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How to Listen to Your Anger

by

Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.

Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai. Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.



How to Listen to Your Anger

If you hate a person then you are defeated by them. - Confucius

What if anger is good for you? Remember, it does surface for a reason. Here are 5 surprising reasons you need to listen to your anger:

1. Anger can give you balance

Balance in our personal and professional life provides a perspective that can help us make better decisions. It enables us to see the entire map so we can see where we’ve been as well as where we hope to go in the future. The same holds true of emotional balance. The ability to suppress our anger is not a sign we are emotionally healthy. We can pretend that all is good but that does nothing more than keep an emotion from getting out. And guess what? When you fight a feeling, it only gets stronger!


Bereaved people who make the most effort to avoid feeling grief or anger take the longest to recover from their loss. When we suppress or avoid a negative emotion like anger, our ability to experience positive feelings also goes down. Stress soars and our amygdala, a part of the brain associated with emotions, begins to work overtime.

When you put negative feelings into words, our amygdala calms down! People who openly express their feelings are healthier than those who suppress emotions like anger.


How To Make It Work For You: Talk your situation over with a friend. The more you express your anger in words, the calmer you will become. Or, write it down in a journal, if you prefer. The essential point is this: when you put your anger into words, either verbal or written, it is therapeutic. Remember to notice when the venting is always about the same topic. At that point, you really need to delve deeper into the real problem behind your anger.


2. Anger is meant to make us feel uncomfortable

We live in a society driven by the pleasure principle––there is such an emphasis on positivity that we are unequipped to deal with the other half of our emotional spectrum. If there’s a feeling we don’t like, we try to get rid of it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Our continual pursuit of empty happiness clichés seldom register anything more than a temporary bleep, and then quickly fades away.


Anger makes us uncomfortable and that’s a good thing because it gets our attention. An emotion like anger requires us to sit up and pay attention if we hope to get to the root of it. To fully experience and tap into the wisdom of our emotions, we must learn how to experience the discomfort. Without discomfort, there is no change and no growth.


Those who prefer to feel useful emotions, even when they are unpleasant, are better able to use them in ways that are strategic. People who prefer to feel anger when confronting others tend to be higher in emotional intelligence, whereas people who prefer to feel happiness in such contexts tend to be lower in emotional intelligence. It is a combination: Negative Emotions + Positive Emotions = Emotional Competence.


How To Make It Work For You: Mental toughness allows us to tap into the wisdom of our emotions. Our limbic brain system alerts us to danger in our environment. If we choke off all negative emotions, we also suppress a primal survival tool that has alerted us to threats in our environment for centuries. All emotions can be useful; the key is to regulate them so you can choose the situations which are more beneficial to you.


3. Anger helps you discover your boundaries

Are there situations or people that always twist your stomach into a knot?