I hate feeling angry.
Whenever I feel angry, my mind is like a broken record that never stops replaying the things that make me angry. And I don’t like to express my anger in front of others because I felt embarrassed every time I blew up. It felt as though I lack of emotional control.
Most importantly, I felt bad and apologetic for the person on the receiving end of my anger. No one deserves to be screamed at.
However, all emotions are useful.
After a month of feeling depressed, I realized how useful it is to feel angry once in a while.
Anger Gives You Energy to Take Action
When I was feeling depressed last month, I was unmotivated and didn’t had the energy to do anything. No matter how hard I try to be hopeful again and take action, I couldn’t.
And I didn’t know why.
Luckily for me, I remembered that Jack Canfield taught about emotional scale in one of his audio tapes I had bought, so I reviewed that again. He mentioned that:
Emotions are just energy.
Feeling angry actually helps you to move out of depression because anger has a higher vibrational energy than depression.
Hmm… interesting. You mean feeling angry gives you more energy to take action?
I thought about this for a while and reflected on the times in my life that I was feeling depressed. And I realized it is true.
How Anger Helped Me to Leave The Job I Hated
When I was in audit, I was feeling depressed and tired of my job. I hated my job, but I wasn’t moving anywhere because I felt like I have no choice. I told my parents how I was feeling. It was as though I was seeking their permission to leave my job.
And you know what… they told me to bear with it.
Of course, now looking back I understand why my parents said what they were saying at that time. But at that moment, their response infuriated me. I was thinking:
“How could they not care for their child? Here I was telling them how I feel and they just ask me to bear with it. If they want me to stay, I’m not staying!”
It actually turned out to be the best thing ever. Because suddenly, I had the energy to research for other jobs. Later, when I saw one of my female colleagues rushing out of the client place crying, that makes me ever angrier.
And in the end, I left my job.
Feeling Angry Is Healthy
Most children are taught that feeling angry is wrong. They are punished for feeling angry. So most grew up hiding their anger from others and avoiding confrontations.
However, this constant suppression of anger is actually bad in the long run.
Blocking your feelings doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Anger has a way to manifest itself in another form if it wasn’t felt and released. People who don’t get angry might become passive-aggressive instead. Some people turn their anger into other addictions like food, sex and entertainment. And some people like me, who doesn’t allow themselves to feel angry, gets depressed easily.
Think about it… you seldom see angry people feeling depressed and hopeless. Why? They always have hope. To them, as long as the other person, circumstance or thing they are angry at doesn’t exist, their life would be much better.
Emotional Scale Chart: What to Do When Feeling Angry?
Even though feeling angry is healthy, don’t stay in this angry state forever.
Anger is just a passage way to the next emotion.
Jack Canfield has an emotional scale chart that I have illustrated below. This chart shows you which emotions have higher vibrational energy. It’s a good guide to what you are feeling now.
Every time, something happen in your life that caused you to fall to the lower level. You need to move up the chart level by level. It’s difficult to jump levels and move to Level 10 when you are feeling Level 1.
Let me illustrate this with my example.
Previously, I was feeling bored at work when I was working in HBO Asia. I was at Level 6. I could do my work well but I wasn’t passionate about improving the accounting systems.
When the animation studio founder approached me, I was hopeful. I thought I could contribute to the animation industry again. I was at Level 7.
Then, I went to Bali for my entrepreneur incubator program. I was at Level 8. I became optimistic about helping the animation studio founder with my newfound wisdom and knowledge. At the end of the course, I was at Level 9, feeling enthusiastic and ready to start work once I came back.
But the day that I came back, I realized the founder wasn’t certain about hiring me. My world turned outside down. Suddenly, I have no job and everything seems hopeless. I dropped from Level 9 to Level 1.
Even though I have the tools and the knowledge to get back to Level 9, pretending that I was at Level 9 when I was actually at Level 1 doesn’t help at all.
I need to pay tribute to all the emotions to get back to Level 9. There’s no shortcut. It was not until I fully embraced my anger that my depression was gone.
Don’t Judge Your Emotions
It is important to feel all emotions.
Just because anger is at Level 2 doesn’t mean that it’s a negative emotion and we should avoid it. Emotions higher up on the chart don’t mean they are better. It just means they provide us with more energy to take action.
The more we cling on to these so-called positive emotions, the more we are showing that we lack of these emotions.
No doubt I’m looking forward to go back to Level 10, a place where I’m truly passionate about what I’m doing. But I shall not forget how feeling angry had helped me to get there.