in response to a situation. That’s how I used it, but only after I suffered from misusing it for so many years.

      We have the choice to seek understanding about what’s playing out in front of us. When self-awareness becomes the goal in and of itself, we realize that anger is a messenger.

      Of course, I’m happy you’ve enjoyed the post, but I think it’s really cool you’ve taken action to use your own anger wisely.

      Reply
  • at 7:57 pm
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    Hey Dana!

    This is such a powerful post. I’m glad that you learned to deal with the anger instead of allowing it to consume you. There are times that I do allow it to consume me, but just for a moment in time. I take the energy from that anger and act on it. Sometimes the actual “act” can be destructive but I’ve learned how to manage that through the power of deep breathing and meditating. You don’t know how many times when I’m at work that I go into the bathroom and just sit, meditate, and let go. If we allow anger to consume us for too long, the long-term affect can be unhealthy.

    Thank you for sharing this inspiration. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

    B

    Reply
    • at 4:34 pm
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      Hey Brenda,

      I almost replied to you last night, but since I’ve just read your latest post on the http://www.brendapace.net/ site, I’m glad I waited until now.

      I know your job has caused you quite a bit of distress. I don’t like to hear of anyone feeling consumed by anger – but I have to tell you…it sounds like the anger you’ve been experiencing may have ended up being the catalyst for you to create the life you know you desire, but intellectualized yourself out of (for good reasons, but still resulted in pain).

      Any time we use a negative emotion to inspire or motivate us, it becomes a blessing. Anger is a messenger. In your case, I think it’ll serve to be a gift.

      Considering you’re so conscious of how you perceive and respond to things…and have taken a lot of actions to utilize wisdom in your life, the fact that your situation wouldn’t change (even though your response did via meditation, etc) tells me you were being prepped for something big – and this would require big action.

      So you’ve used anger wisely – and now it’s leading you to great things 🙂

      Reply
  • at 4:12 am
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    Hi Dana

    An awesome post!

    We all get angry at one point or the other. You are right about the fact that we should see what anger is trying to teach us.

    There was a time when I used to get really angry even over trifles. But now I have learned to control it.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • at 7:06 pm
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      Hi Sonal,

      I know what you mean.

      Like you, I was capable of getting angry over the little things – and this was because I wouldn’t allow it into my life, so it took over on its own without the situation needing to be dramatic.

      Our emotions have a lot to tell us. Paying attention and getting curious about them is a great way to start using them wisely.

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Reply
  • at 11:15 am
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    Hello Dana and Laura.
    How are you?
    Great post, considering that most of us do tend to get angry at some point or the other – no matter how cool and calm we might be.

    Anger, a messenger? Never looked at this emotion this way before.

    Interesting point you have shared, are you a psychologist?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Regards.

    Reply
    • at 12:01 pm
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      Hi Vee N Ric,

      That’s a good question…
      Am I a psychologist?
      Nope.
      And I don’t play one on TV either 🙂

      But I do share my observations for those who come across my work to evaluate and give thought to.
      From my own experiences, once I made the conscious choice to take a good, hard look at my anger (in addition to other emotions), I discovered there was always a message underneath the feeling.

      Once I got curious and allowed it to communicate with me, I learned a lot about why it would surface. From an observation standpoint, it helped to witness how things could play out in any given situation depending on how I would choose to respond.

      Anger is an intense emotion. Without allowing it to speak, it can consume a person – and wreak havoc in the process. Swallowing it isn’t effective either since it doesn’t go anywhere, but takes up residence and rears it’s ugly head as soon as an individual is triggered.

      All emotions are meant to be our internal guidance system. Anger is no different.

      This is my understanding of it, and how I’ve put my own concepts into practice.

      Glad you found this interesting. I do aim to offer alternate perspectives on things, so if you found value (or even new questions arise) then I’ve done my job here successfully.
      And that makes me happy.

      Reply
      • at 1:03 pm
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        Great work Dana.
        Thanks for taking the time to reply.
        Regards.

        Reply
  • at 10:46 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    Hey, did this hit home today for me as I came home from work after experiencing one of those disempowering moments. Pretty interesting that it came after sharing with this person that it was my choice to own my happiness in the workplace. Like I share many times, some people can not deal with allowing others their space of happiness. Do you know what I did? I acknowledged the discussion and the authority and then walked away. I came home (off their clock) and went on with my day. I then thanked that person in my head for creating a situation that could actually benefit me down the road (long unnecessary story). Overall, for about 2-3 seconds the person was allowed inside my feelings to mess with me and began creating anger….and then…..I recognized it and through that other persons need for control away. It’s my life, my space and I own it. 🙂 Thanks for the great and educating article addressing anger.

