If you aren’t able to directly express your anger, it’s important to not hold onto it. Write it out, express it in meditation, talk it out with a friend, or do something creative with it. Just don’t repress it. Repressed, or stuffed, anger causes all kinds of problems, including elevated hormone levels that impact your immune system and create chronic muscle tension.
The people protesting in the streets are not just angry about the specific incidences that provoked them. The anger has been building over time, perhaps even lifetimes as in the case of an oppressed group of people.
In the workplace, where there is such a strong culture of “DON’T BE EMOTIONAL,” it can be particularly tricky. This is where using your anger to fuel positive action is beneficial. This is a complex subject, so I will be writing more on this specifically in the near future.
As for the marchers, it can be healthy to ban together to express anger initially. Now it’s time to harness that energy to create organized actions that actually effect change. This is one of anger’s greatest benefits, when it fuels action that effects beneficial change. And, you must harness that energy and use intelligence to focus it into something productive.
Anger is often labeled as a negative emotion, but it’s actually quite beneficial. In fact, you need anger to survive. The biggest problem with anger is that we have not been taught its value, nor how to handle it properly. When you do, anger can be a powerful resource for moving past obstacles and protecting your values.
I have also found that when I properly express my anger, it is a gift to the other person. We are each able to learn about our boundaries and grow from the experience. Truth has been told, trust established, and myself and the other person come away from it knowing who we are more fully. So, think about it – the next time you get angry, how will you handle it?