Tell ‘Em Why You Mad: Why There are Benefits to Being Angry

December 22, 2011  |  

The phrase ‘tell em why you mad son’ could possibly mean more than just a few words spawned from a hip-hop record. Although addressing your anger is normally thought of as negative, it actually has some positive affects that could benefit you in the long run.

For instance, have you ever been extremely angry but attempted to keep your anger to yourself?  You bottle it up inside until you become even more heated at the problem and any other problem that resembles the initial one. What starts off as a minor issue soon festers because you choose to bottle it up inside for fear of being classified as a bitter woman, or even worse, the “angry black woman.” Ironically, you eventually become bitter anyway because you allow the anger to build up. Well, for those of us who need to spur out a curse word or two every now and then when someone or something angers us, psychologists are saying that when channeled properly, anger can actually have some positive effects.

While perusing Oprah’s website I noticed an article on the secret benefits of anger. According to the article, appropriately titled “The Hidden Benefits of Anger, Cursing and Negativity,” unless your anger problems are chronic and you just like to freak out all the time because you can (not good), anger can actually combat stress. In the article Jennifer Lerner, director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, says reacting with controlled anger, rather than runaway anxiety, releases less of the body’s stress hormone cortisol. This is something we lose too much of, which has been linked to bone loss, depression, and obesity.

So sometimes venting, cursing, or even hitting a pillow (not a person) allows you to release that anger that could instead fester and make you miserable in the long run. The thing with anger is the sooner you release it the better. Repressed anger can cause emotional indigestion. It builds up and creates even more intense anger and unfavorable emotions that could have possibly been prevented if you would have simply let it out.

Anger is a natural emotion. Instead of feeling bad for being angry, recognize the emotion and do something about it. Go for a walk and blow off steam, kick a rock like you’re David Beckham–do something, but don’t let your piping mad anger boil over. Just like any other emotion, you have to be careful of how you relay it externally. Of course, you should choose your battles wisely and not attempt to curse out everyone in sight. Instead, recognize your anger and find healthy ways (when necessary) to just let it out. So next time someone tells you being angry is a bad thing, tell them that it’s actually healthy sometimes. And then proceed to curse them out if necessary…(kidding).

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