    Irish

    Reply
    • at 12:24 pm
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      Hi Irish,

      I’m glad this hit home for you. Funny how we come across the very things we need at the time we need them, right?

      I think the workplace is one of those areas in life that brings our emotions to the surface in many ways.
      Most of us don’t go to work because we really want to be there. It’s a “have to”. With this default position in place, it’s as if we’re a magnet for things to come along and push our buttons (in my opinion – to get us to be real with ourselves and investigate our thoughts about how we’re living).

      When you have a workplace filled with individuals who are there because this is a place for them to express their joy, creativity and compassion in life, it’s pretty rare you’ll experience negativity. But when we share space with others when at least some of us aren’t happy to be there (or in other areas in life that aren’t dealt with) – it’s easy to take our stuff out on one another.
      We’re reacting to our own problems.

      It’s cool you were able to catch yourself allowing this person to take up space in your mind. Isn’t it interesting when we observe ourselves doing this? If we don’t catch it, they become our controllers. It happens so often and then we feel disempowered – and the cycle only intensifies (until we see it for what it is and respond differently).

      The experience I shared in this post made a huge impact on me. It was quite painful – and I didn’t know then what I know now.

      I look back at this woman who acted as my work manager at the time and I can see clearly that she had a LOT of inferiority issues going on – and this is why she felt the need to establish her authority in the manner she did.

      Nothing wrong with communicating with someone how you need to have something done, especially at work…but when it becomes ugly, there is ALWAYS an underlying issue there.
      This is what anger can communicate – if we allow ourselves to get curious and listen.

      Reply
  • at 7:57 pm
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    Hey Dana,

    I am an anger consumer LOL

    Well I was, but not I make sure I see what it’s trying to tell me and where I should direct my attention.

    You are right about what this emotion is trying to teach you. Sometimes it’s trying to tell you that you should stand up for yourself and gain respect while other it’s telling you to take action on a specific cause or a passion you may have. In either case, listening and be aware of the reasons why is important so that you can remain in balance.

    It goes back to what your mom taught you to act and not react. Reaction shows how much control other situations have over your emotions, while acting shows how much control you have over situations.

    Thanks for sharing Dana! The video is a reminder to get back into the habit of meditation. Have a good one!

    Reply
    • at 12:40 pm
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      Hi Sherman,

      I hope you caught that video. It’s satire, but it holds a lot of truth.
      I wish I had seen this 20 years ago when my situation at that job took place…especially the “those bitches can’t get under your skin” part 😉

      Act, don’t react. Some of the wisest words I’ve ever heard in my life.
      Not always so easy to do, but it does get better with practice.

      Anger is there to tell us about ourselves. How we feel about a situation taking place in our own lives, or how we feel in response to something we observe in the world.

      The problem is when we believe the anger as absolute – meaning it can’t be worked with. This is why people allow it to consume them.
      That inner-dialogue of “I have a right to be angry” places an individual in a victim-based mentality. Sure, we may need to feel angry – and I would NEVER suggest denying it. That isn’t what this post is about.

      It’s about making anger a messenger and remaining curious about it. What is it telling us? Do we agree with how we’re being treated? Is the other person wrong – or are they suffering too and unaware of what they’re doing?

      Finding that balance of self-respect and compassion seems to be the key.

      Reply
  • at 5:54 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    Nice post!
    Earlier I used to get very angry with little issues in my life and then used to suffer from Migrain. But since last year, I started doing mediation and Yoga and have managed to conquer my anger.

    Reply
    • at 6:01 pm
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      Hi Ana,

      It’s cool you’re practicing yoga and meditation.

      I’m actually writing a post about the calming effects of yoga. It’ll be out next week.

      Anger can be a destructive force – IF – it isn’t used wisely or if’s ignored/vilified.
      When used as a tool for self-awareness and observation, though, it has a lot to teach us.

      Reply
  • at 4:21 pm
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    That meditation is awesome! I never used to really get angry very often because I think I would hold in my feelings. Now, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older or have just had enough experience, I find I do get angry and don’t let things hold me back or stand in my way. I can totally understand what you mean about anger being your friend. It can be used in a very constructive method if you don’t act on it immediately, but really observe and think things through.

    Reply
    • at 6:14 pm
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      Hi Shann,

      Haha – isn’t that meditation perfect? I love it. Cracks me up – but it also contains truth.

      I know what it’s like to hold anger in. I used to do it all the time.
      Eventually, I noticed a tendency of mine to be passive-aggressive…and understood that it was the result of not allowing my true feelings to surface and be dealt with.

