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Releasing the Beast (Anger)

I’ve spent the majority of my adult life trying to channel calmness. My ultimate goal in life has been to develop “the ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.” I feel like I’ve been relatively successful in this quest, thanks to my study of Buddhism and meditation. But I also must credit the book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for playing a role in my early 20’s in helping me chill out.

With that being said, I think I’ve made a mistake. See, I’m not truly calm. I’m better, but I don’t express my anger. I try to journal it out, but this past week I’ve realized that it’s still simmering below the surface.

I’m angry about a lot of things. I’m angry about my job, my family, the state of the world, the lack of kindness, the manipuation, the exploitation, and my own laziness and that’s just some of the things. Writing them down makes me feel just a little bit better, but I need to channel this anger into something else.

Two weekends ago, I realized that I wasn’t getting myself in shape because I was holding back the one emotion that propels me into getting things done: my anger. I need to let that version of myself out, because it’s the one version of me that takes no prisoners. My only concern is I need to make sure I utilize my anger in a healthy way, and not allow it to consume me.

Maybe this isn’t a revolutionary idea for most, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. Anger can be good and can be useful, and I also need to vent it off so it doesn’t eat me up inside.

The following day, after I posted a blog on my fitness blog about my relationship with anger, I saw Rebecca posted something similar. It was so nice reading her post and not feeling alone in my thoughts about anger. I was inspired when she said,

Learning how to be angry in a healthy way is one of my projects in 2023

This should be one of my projects as well. And so, by admitting this all, I think I’m taking the first step in accepting it and hopefully beginning my education on how to be angry in a healthy way.

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3 Comments

  1. JTR JTR

    This is another topic I can relate to, deeply.
    I always knew I was angry, the kind of under the surface anger you mention here. On the outside I am calm, but there are many things I’m angry about, and I tend to suppress them by default. Well, turns out stuff come out one way or another.

    I started seeing a therapist about half a year ago, give or take. I was dating someone briefly, and she managed to press some buttons I didn’t know I have. I was angry, I exploded, and while nothing really bad happened (just some yelling), I was shocked at my own behavior. I knew I have the stuff inside, but I didn’t know that it can come out like that. It scared me.

    One of the things I’ve learned is that anger is a feeling like any other. It can be good, it can be bad. It can be a force to build or a force to destroy. It’s a lot like Starwars, in a way. Good force bad force. Anger, I’m noticing, is reactive. It comes as a reaction to another feeling, usually fear or some sort of vulnerability. That’s the case for me, anyway.

    For most of my life I’ve been used to be beaten down one way or another. As an adult, up until about 5 years ago, I didn’t really have a job that didn’t feel like I’m clogging a whole in a dam; constant state of emergency, if you will. The “funny” thing is that when I did find a stable job I liked, working in IT, a lot of it was build on emergency response and fixing problems as they occur, like a fireman. I was still living from one emergency to the next, only in some more organized fashion. I don’t want to get into too many details, but there were also other factors of anger at this job that I put up with because I was so used to it at the time, I didn’t imagine there’s another way.

    Now, that there is a better way, I find myself scared of what’s going to happen next. I’m so used to look behind my shoulder, wait for that kick in the behind, that being relaxed for too long actually stresses me out. When something unexpected happen and I’m pushed out of a comfort zone the anger waits for something to happen, and clicks. It blinds me, and I can lash out at something I’ve completely took out of place in my mind. Some people are good at seeing this happening, by the way, and use it. It’s a form of gaslighting – but I digress. Just something I want to mention.

    The way to have this resolved, eventually, is to make peace with anger – like you have. It’s to accept that anger is a feeling and it will always be there. What you do with it and how you do it is what matters. Understanding why it’s there, what it protects you from, what your fear is, this helps you figure out yourself better and make you a better person for yourself and those around you.

    I’m glad I read this post today… if you can’t tell, it’s bee therapeutic. Thanks for writing.

    • Wow! I’m so thankful the post resonated with you. I kinda felt like I was on an island with these feelings so it’s so nice to hear that others have dealt with anger too. Thank you so much for the thoughtful response!

      • JTR JTR

        Feeling isolated with these feelings is one of the things anger makes us feel. For me, it’s “well, tough shit, now snap out of it, no one cares.” There is some validity to that in a sense that you do need to pull yourself together and do something, sure. But talking to other people who have similar experiences is key.

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