Ways to deal with the faded hues of anger.
I’m learning about anger as a color in the palette of human emotions. I, like so many of us, have taken a form of antidepressant for the last three years of my life. Currently I’m medicine free, after I realized that my sadness and depression is a result of mostly external factors.
In my crusade not to be numb to the world and my emotions, I’m learning that it’s important to acknowledge annoyance, and with acknowledgement comes the chance of a healthy, nurturing release. To me this is vital, because anger is huge and scary. It’s storm-massed clouds and hearts ripped raw – tragedy, revenge, a ruin of lives.
Yet, while all of that is important, what about anger’s more faded hues? For here is where I struggle, with the lesser forms of rage: being annoyed, irritable, or just a bit moody. They’re a type of anger that seems unworthy. It’s the groan over traffic in the afternoon and the food you ordered not coming out hot. It’s staring coldly at the cashier – the only cashier attempting to attend a family at Starbucks that doesn’t quite speak english and constantly adds to their ticket because of their kids incessant whine.
It’s really an insignificant emotion, and one I don’t like to admit to. Yet I can’t deny that, despite my pure intentions, I get annoyed. I’ve been pissed at early morning alarms or anyone making random noises. Yet, once the irritation has left me, I feel bad about this over-the-top reaction. I should never grumble at the dents in my day, when big, rage-inducing injustices are happening everywhere.
All the same, annoyance appears to be a normal, human reaction. I don’t know anyone that can honestly say they’ve never been grumpy, unreasonable, or irritated. So here’s a thought: perhaps, just as with anger, I can learn to accept and embrace being annoyed. Maybe that would be more helpful than adding it to an ever-expanding list of things not to do.
Perhaps, in fact, annoyance is huge. Maybe it, too, could be storm-massed clouds and hearts ripped raw – except with annoyance, the drama of rage is parsed into manageable flashpoints of irritation, directed away from its truest target, whatever that might be.
Anger at world-shattering injustices or personal tragedy simmers in sighs, groans and derisive sniffs. Maybe if people didn’t get annoyed, their emotions would be too hot to handle. Annoyance could be a sign, not that someone is a bad human, but that they have a deep, bubbling passion that needs to be freed.
I’ve made a decision. I’m going to acknowledge and embrace my inner-grouch and at the same time recognize the signal it’s sending me – to healthily release the anger it represents. That dark muttering over slow drivers or lost keys is the outward expression of a secret storm, massing clouds behind what seems to be another drizzly day.
TIPS FOR EMBRACING YOUR INNER-GROUCH
- When safe to do so, sing loudly, at the top of your voice, without fretting over your tunefulness.
- Go to a yoga class where chanting forms a core part of the practice.
- Climb an empty hillside and shout into the wind.
- Do an intense physical workout that allows annoyance to have an appropriate outlet.
- Try kickboxing or any form of martial arts to express rage in a healthy way.
- Recognize flashpoints of annoyance and accept them as a part of being human. They’re broken up pieces of rage, expressed in a minor key.