      It sounds like you’ve decided to use your anger constructively – and as you can see, this is possible.
      It can be a fantastic motivating factor when embraced with a sense of curiosity. But if ignored or left to overtake you, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

      Reply
  • at 3:22 pm
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    Hi, Dana

    Great post, Dana! The way I used to handle my anger was to spill my guts. The results were not good and caused many damages.

    Lately, I discovered that anger can be managed. To start by understanding why I so angry about that event or that person’s statement or action.
    I like your mom’s wisdom; act but not react. if we don’t react to the people or the situation, they are powerless over us. I still get angry, but in lesser frequency and degree. Hope my anger is just a little outburst only in future and will not cause big damage.

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Stella Chiu

    Reply
    • at 6:20 pm
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      Hi Stella,

      Yeah, I like my Mom’s wisdom too. It took me several years until I actually followed that advice, but better late than never, right?

      I’m sure “spilling your guts” may have caused some problems back in the day if it was done from a place of reacting out of anger.
      There is a way to express ourselves truthfully and authentically – but we have to get that all straightened out in our heads first because we behave in accordance to our inner-world.

      Understanding the cause of the anger can take some time, but it’s well worth it. Learning to make anger a friend is the best way to deal with it – because until we become genuine masters of our internal world, anger is one of those aspects of us that will remain. May as well use this part of ourselves wisely.

      Reply
  • at 7:39 am
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    This is a great post Dana! I used to let my anger consume me and let it drag on and spill over into every aspect of my life. I would take it out on the hubs, the kids, and myself by eating bad foods and not channeling my anger to control it.

    It wasn’t until I started going to therapy to talk out my issues to get to the bottom of why I was so angry. It turns out it was my job (no surprise to me).

    I started meditating, praying and getting on the treadmill to let it off steam. I love the idea of a punching bag though…Donna has a great idea there. 🙂

    Thanks for this great post. Loved the video!

    Have a great day!

    Cori

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    • at 6:28 pm
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      Hey Cori,

      I know what it’s like to take my anger out on others. We do this when we don’t observe our emotions – and they take over and spill out onto unsuspecting (and undeserving) people – especially our loved ones.

      But it’s cool that you’ve taken the time to get to know yourself and take action by learning to use your anger wisely.
      The treadmill – or any other form of physical activity is an excellent way to release the intensity of it until you can observe it.

      When we don’t abuse our anger, it can be used as it’s meant to be used…as a tool for awareness.
      I agree with you about Donna’s punching bag. it does sound like fun doesn’t it?

      I love that video. Makes me laugh…but it also contains wisdom 🙂

      Reply
  • at 3:08 am
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    Hi Dana,

    Anger is a very powerful emotion! Just like you said, it can consume you if not channeled correctly. It’s important to take a step back and think before releasing our anger. It doesn’t apply to all situations. On the other hand, we have to release our anger because if we suppress it, it will only burst out one day anyway.

    I think that the most healthy way to release our anger is to help us get out of a bad situation like abuse. It happened to me a similar situation as the one you shared a few years ago at a store where I worked. I was covering all the departments, and I was fed up by the way the bosses were treating me. I was taken for granted and I wasn’t supposed to complain. I finally had enough and told them what I was feeling. After that, they gave me the respect I deserved.

    Thanks for this very enlightening post! Happy hump day! 🙂

    Nataly

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    • at 6:39 pm
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      Hi Nataly,

      I think for most of us, the workplace is a perfect example of how to use anger wisely.

      Yep, you know what I’m talking about. No one deserves to be mistreated anywhere, but we often stay in jobs where this is happening because we feel we have no other choice (because we need the income). So we swallow our anger – when in reality, it’s telling us that things are not ok.

      I’m glad you said something, though. Often enough, people aren’t aware of they affect others. You used your anger to make others aware of what they were doing. It’s true that we need to take a step back and observe things first though because this is when we can implement a useful strategy in a way that can produce a positive outcome.

      We can’t control what others do…but if we did what we could by using our emotions wisely and responding to things consciously and without haste, if the other person can’t or won’t meet us in this, then we know it’s ALL them now…and we’ll re-evaluate the situation without getting consumed by it.

      Reply
  • at 10:48 pm
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    What a great reminder. I think we all have issues anger from time to time but we just have to figure out how to manage our reactions. Thanks for sharing such great information.

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    • at 6:43 pm
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      Hi Tammy,

      Welcome!

      Yep, most, if not all of us have anger issues from time to time. It’s a part of our world for now, so may as well learn to make it an asset in our lives.
      The alternatives aren’t such a great idea. This is why people think anger is wrong – when in fact, it isn’t. Just needs to be perceived differently and used consciously.

