Anger, sex and you
Anger is a bad thing, and sex is dirty. No matter how much we might re-frame this intellectually, centuries of cultural repression and condemnation mean that the aggressive, and sexual drives, are hard to deal with. But they are biological drives, neither good nor bad, moral or immoral. So how do we work with being angry, or desiring someone we "shouldn’t”?
One way is to stay with the feeling, rather than pushing it away. This is difficult, but pushing it away tends to repress it, and it comes out somewhere else in an uncontrolled or unconscious way (a row that comes out of nowhere, an affair, a fight).
Take an objective attitude; try to simply notice the feeling and what causes it, without acting on it – remember it’s an energy and emotion, it’s not all of you. Take the energy that these drives gives you, and use it positively – to get things done, to exercise, to take you to a goal you want.
When the energy these drives gives us gets too much to handle (and you become distracted or overwhelmed), there’s a number of other options:
- Direct expression – discharging the energy using a variety of means. Acting in a harmless way (for example shouting where nobody can hear you, masturbation). Through muscular exercises (use it down the gym!). Talk with someone about it, or get it out by writing it down in your diary.
- A symbolic acting out – smash something that represents the person or thing you are angry with, write a letter that tells someone how you feel (but don’t send it), write down how you feel and burn it.
- Channel it into something else – use all that drive to achieve a purpose of your own. A creative drive of an artistic or intellectual nature that helps you create. A competitive drive that lets you achieve, win, or conquer that goal. Recognise what you are doing, choose not to express you drive through catharsis, build that energy up and choose to use it elsewhere.
It is important to be conscious that anger and sexual energy are neither good nor bad – they just are. Equally, they are just a part of us that we can control, and they need not control us if we see them for what they are and don’t avoid acknowledging them.
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