There have been a lot of discussions lately with in my inner circles about anger; and amongst fellow yoga teachers and every other elephant journal article I've read recently the consensus is that anger is good. I would like to go on record as saying that I emphatically disagree! Anger sucks.
Anger hurts us not only emotionally but physically, as our bodies experience that intense negative emotion all of that energy is stored with in our cells transforming the way we feel and function. I always know when I am angry because of the instant physical effect it has on me. My whole left shoulder and arm starts to hurt and I can see myself through my mind's eye tucking with in myself like a injured bird bringing my wing in close to my body. As a massage therapist I see the affects of emotions on the body in my clients and nothing is more damaging than anger.
Anger hurts not only ourselves but those around us. Rarely are those responsible for our wrath the ones that we direct it to. How often have you snapped at your spouse, partner, kids, Starbucks barista or the old dude in the jalopy holding up traffic in front of you because you were angry at your boss, yoga teacher, lost word doc or the pile of dishes in the sink?
The biggest reason that anger is so destructive is that it isn't EVEN REAL! Anger is the moat, brick wall, and army of defense mechanisms that we create to keep us from feeling the true emotion that an infuriating person or event invokes. Very often that real emotion is fear, and fear, not surprisingly is, well, scary. So we hide from our fear behind anger.
The argument for the benefits of anger have been the valuable tool that it can be for learning something about ourselves. The real tool might be discovering what it is that you are so afraid of, and then upon realizing that often times fear is caused by an actor in a costume and mask playing make-believe at the fun house of horrors hiding behind the wacky mirror and jumping out at just the right moment to make you jump and scream in mock horror until you laugh because the fear, well, it isn't real either.