      Reply
  • at 10:44 pm
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    Dana – Great post! My husband and I are total opposites when it comes to anger. He holds it in and I just spill my guts. He calls it picking fights but I can’t let those things stay inside or I won’t be able to do anything but think of whatever it is. I have learned how to deal with my anger better around my husband, and he STILL is learning how to actually talk about his anger with me, but together we work everything out. Thanks for your knowledge!

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    • at 6:51 pm
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      Hi Christine,

      It sounds like you and your husband are a perfect match.
      You can both probably learn a lot from one another.

      It’s great that you communicate your feelings openly – and of course, I can understand why he may be hesitant to do the same (because it’s common to be that way). If you’re working on that together, you’re doing him a huge favor because holding anger in never works out in the long run.

      Reply
  • at 10:05 pm
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    I don’t remember the last time I got angry. It took a long time to stop blaming others for not living up to MY expectations, but when I did, there was no longer a reason to get angry at them

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    • at 7:00 pm
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      Hi Cynthia,

      I love what you said about realizing people aren’t meant to live up to YOUR expectations.
      That’s a tough pill to swallow, isn’t it?

      I’m still working on that one, but I’m aware of it. I can (now) easily see when I’m being judgmental – and in this case, my anger is telling me I have some growing up to do. I don’t react to it – and I realize that compassion and non-attachment are the lessons I’m being called to learn and practice.

      Reply
  • at 9:59 am
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    Hi Dana,

    Love the sentiments here.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with workplace stuff. I’ve been “on my own” in entrepreneurial-ville for many years, now.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t get plenty of opportunities to “observe” my anger though, hahaha

    In fact, rather than let it rock up inside me, I put a punching bag… not a big one, but one of those little ones like you see Rocky pummeling at the speed of light… I put it up right on my office door. I use it often! People laugh at it because it’s just a child’s version (no pro gym equipment, here), but hey, I wasn’t going to spend more than 20 bucks just to kick some butt when I get the notion.

    Thanks for this. I had fun.

    -Donna

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    • at 7:35 pm
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      Hi Donna,

      I’ll bet that little punching bag is a lot of fun to use. That’s a very healthy way to deal with anger.
      I’d love to get one of those.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the sentiments here. I feel this is a subject matter most if not all of us can relate to.
      As some of our living conditions become more challenging – and people feel their anger and frustration rise to the surface, I felt the need to point out that there are benefits to observing our anger.
      Otherwise, it can take control, rather than be used as a useful tool in self-awareness.

      I hope you have a great week ahead Donna. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Reply
  • at 3:19 am
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    Hey Dana,

    Excellent post. Most of us have seen anger as the enemy. At one stage in my life I was determined to rid of anger. I was working towards it. Then I realised that was not the way to go about it. Another staged I would plan my emotions, disappointed when it did not go to plan. Now I bounce in between observing and managing. And that is all I ask of myself.

    But you are right, people fear anger because of the destruction the actions cause while in the throws of rage. Five minutes of glory for a life time of guilt. Have you noticed that anger peaks. It can’t be sustained at its peak and drops. It becomes manageable.

    I’ve done a silent 10 day meditation retreat where anger was so intense. Having to sit with it. It was tough, but I no longer fear anger. When it does pop up unexpected like you said, observing goes out the window, alarm bells go off and I control myself. That is all I expect.
    .
    When I get hyped up an disturbed I can observe it rather well and sometimes can even enjoy the process. I was an angry young teenager with an explosive temper. It was a lot of work, I tell you. Not wanting anger was never based on religion, but when I found the path to spirituality, I have gone through many a stage with anger, to be in the best position with it now. Fearing anger was the worst period. Now its there and I trust myself with it. I feel the tension release from by body as I wrote the last sentence. Like I’m finally at a place where I have it where I am happy with it. Thanks for the reminder.

    Rachel.

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    • at 7:45 pm
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      Hi Rachel,

      To answer your question, I have noticed that anger peaks.
      And boy, when it does, it sure wants to be released, doesn’t it?

      I’ve heard people say that anger is a sin, or it’s useless or should be avoided at all costs.
      Now, I do feel that eventually, it would be fantastic if we all evolved to the point where anger no longer serves a purpose.
      But we aren’t there yet. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to work towards that state of consciousness – but until we are, I feel the best thing to do is make our emotions our friends/ cherished messengers.

      As you said, you are in a space where self-trust is a priority for you. Tough to do this when we deny our feelings.
      I’m sure it was challenging to sit right in the middle of your anger, but it’s cool that you did it. It takes some practice to observe this and not react. Sometimes we even have to question whether or not we’re the ones at fault.

      Thanks for your insight Rachel. I appreciate the value you add to the conversations here 🙂

      Reply

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