It can be hard to know what to do with pent-up anger over worldwide events, especially when it feels like you have little control. Here we explore ways to cope with this anger
There is a lot happening in the world right now. For some of us, the events unfolding are giving rise to some serious anger. Why isn’t more being done? What does our future look like? Why is change taking so long?
I spent a few minutes on Twitter this morning (ironically looking for article ideas) and, within a few minutes, I felt a familiar fire creeping up my torso (anger, not indigestion). This type of anger is difficult to handle. It’s broad and aimed at multiple people, systems and events. While a few calming breaths may take the edge off the intensity, it doesn’t quell it entirely. There’s also a lack of control fueling this anger, giving it a hopeless edge that sits heavy in your heart.
So, what can we do with this anger? What can we do when we’re not in a position to make the changes we want to see? I’m not going to claim to have all the answers, but I have some ideas to try. They might not eradicate the anger, but I hope they can help us channel it in a way that’s helpful, not harmful.
Allow yourself to feel the anger
We have to start by acknowledging our anger. It’s tempting to want to push it down, smothering it with positivity. But anger only grows when left unchecked. Instead, try to give yourself some space and time to look at the anger. This may be through a cathartic journaling session, or perhaps speaking to a friend, family member or therapist. Cry those tears of frustration.
Do you know what I really want to try? Going to a rage room. A space where you can smash stuff up and let that anger flow through your veins in a safe way.
However you do it, try not to fear this anger. It’s a human response and one we can experience and process in healthy ways. By giving it space, we let it move through us and dissipate, so we can think clearly and make our next move.
Remember that lack of control I mentioned? Something that can soften this edge is taking some sort of action. Of course, this will depend on what you’re feeling angry about, but there may be petitions you can sign, protests to attend or charities to donate to, fighting for change. And if you’re over the age of 18? Vote. Vote in local elections, vote in general elections - just make sure your voice is heard.
In this video, I chat to counsellor Carol-Anne Cowie about inequality, its effect on mental health and what more needs to be done.
When we’re angry, we might feel a pull to isolate ourselves from others. Reaching out to others, however, is a helpful way of regaining a sense of peace and hope. Being around people we know and love can lead to laughs, smiles and deeper connections. Meeting new people can remind us of the good in the world and open our eyes to new perspectives.