One thing that I have noticed in myself over the past few months is my anger, particularly in regards to activism or calling out bullshit. I fundamentally believe that dealing with anger and other negative emotions (sadness, grumpiness, etc) is a part of being human but I’ve noticed that I’m not particularly great at dealing with those negative emotions. I tend to experience anger, sadness, grumpiness, etc over legitimate issues but have no way of dealing with them in a healthy way. When I experience anger, my anxiety is almost immediately triggered and I tend to deal with anger in a very internalized way. I don’t really express my anger in a physical or outward way but I have noticed that I get snippy/rude and usually just socially shut off when I’m expressing anger.
I do believe that the way in which many people, including myself, deal with anger is unhealthy and can sometimes be dangerous to individuals and those around them. I believe that we as a society need to re-imagine the way in which we deal with anger and start to practice healthy ways to respond to how we are feeling. This is just my opinion, based off of my experience dealing with the world. There is so much that goes into this that also ties into abuse and abuser dynamics that for right now, I’m not going to touch and I’m going to just get back on track. Just know that I’m aware of the implications here and soon will start to untangle issues of abuse and anger.
My point with this entire post is that I tend to get really angry and frustrated over issues of oppression and privilege very quickly. I have an almost instantaneous reaction to people claiming reverse racism within the US or others saying that trans identities aren’t “real”/shouldn’t be accepted or respected or the whole MRA situation. As a queer white feminist, I fundamentally disagree with all of those thoughts (and those like them). I realize that reverse racism doesn’t exist and that trans identities are legitimate and should be loved and accepted. However, I almost always get worked up and angry whenever I’m involved in situations where I’m faced with problematic viewpoints. And without fail, each time I also spiral into anxiety. My hands shake, my stomach gets upset, and I find it hard to breathe.
So I’ve been wondering the best way in which to deal with these situations and the best way in which to deal with my anger and the anxiety that follows it. So I came up with some personal things to start doing whenever I’m dealing with anger, grumpiness, or anxiety.
- If possible, removing myself from the situation, particularly if its an online argument.
- Reflect on why I’m feeling angry or anxious – if possible, start writing about what I’m going through.
- With that – write as much as possible. I have always loved writing and have kept a journal for years now. Writing is the way in which I’ve been able to process my thoughts and understand the world.
- Go for a run or the gym and listen to music.
- Creating something – a knitted flower, working on planning a road trip, etc
- Actually going to therapy and getting on medications for my anxiety. (I know that doing this will have some major positive implications for myself.)
These are just my personal solutions to anger and anxiety and there’s so much that goes into the topic of anger. I hope that over the next few months I can start getting better at handling my anger and anxiety.