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Healthy Anger

by Barbara Allan

Author of The best selling book, Conquering Arthritis

When I was a kid, I wish I knew that it was okay to feel anger.  I grew up in a family that only approved of happy emotions.  If I was angry or upset, I was sent to my room until I could “behave”.  Unfortunately, this led me to believe that I was a bad person if I felt anger.  My parents loved me and were raising me the best they knew how.  Sadly, however, what I learned was to unconsciously attack myself.  Instead of feeling my anger as something fleeting and in the moment, I suppressed knowing about my anger and stored it inside.

At age 25 I developed an autoimmune arthritis that made it impossible to walk more than a few steps without passing out from pain.  What I learned during those difficult arthritis years, was that the more honest I was about knowing what I was feeling emotionally and letting that be okay, the less I hurt physically.  My illness trained me to be emotionally authentic.  If I suppressed anger, I was in immediate and excruciating pain.  If I knew I was angry and didn’t suppress feeling it, I immediately felt less pain.

I don’t mean that the pain relief I felt from being emotionally authentic was training me to act out physically or verbally.  Acting out only made the pain worse.  I mean that I learned that when I was angry, I needed to know I was angry and not suppress the physical feelings that come with being angry.  I learned that I could sit quietly and without saying a word or moving at all, I could feel the way anger felt in my body. 

Over time, feeling my anger and in this quiet way and letting it be okay, trained me out of my deep habit of being angry at myself because I was angry.  Replacing this deeply unconscious habit of condemning myself for my “imperfections” with the habit of letting whatever I was feeling emotionally be okay, allowed my immune to stop attacking on my joints. 

Today I no longer have arthritis.

My message to kids today, is it is okay to feel your emotions.  Emotions aren’t rational.  They usually don’t make sense.  This is okay.  Suppressing your emotions so you don’t feel them is unhealthy.  Acting out thoughtlessly and letting your emotions control your behavior is also unhealthy.  What is healthy is knowing what you are feeling emotionally in your body without acting out and letting that be okay.  Once you have done this, you can then respond more effectively to whatever is going on in your life.

If more people learned how to do this as children, we would have less internal war like autoimmune disease and less external war like is happening across the globe.

When the children (and adults) in my life come to me feeling angry, first I listen.  As much as I am able, I make it safe for them to feel whatever they are feeling.  Sometimes I hold them and tell them it is okay to feel anger.  Sometimes they pace.  Often I ask them to temporarily drop the story line and just feel the body sensations.  Once the most intense of the body sensations have played out, is usually a good time to talk about the triggering situation.  This is because anger playing out in the body helps us get its message.  Once this message has been delivered, we can better know what we need to do. 

Until we get the message of our anger, most of us falsely assume the message is to blame or punish someone.  Once we the message, we realize that message is that a specific wrong needs to be righted. 

If you listen to your anger, it will help you know how to make yourself a better person and your world a better place.


Experiencing Anger in A Healthy Way

Sometimes we think that releasing emotions involves some sort of big display. Emotions can release in a healing way at those times too, but those sorts of displays don't necessarily lead to healing. What is critical is not the outward display, but the release inside your being, which can occur whether or not anything is apparent at the surface or not.

To help people learn how to experience Anger and other emotions in a healhy way, I have created a 6-CD set of guided meditations which teach some powerful and effective ways to do this. What I teach I learned through the Buddhist tradition, particularly the Tibetan practice of Tonglen and the ancient Buddhist practice of Vipassana, which is the modern day practice most like what the historical Buddha taught.


In the next article I describe how to do Tonglen meditation.


Special for Visitors to this Page

Let me guide you through the meditations that were instrumental to the releases of anger that lead to my own healing from arthritis.

Anger leads to inflammation in the body. Releasing it is critical to deep healing of arthritis. It is better than any anti-inflammatory drug.

This Webpage CD Special:

2 CD set: Intro Guided Meditation CD plus Anger Releasing CD.

Separately, each CD is $27.

Get the 2 CD set for only $27: CD set

View my larger guided meditation CD collection


Immediate MP3 Downloads

Or if you had rather have these 2 albums in the form of immediate MP3 downloads, I can offer you an even better price here below:

3 Comments On Healthy Anger

Ok thanks. Will check back.

Date : 13th Nov 2020   |  By : Monique
Hi Monique, we are looking for an alternative for providing MP3s. The company we were using is no longer offering that service. I am not sure exactly when they will be available again, but thanks for letting us know you are interested..

Date : 27th Oct 2020   |  By : Barbara Allan
Hi When will these MP3s be back online? I am interested in these meditations. Thanks.

Date : 26th Oct 2020   |  By : Monique

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