Anger is a very healthy and normal part of grief, but – much like grief – it’s often met with deep discomfort. You’re not supposed to be angry. No matter what’s happened, you’re just supposed to…stay calm. Shrug it off. Don’t make such a fuss. “No sense getting angry at something you can’t change.”
But being angry is normal. It’s a healthy human emotion.
And yet, it can feel like expressing it seems destructive, so the only option is to pretend it isn’t there.
Because we don’t have healthy models of what anger can look like it, AND because it has such a negative association – we’re kinda screwed.
So how do you let your anger out constructively?
Personally, I usually need to MOVE when I’m angry – expressing it in ways that are physical. Kick boxing. Running. Even some art practices, like painting – not the quiet landscape kind, but big sweeps of movement.
I think that’s the thing – anger makes us want to move, and if we don’t find a way to express it or channel it, it breaks its way through. Finding ways your body can move with anger (in whatever ways your body can move) helps a lot.
You might also do a creative dialogue with anger. What does it need from you? How does it want to speak or express itself? And how can you steward that feeling with safety and respect? That self-curiosity is important.
Anger is a sense of injustice. It tells you that your lines are being crossed, your truth is being denied. This is why regular anger self care practices are important. You practice being in relationship with your own anger so that when someone is a jerk and it sets off that ferocity, that ferocity can come out with skill.
The practice is in recognizing that anger is growing, and it’s making it hard to communicate. Accessing great communication skills when you’re FURIOUS is asking way too much of yourself – that’s not possible.
What IS possible is recognizing you need to step away so you can explode in safe ways, and then come back to use your anger to fuel a difficult conversation.
How about you? What constructive outlets have you found for your anger and how did you figure them out in the first place? Others in this community can use your ideas.
What helps is giving your sense on injustice and anger a voice. It’s part of you, and it deserves space to exist.
Looking for more on this subject? There’s a whole chapter devoted to tending to your anger in my new grief journal, How to Carry What Can’t be Fixed.
Wishing for some company inside your grief? The Writing Your Grief course and community isn’t like most places on the internet. Here you can tell the whole truth about your grief and your love – and you won’t hear any comments with backhanded judgement about you, your person, or your grief. No advice, no judgement, no cheerleading – just acknowledgment and support. Registration for the next session that begins on June 28th is open now. We have room for you. All the information about it is right here.