How does anger benefit you? Blog post man screaming in megaphone

How does anger benefit you?

This isn’t a trick question. If you’re like me, you have seen quotes on the internet about why not to be angry and how damaging anger is. Basically I get the sense that everyone recommends that you are not allowed to be angry.

This angers me…

Anger is an emotion and it is OK to have
Sadness is an emotion and it is OK to have
Joy is an emotion and it is OK to have

Do you see a theme here?

Living every moment in anger and anger being your main emotion is not healthy. It is OK to be angry and it isn’t a BAD thing to get angry sometimes.

So instead of saying “Oh I’m Angry and I shouldn’t be angry…” …”bad, bad, bad….” and judging yourself for being angry, ask yourself what the benefit of your anger is?

There is a benefit?

Sure there is!!

We human beings are pretty smart and complex. Our emotions and behaviors are often serving some type of goal. We have a very complex psychological system inside and it usually does things for a reason.

“My anger protects me from feeling hurt”

“My anger keeps other people away”

“My anger hides my insecurity”

The list can go on and on, but you get the idea. Your anger is beneficial to your psychological system in a variety of ways and can be very different for different people. Therefore I’m not one to denounce anger as this “bad” emotion that should just “go away” and say “stop it.” It is an emotion to be explored. It is there for a reason! If you stop using it abruptly, the whole system could fall apart and then we have a big mess to clean up… and frankly, I’m not one for cleaning :-/

By looking at the benefit your anger is serving you, you can learn more about why you are pissed off. You can understand why that person chewing so loudly is bothering you so much. But really, Why are they chewing so LOUDLY?!?! The loud chewing is not likely the root of your anger. Your anger is serving you something in that moment. Maybe you were triggered and are anxious and scared? Maybe it is protecting you from other feelings? Maybe it is doing a job that is was trained to do when you were younger… so many functions your anger could have at any given moment.

Sometimes my clients worry that as their therapist I don’t want them to feel certain ways or that I’m going to just take everything that seems negative and say this needs to go out the window, when in reality I’m not about to take something that is helping you and rip it out from under your feet.

First we need to understand the purpose of your anger. Where it is coming from, what is it really about, and then we can move on from there.

So bottom line is when you get angry don’t think to yourself “Oh I shouldn’t be angry,” stuff the ange,r and feel bad about getting upset. Think, “What is the benefit of my anger? How is it serving me?”

The answers can be enlightening!

clock-daylight savings morning routine

Start your Morning Routine when Daylight Saving Time Ends

People complain about daylight saving time and every spring and autumn they ask, “WHY, WHY are we doing this?!” Despite all the asking why and complaining, the hour time change is still here – well, for most of us.

I’ve always LOVED “Fall Back” because who doesn’t love gaining an extra hour of sleep?! Despite love for the extra hour, it takes many people (me included!) a good week or two to fully adjust to that little hour difference. How do international travelers do it all the time???!

Many of my clients say things like, “I would love to exercise in the morning but I can’t bring myself to get up earlier.” Others might say, “I’d really love to start my day with meditation and yoga.” While others talk about the breakfast they would like to prepare or the newspaper they want to read… and many other “wishes” and “dreams” that they have about their morning routine. Having an hour or so to yourself in the morning is great (if you can figure out the logistics of it).

Capitalize on that extra hour when daylight saving time ends and we “fall back” to standard time! Your body will likely take a week or two to adjust so instead of adjusting, just get up an hour earlier. If you usually get up at 6, get up at 5. You might still be groggy, but if you want a time of year when your body is going to revolt less to getting up earlier, now is a great time! Take advantage of the changing of the clocks!!

Now you have an extra hour to engage in your self care morning routine!! It can be whatever you want – exercise, relaxation, cleaning, e-mails. Whatever floats your boat!

What have you always been wanting to do in the morning? Can you do it in an hour? Modify it to be an hour? Use this “Extra time” to your advantage!

Conversely, a lot of people say “I need to get to bed earlier” in order to wake up to do those things. Again. NOW is the time! If you keep waking up early you will be tired an hour earlier. So be it if you go to bed “early.” No one has to know. You don’t HAVE to tell people the “weird” hour in which you go to bed or arise in the morning. That’s personal information! All that matters is that you are using your time how YOU want to.

I hear so many people say they want to go to bed earlier in order to get up earlier to engage in whatever activity they desire….. Take advantage and starting owning you morning routine rather than your morning routine own you!

I love to accomplish something in the morning. By doing so, if I have a “bad” day, then I can always say I did “this” in the morning and that helps me to feel good!

You don’t have a desire to do anything in the morning?? Rather have more time in the evening? Well then forget everything I said and look forward to spring :)

Try out a new morning routine. What is your ideal routine? Test it out. How did it go?