Advice
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You Mad?

Listen While Reading: Something Good Can Work // Two Door Cinema Club.

Anger is a real thing, for women, for men, for cats, and maybe even for squirrels (I wouldn’t know for sure – I’ve never been one). While it’s perfectly natural to get angry from time to time, it’s often taboo to show any sign of it, especially for women. From a very young age, most of us are taught, in some way or another, to suppress our anger, and it is promptly labeled as one of those “bad” emotions that should never see the light of day.

Like any other emotion, it’s really the labeling of anger as “bad” that makes it a problem. It fosters a lack of understanding, or even a fear, of our own emotions, including where they’re coming from and how to deal with them.

This is not to say that we should allow ourselves to blow up in a spitting fit of rage at any moment. Anger, sadness, grief, fear, and any other emotions that can cause distress, have the potential to become all-consuming if not regulated. Because suppressing many of our feelings becomes second nature, we don’t know how to understand or control them. Instead, they start taking control.

We can cause harm to ourselves, and to others, if we don’t work to create a healthier relationship with how we’re feeling. This doesn’t mean working to never feel angry – that can easily backfire. It means learning to accept emotions as they rise without letting them control our thoughts and our actions. Meditation is a great tool to use to accept emotions as part of the human experience without holding on to them, and to regulate your ups and downs so that they don’t overtake your life and relationships.

The next time you’re angry or upset, take a deep breath and acknowledge how you’re feeling, without completely identifying with it. That means admitting that right now, you’re angry, and that is okay – but anger is not all you are, and it does not define who you are as a person. By accepting it, you can better understand where it’s coming from, and learn to live with it momentarily without letting it consume you. It will also help you approach any situation with a clearer mindset.

If you are in the middle of an argument with a family member or coworker, and you can’t take a step back, try to be honest about it to yourself and to others. Say that you need a moment to gather your thoughts and that you will revisit the issue when everyone has cooled off. Distancing yourself will help clear your mind, reframe your perspective, and prevent you from acting rashly. You’re human, after all, and people will appreciate honesty far more than harshness.

As with everything, practice is key to positive transformation. It takes time and patience to change the way we look at and deal with anger but remember: We all experience a broad spectrum of human emotion. It is how we act on them that makes all the difference.


Words by Tatiana Elghossain
 // Photography by Grecia V.

© 2015 Reef Magazine

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