Emotion: Feeling Angry?

Squirrel Anger
Squirrel Anger, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

volcano surges
lava guided to safe path
disaster averted

Feeling angry?  Have you ever been so angry that you felt like punching something (like this little squirrel appears to be feeling)?

Feeling angry is not bad.  Remember, experiencing a variety of emotions depending on our circumstances, is a fact of life.  They are going to happen and they need to happen, and are a natural occurrence.  Anger is an intense emotion and can carry a great deal of force and energy with it.  If we bottle this energy inside us, it will come out later in one way or another, such as lashing out at others or as health problems, for example.  A number of tools exist that can help us analyze and express negative emotions, including anger, in a safe and healthy way.  Trying to stop the energy from anger may feel like trying to stop a hurricane, but, no, punching someone is NOT ok.

It’s important to recognize that anger is generally a secondary emotion, which I discussed in a previous posting.   Anger is usually a response to a primary emotion or situation, and when we analyze our anger, we may discover that there are different emotions and feelings at the core, such as shame, fear, worry, guilt, embarrassment, etc.  (If we assume the little squirrel above is angry, what could be it’s primary emotion?  Fear, perhaps?)

Previously, I listed a number of tools that I keep in my toolbox to help analyze and address emotions.  There are numerous other ways that also exist, and each of us needs to find the tools, or combination of tools that work for us.  I’ve listed these before, but here is a handful of tools that may help:

  • Managing symptoms by expression:
    • Talk out your emotions with a good friend or relative who is willing to listen
    • Write about your feelings in a journal or through poetry
    • Cry.  It is “part of a healthy emotional healing process”
    • Express your feelings through art, photography or crafts (like I did with the squirrel photo above)
  • Do some kind of exercise like walking, jogging, aerobics, etc., that can use the emotional energy associated with the anger and move it out of your body
  • Practice deep breathing exercises; meditate
  • Addressing Emotional Pain #2 – Tools
  • Addressing Emotional Pain #4 – Secondary Emotions

Finding safe and healthy ways to release painful and negative emotions from our bodies creates space for more positive emotions to move in, and more peace within our life.

What are some of the ways you have found to help manage anger?

Related article(s):

  • Anger – Recovery Thru My Lens

Other postings in my “Emotion:” series:

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. marina kanavaki
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 03:07:11

    I love your angry squirrel and your wonderful advice! I had a rather unhealthy approach to anger: swallow it [control freak!] but my body found a very unsubtle way to show me I was wrong [autoimmune…]. So now I meditate!


    • Fergiemoto
      Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:43:42

      Thank you so much, Marina! I can relate to that unhealthy approach. Funny how the body does not let us get away with it for very long. So very glad you found meditation! Thanks for sharing your experience!


  2. recoverythrumylens
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 08:52:30

    Can’t believe it, Fergie….I just created and published a post on the very same subject!!!! Then I saw this….it’s the universe divine? 🙂


  3. mcolmo
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 14:16:41

    Maybe we could play ‘Angry Squirrels’ one of these days.


  4. ferguds
    Oct 04, 2012 @ 19:59:18

    I like this post. Makes me think hard about things.


  5. 3D Eye
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 08:48:18

    Looking forward to catching up with the rest of your ’emotions’ series. Anger is a fascinating topic, and emotions are much written about and often misunderstood. The control of ‘destructive emotions’ and the development of ’emotional literacy’ are key issues for the whole of the human race. GF


  6. buddhafulkat
    Oct 19, 2012 @ 01:35:27

    Wonderful post. The expression on the squirrel’s face, the eyes, ears and mouth are priceless!

    I have a ritual when I’m angry. I usually sit still and stare at something, maybe a wall or ceiling and breath and after a few minutes I feel better, can usually identify an underlying emotion behind the anger and talk about it reasonably, but this only works if I have space. Life and partners don’t always provide that sort of space 😉


    • Fergiemoto
      Oct 28, 2012 @ 14:16:23

      Thank you very much, Kim!
      That’s fantastic you have found a consistent method to help you get to the underlying emotion. Thank you for sharing your experience.


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