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  • Writer's pictureCorinne Yeadon

Anger - A Part of Your Emotional Palette

Whether it’s Pirate Day and you loathe pirates or it’s assembling flat pack furniture that triggers incandescent rage, we all experience a spectrum of angry feelings from time to time.

Recently it has come to light that government officials were throwing covid to the wind and enjoying alleged work / social gatherings when we the masses were separated from loved ones and living under Orwellian restrictions. This has quite rightly caused a furore and reeks of social injustice of the loftiest level. Similarly, allegations of exploitation and abuse from perpetrators in the highest of circles appear to live in the belief that they are untouchable, above the law and penalties do not apply. Put simply it’s not fair. There is nothing more likely to get my dander up than inequality, add a liberal sprinkling of dishonesty and boom! The positive aspect of anger on a political or social scale is that it can prompt a desire for change and serve as a platform for action in our communities or on a wider scale.

Angry behaviours may be a reactive response to a situation but there are often feelings, thoughts or unmet needs that lay beneath the surface which are responsible for lighting the touch paper. Unfairness, betrayal, hurt and fear are a few and on reflection many situations can be a reaction to those feelings, knowingly or unknowingly. Not being listened to, feeling overlooked, or disregarded can create feelings of annoyance and irritation.

Physical states can make us anything from tetchy to livid, tiredness and hunger are unmet physical needs that thankfully can be easy remedied. Anger is an accepted part of the grieving process and in some cases can be a welcome feeling as it often follows feelings of numbness and shock, better to feel something rather than nothing at all.

When my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer in her 50’s one of her support workers forewarned her that anger could be an expected feeling. She found this possibility amusing and asked me to clear out her understairs cupboard as she might need to “consider somewhere to place her anger.”

It makes sense that movement and exercise can be helpful diluting and dissipating anger as fury can land and squat in our bodies not only promoting feelings of discomfort but being detrimental to our physical health and other aspects of wellbeing. Being angry is exhausting and not the best use of energy, moving about can literally shake it out or off.

Anger can be expressed in a healthy way without resorting to directing it towards others. We are creatures capable of cognitive thoughts and processes, not feral beasts that rely solely on instinct. Although when feeling attacked or backed into a corner rationale can be in short supply. Anger is part of our emotional palette and not a bad thing. Behaviours are about choice which is in our control although it may not always feel that way.

Get it out, shout, sing at the top of your lungs, scream into a pillow anything that prevents attacking, explosions of rage. Journaling and creative pastimes such as crafting and are a good outlet. Nobody wants bad baking Karma but pummelling dough can help work off riled feelings.

It is easy to fall into patterns, anger may have worked in closing things down or getting your own way, if this is the case it will be repeated but it needn’t be the case, there are better, kinder ways which allow for self respect to remain intact.

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