We like to think of our emotions, joy, anger, love, as neat and tidy labels, for the sensations we are feeling. Adding to this narrow vision of our lives, we then place judgments on our feelings, claiming some are “good” or “bad,” putting us in the unenviable position of classifying entire sections of our lives as being abhorrent. Little wonder so many people come into therapy wanting to “get rid of” their emotions, or “reduce” them, or “gain control.” At the end of the day, when we cast our mental eyes back on our experience, it becomes painfully obvious that our emotions did not arise by our choice. We then make judgments about who we are based on our emotional experience rather than consider them from the perspective of our animal history.
Anger is often labeled as “bad” and you can use your anger as a self-definition, such as you are an angry person, instead of recognizing it as an experience. Yet anger is a way of noting what is important to you, we don’t get angry about thing we don’t care about. Learning to be present with our emotions, while recognizing that does not necessitate specific actions, is a way to rewrite the story of your anger.