why anger is so bad and how mindfulness could be a solution

near the middle of this episode, the two interviewees and krista are talking through why anger is so bad. 

“I think, physically as well as emotionally, we instinctively — I can certainly speak for myself in this — recoil from the reality of feeling vulnerable or afraid, right? And so we layer — I mean, anger gets layered on top of that because it feels like a more powerful response. But then we stop being able to tell the difference ourselves, right? You stop knowing, “I’m scared.” You say, “I’m angry.”i think the way krista said it is dead on. anger that isn’t dealt with properly masks our other emotions. anger often makes us unable to see what we’re actually feeling. our anger can hide something more fundamental like fear or confusion.” - krista tippet, on being: meeting our enemies and our suffering (with sharon salzberg and robert thurman)

anger is a natural response; maybe an outdated evolutionary one, but natural nonetheless. sharon salzberg mentioned just a little earlier that anger does have use. it’s a strong reaction and, if harnessed, can be used very productively. audre lorde’s essay on the uses of anger is a great thought piece for that.

but in today’s world, what i’m wondering is about how to deal with anger in the day to day. somewhere later in the episode, one of the three offers mindfulness as a solution to mindless anger. mindfulness can help us slow down enough to identify exactly what we’re feeling and why. anger tends to not be spontaneous so being mindful creates the ability to slow down enough to identify the cause of the anger. then we can respond to the real issue instead of the anger and maybe even find a way to harness that hot heat of anger that lorde discusses and use it as an engine for productive action.

writing: 13:50
​spell-check, link-finding, & formatting: 9:01