I used to ignore this feeling...until I understood its gift

 

As a sensitive person, I feel all emotions pretty intensely. If I'm excited, I feel like my heart is leaping out of my chest and if I'm sad, I feel like my body weighs a ton. However, the feeling that's been most difficult for me to experience and work with is anger. Understandably, I'd sometimes rather ignore this "unpleasant" feeling. But all of our emotions - even anger - are here to teach us something.

 

One of the best explanations I've received around this topic comes from Karla McLaren's book The Language of Emotions. She talks about anger as a protective force because right under anger are usually secondary feelings like sadness, fear or even grief. 

 

Anger can actually help us establish clear boundaries and serve as a wake-up call for the ways in which we're acting like a doormat or not being clear in our needs. For example, I used to say "yes" to everything, before promptly feeling angry and resentful of everything I had so "pleasantly" agreed upon.

 

If I had paid close attention to my physical and emotional cues - tension in my body and a heaviness in my breath - then I would've known that my anger was serving as wake-up call to honor my time and worth. In some situations (not all) anger can even be a sign of self-love. You love yourself enough to feel angry and set a boundary AND you love yourself enough to know what is and isn't okay.

 

The next time you're feeling angry or frustrated, open up a journal and write at the top, "What is my anger trying to say?" It may sound strange, but I've found a solid 20 minutes of freehand journaling uncovers relationship patterns and dynamics we may not be aware of on a daily basis. 

 

The last time I did this, I discovered where in my life I was giving my power away. In other words, I discovered where I was placing too much attention on other people's actions to feel safe and happy. Only I can make myself feel those things. Underneath my anger was the true lesson - letting go. 

 

In an age of distraction, our brains may tell us to ignore our feelings and to binge-watch the next show instead. And yet, when we're able to stay still, get curious and work with our emotions, we may just find the hidden treasure - that our emotions are here to guide and teach us about relationships, boundaries, ourselves and so much more.

 

Stay real. Stay open. 

 

All my best,

 

Devon 

 

*****

Do you ever feel angry and wish you could get to the bottom of what was really bothering you? Have you tried anything that helps? Working out, journaling, talking to a friend? Write in the comments below and feel free to share!

 

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