ANGER! What Is It Good For?


Most of us have been taught anger is terrible.  And I will say it can easily be horrible when it is misplaced or an overreaction to someone or something.  And if your anger is way to close to the surface and you take it out on your loved ones, coworkers, or other people in your life, then YES anger is bad.  But what if anger could be the root of all change? What if you can use your anger with something to make a change in your life productively, and what is around you?

Let's get this straight I have this strange dichotomy of thoughts in my head.

On one side, I have the Stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and modern thought leaders like Gary John Bishop.  What Stoicism says about life is that happiness brought through accepting the moment as it is, nothing more nothing less.  Not getting angry or upset with the circumstances accepting them as they are and keeping calm and move on, stay in the damn moment.

This keeps you from being controlled by the drives for pleasure or the avoidance of pain, and by using one's mind to understand the world and to do one's part in nature's plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.

I feel like I hit this on the head most days, but there are some days where my inner Scottish Viking warrior wants to burn, rage, and destroy all the things.

So my question to you is anger an acceptable emotion? It has such a bad connotation, and we have made to feel anger is unacceptable in today's society.

But I am going to say that anger is essential for change. I think anger over situations has led us to some of the most profound changes in society, the civil rights movement, women's suffrage, etc.

It is needed for you to say enough finally;, I will no longer deal with this! When you eventually become frustrated enough to say not another day longer will I deal with "this." Turning this lens of anger is a good thing on ourselves, it could be your finances, your health, your fitness, your _____. It is anger and frustration that give us the initial surge of energy to make a change!

For me, it is when the little Scottish warriors in my blood, light the torches and decide to burn the boats. It is what breaks the inertia of staying stuck in whatever is going on in my head.

Now, I am not advocating you vomit all your anger and frustration out on those around you, seriously most of the time; they don't deserve it. Also, I am not saying you should beat yourself up with anger, getting down on yourself, and calling yourself names is not a useful tool for change. I'm also not saying you have a right to throw a temper tantrum, that doesn't do anyone any good.

But, maybe we should apply the anger we have a bit stoically? Get angry, know that it is a natural process, and if you use it correctly, you can create change in your life.

The adage comes to mind, "be like a duck, calm and graceful on the surface (stoic) but paddling like hell under the water!"

So, my question/challenge to you is where do you need to get angry and call on your inner Gandalf (the guy in Lord of the Rings that yelled, "You Shall Not Pass"). And not let another day pass without accessing some anger making a change in your life?

Where can I help you make that change? Is it in your diet? Your overall health process, or is it to get you adjusted so you can make better choices overall?

Just food for thought until next time.  Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Dr. JJ

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