Get Angry To Be Happy
Seething, raging and spitting chips.
I want you to be all these things.
Please get angry.
Aren’t we supposed to be the peacekeepers and the smoothers of the way?
We can be that and more.
In a world that feels like it’s getting more unhinged by the day we need to express our anger so that
- it doesn’t consume us and fester
- we make it known what is not ok
- we can move forward with action
Getting angry helps you get more happy by helping you get rid of the heaviness we can feel and guiding you to take the action you need.
Anger is, like all emotions, a message for us to interpret.
I think of emotions as wrapped packages that come into our body. We are supposed to receive it, unwrap it and take the message on board and then allow the emotion to keep moving through.
We do this really well with positive emotions. Things like joy, excitement, happiness, gratitude, surprise, peace. They arrive within us and we take them onboard, are pleased they arrived and know they are transient because they go.
They are like sunshine. They appear, we appreciate them, take the goodness in but we know they aren’t here forever, that they will fade. That’s what emotions do. Nothing is permanent – or isn’t supposed to be.
Anger also arrives wrapped in its package and like grief, fear, doubt, shame or guilt we tend to put that box in the back cupboard and shut the door because we can’t or won’t deal with it right now.
I get it. But it’s not healthy nor a great long term strategy
When we don’t process these big feelings they tend to get stored in the body. Tense shoulders, tight jaw or headaches. We then trundle off to the body work person and get those knots released, and pay for the pleasure.
This pent up emotion can also begin to colour our interactions with others. We bring this tension to our conversations, snap at those we love and generally aren’t the nicest to be around. We judge, hold grudges and can feel resentment and hard done by. None of this is productive for you. It’s heavy to carry and uncomfortable to be around.
Or the other solution we come up with is we push the feeling so deep that it is dulled.
Bad option people.
When we dull one emotion and pretend it doesn’t exist, we dull all emotions and that’s a one-way ticket to shitsville. You don’t want to live there.
Understanding the evolution of the emotion can help.
Anger actually arrives after two other emotions have come for a visit. First we get confusion.
“ Hang on, did they just say that?” “Did that just happen?”
This is closely followed by frustration. This bubbly brew that as women we are well adept at keeping the lid on. It can boil for days, months or years until the final parcel arrives, anger.
Boom the lid is off and we are raging!
Good I say. You’ve probably could have done this earlier and saved yourself some grief. Anger doesn’t need to be you going bat shit crazy, tearing your hair out and beating your breast, but hey go for it if it feels good to let it out. It won’t last forever and at least it’s not going to be stored in a dark recess festering over time.
This anger also helps us understand a key part of who we are.
Let me pose a question or two:
What are the guiding principles you live by?
What is it you stand for?
Who do you want to be and what type of relationships do you want to build?
It’s ok if you can’t answer all of these in a heartbeat, but when we talk about living lives of great intention and more happiness, they come into the frame. They are also important in a conversation about anger, because it’s these principles that may have been stepped on that are causing you to rage. This is the message in the package. It’s saying “ Hey Loretta, something is happening here that doesn’t line up with who you are and is getting close to taking you off course, it’s time to act!”
When we know what we live for we can better interpret the messages from our emotions. I would love to know what you live for. I’m inviting you to wonder about this. To be intrigued by the question and lean into it.
(Oh and the answer is not your kids. Or your partner. They are not what we live for. They are an amazing part of our lives if we chose to have them, but they are not the something to live for, just saying.)
What we live for and how we strive to achieve it can be defined by our values. I like to think of them as our guiding principles or sign posts that help us choose our next step.
Dr Russ Harris in ‘The Happiness Trap’ talks about our values as being:
- “Our heart’s deepest desires: how we want to be, what we want to stand for and how we want to relate to the world around us.
- Leading principles that can guide us and motivate us as we move through life.
When we go through life guided by your values, not only do you gain a sense of vitality and joyfulness, but you also experience that life can be rich, full and meaningful, even when bad things happen.”
When we can articulate our values then we can live by them and they also help understand why we feel what we feel.
Remember your values are the things you stand for and if those boundaries get breached then push back. Speak up and let it be known it’s not ok. Unwrap that package of anger and read the message inside. It’s saying, “ this is not ok and now is the time to act.”
When we tune into our feelings they can be a super highway to help you get back in touch with your values, or core ‘you-ness’.
I love this quote from Brene Brown:
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
The first step is to know your values, the next step is to live by them. It’s not always popular or easy but I can tell you once you base your actions on staying true to your values you spend less time in confusion, frustration and anger.
You read the signs quicker and make your assessments faster.
So you are triggered as fuck, now what??
Do you rip off the head of the person who clumsily trod on your boundary, maybe, it depends on who you want to be.
Every action has consequences and we generally want to take action that takes us towards who we want to be. And as with all actions we get to take ownership for our shit. Does biting their head off further your cause, does it build the relationship, does it reflect who you are, does it make life better for all?
Maybe, maybe not. You get to decide that. It’s your next step.
Getting angry shifts the pent up energy, allows you to take note of what’s encroaching on your boundaries set by your values and take action that aligns with you.
It’s ok to be loud and make some noise if that means you are living a life that is more rich and meaningful and where more happiness is experienced. Yass Queen!
It’s time to explore new ways to bring more connection,
confidence, calm, peace and happiness into each day.
Take the quiz to find which path to begin exploring today.