Anger Is Not A Negative Emotion

Aristotle said, “The man who is angry at the right things and with the right people, and, further, as he ought when he ought, and as long as he ought is praised.”


Sara Shakeel

Anger is not a bad emotion. It is acceptable to be angry at wrong-doings, social injustice, wickedness, harmful behaviors, or many other forms of disappointments or hurt. Still, how we use that energy is important. Remember that anger is a feeling, and you cannot simply stifle or turn it to apathy. What you should do instead is to experience anger as part of yourself since it is another form of flight or fight response, so do not dismiss it but listen to its message.

When you stop and pay attention to your angry emotions, you will be inclined to control your behavior rather than your feelings. Simply because you do not want to be at the mercy of your anger; instead, you want to flip from putting the lid on inner pressure to be self-disciplined in your reactions.

Consequently, once you acknowledge that anger is part of being human, you will direct your attention to controlling the aggression fueled by anger. Keep in mind that emotions are signals, but the aggressive response is a behavior, therefore a choice. Plus, aggression is not always about violence. Being judgmental, excessively critical, or even passive-aggressive facial or physical gestures indicate aggression.

Consider the following aspects of anger to handle your aggression and not your angry emotions skillfully:

  • Anger is not a negative emotion is part of human experience – Accept it to deal with it constructively. 
  • Anger should not be stifled but influenced. Take a moment to identify your anger’s root cause; is it out of fear, threat, or hurt? This approach will clear distorted perceptions so that you can express your rage in effective ways. 
  • Anger should be communicated – Practice moments of silence before you respond. Remember that nobody will accuse you of how you feel, you are allowed to be angry, but you are responsible for acting upon it regrettably or unjustly. By the way, increasing your emotional vocabulary can significantly support your message.
  • Manage your behavior – Stop ruminating on whatever brought about the negative emotions since it will likely increase your anger’s intensity and cloud your judgment. 
  • Avoid using anger to address your emotional pain since it will become a habit – Learn to deal with it in healthier ways. For instance, if you are mad at someone close to you or at work, talk with them directly only when you are out of your tunnel vision mindset. 

To wrap up, step out of your comfort zone and refrain from lashing out whenever you are upset, or an unexpected has materialized. It might be painful to listen and explore your angry feelings; however, the challenge will equip you well with a toolbox for your responses and place you in a stronger position. 


Featured image by Gabe Leonard

Interview with Visual Artist, Faith XLVII

Faith XLVII is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who is currently based in Los Angeles.
Faith XLVII is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who is currently based in Los Angeles.

Street art is one of the powerful forms of self-expression that Faith XLVII, an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa, uses to touch souls, raise hope, and expose hurt and oppression. Each time a metamorphosized perspective comes to light through her creations, from raising questions about issues that affect our daily lives to reflect on our society. Smart and resourceful muralists, Faith XLVII, explores human experiences, interconnectedness, and the affinity to nature in a creative approach. She captures metaphors, fragility with an intent to provoke universal love.

A disciple of enlightenment, philosophy, and activism, Faith XLVII shares her visual stories through different media such as printmaking, projection mapping, video installation, drawings on streets, and galleries.

Read my interview with Faith XLVII:

Jupilings: What motivates you to create-

FAITH XLVII: Just being alive is motivation enough. The constant flux and challenges of life and perception.

.Courtesy of Faith XLVII
Courtesy of Faith XLVII

Jupilings: Pragmatism and flexibility are an effective response to global challenges still your art is a protest against them- 

FAITH XLVII: Firstly, I don’t think you’re correct in saying that my work is a protest against Pragmatism and Flexibility. I walk the line between reality and the unseen. I believe the two are interrelated.  So awakening to the mystical and the fantastic can also open one to real-world possibilities.  Working on our inner understanding, helps us to be able to understand and make sense of the outer realities.  Global challenges are very overwhelming for the individual to take on, but when you understand that they are a product of our collective mindsets, then that brings the conclusion that working on the individual helps with the consciousness of the whole.  I don’t draw lines between spiritual/personal/ political perspectives. You cannot separate one from the other.

Courtesy of faith47 - lay your weapons down, 1 NYC 2015
Courtesy of faith47 – lay your weapons down, 1 NYC 2015

Jupilings: What does spirituality mean to you-

FAITH XLVII: The constant practice and perseverance in living a conscious, self-aware life.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - 315 BC - 307 BC Detroit 2016
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – 315 BC – 307 BC Detroit 2016

Jupilings: What is your perspective in life- 

FAITH XLVII: My perspective is still a work in progress.  I do agree with the Wiccan Rede:

‘Do as thy will and harm none.’

I also feel that nature contains all the solutions to the problems we are facing personally, politically and ecologically, and that we should meditate on this.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto4 - "The health (welfare, good, salvation, felicity) of the people should be the supreme law".
Courtesy of Faith XLVII Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto4 – “The health (welfare, good, salvation, felicity) of the people should be the supreme law”.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

FAITH XLVII: Woman empowerment, like Black empowerment, or any kind of civil rights movement, is the attempt to balance the scales after decades of oppression due to monotheistic white male power structures.  Essentially these movements attempt to move us towards a more EQUAL society where all demographics can have a say in how we are progressing as a species.  We must insist on the dignity of all human beings! I also add animals and the planet to that statement.

Courtesy of FaithXLVII - 580 BC - 265 BC Athens
Courtesy of FaithXLVII – 580 BC – 265 BC Athens

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

FAITH XLVII: I realise my own insignificance in the scheme of things. Fragility is something we are told to be ashamed of and fight through. But I find some strength therein. We are all impermanent, and our lives fleeting. By accepting the very notion of your own short existence, we can gain perspective. Working from that space allows for a certain amount of freedom and realism.

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - Astronomia Nova Sweden
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – Astronomia Nova Sweden

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you have been given-

FAITH XLVII: “If the world appears to be filled with suffering, it is, nevertheless, radiating pure wisdom.”  – Rudolf Steiner.


Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor: 

FAITH XLVII: Princess Mononoke and/or Spirited Away

Jupilings: What is your life motto?

FAITH XLVII: Focus on the Breath

Courtesy of Faith XLVII - THE UNBOUND
Courtesy of Faith XLVII – THE UNBOUND