“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
Most of us are taught that if we feel angry, the best course of action is to suppress it. Anger is one emotion on the spectrum of emotions that every healthy human should allow themselves to feel. But we don’t get mad. Instead, we keep our rage hidden, stuff it down, and this leads to a whole slew of unhealthy ways that anger tends to weasel its way out of us. A wise friend once told me that anger shows us where things in life aren’t fair, and I loved her description. Now, when I feel wrathful, I try to figure out what isn’t fair in my life, a relationship, or the world.
Instead of working so damn hard to keep our anger at bay, here are some suggestions — by Type — to physically and safely express our anger.
Type 1 – The simmering rage is there all the time. Things aren’t perfect, and people let you down. You can either moralize your anger away and emotionally explode OR you can punch the hell out of a punching bag and accept your anger needs an outlet.
Type 2 – You give, but you don’t receive as much as you need. People don’t anticipate how to love you best. This creates anger. Running, kickboxing, even yoga might be ways to physically vent how upset you are.
Type 3 – You explode when you fail and then you blame others for exploding, trying to offload the guilt. You need to pre-express anger through boxing or martial arts as a way to access your deeper emotions before they spill onto others.
Type 4 – Your anger comes out pretty often, and it’s super dramatic. You thrive on drama. BUT, authentic anger isn’t drama, it’s admitting things aren’t fair, and you are hurt. A physical practice like running or boxing could help even out and deepen your experience of anger.
Type 5 – You know you’re the original badass, right?! You need proactive anger outlets like martial arts, boxing, or running to angry music or all that withdrawing and passivity will physically explode on someone in an unhealthy way.
Type 6 – Anger for you would be a healthy way to vent some of your fear and feel more empowered. Physically showing anger by screaming in the woods or your car, stomping your feet, or boxing would be ways to get in touch with your inner power.
Type 7 – You breeze over your rage, but then find addictive ways to express it. Swimming, running, and kickboxing are all fast-moving ways that you can access your anger, but process it and not feel trapped by it. Remember, all emotions pass.
Type 8 – You probably already have a gym membership and know all of the ways to physically vent your ever-constant need to spout off. Keep this up, but also introduce self-awareness to your practices. Your anger masks a tender, bleeding heart that you need to feel from time to time.
Type 9 – Sign up for the gym or hire a personal trainer. Get in touch with your body. Once that happens, you’ll begin to feel that things actually bother you sometimes and now you’ll have a safe, healthy space to express your anger.