Why Getting Angry Is Good For Mental Health Sometimes

When you are a child of Pilates and yoga instructors like me, all you learn in life is how to be zen. From the young age of five, I could already copy advanced yoga poses and control my breathing. At 11 years old, I would come along with Dad at the Pilates studio and strengthen my body while filling myself with calmness. When I turned 16, Mom allowed me to lead her meditation class, knowing that I already knew what to do.

Every time I mentioned this timeline to other people, they assumed that my parents forced me to do all that. Well, they honestly influenced me, but there’s no forcing that took place. I wanted to learn how to do yoga and Pilates and meditate on my own because I saw how happy and peaceful Mom and Dad were all the time. They were always aware of each other’s feelings and would not do anything to undermine one another. Hence, a girl could only pray to be like them.

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Talking About Anger

Since my environment had always been zen, and my parents homeschooled me until high school, I got saved from all the drama that most teenagers probably experienced. I didn’t have classmates scheming behind my back or teachers trying to make my school days a living hell. As for proms and similar occasions, the public institution nearby invited me, but I graciously declined. Some people said I would be missing a significant part of my life by saying no to those, but how could I miss anything that I never tried?

Nevertheless, when I graduated from high school, a lot of things changed. I could continue homeschooling, but Mom and Dad encouraged me to leave the nest, claiming I was already prepared to do so. I applied to different universities and chose to enroll at NYU. It was closest to home, although I would need to stay in a dorm because commuting for two hours daily would be a hassle.

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The thing is, I experienced many instances that challenged my ability to remain peaceful in any situation. For one, I ended up with three roommates who couldn’t pick up after themselves. There were always books, bottles of water, and bras all over the room, and asking them nicely to clean up wasn’t working. Then, many of my classmates seemingly did not know that group projects were activities done by the group. We ended up passing individual projects, or I had to take one for the team and do it for everyone. What genuinely made me lose my marbles, though, was when my first boyfriend cheated. 

His name was Matt, a dreamy Fine Arts sophomore who I happened to share a café table with one day. We hit it off correctly, especially since we both loved meditating and doing yoga. I thought I would finally have someone to do couples yoga with, and it did happen for a couple of months. However, when I tried to surprise Matt and went to his apartment without calling him first, I got surprised when another woman answered the door. Naked, no less.

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To this day, I didn’t know where I got the energy to charge past the naked woman and look for Matt (who was also naked in the kitchen, by the way) and slap him hard. He tried to explain despite all the evidence of his infidelity, and I slapped him one more time. Before I left the apartment, I said, “Don’t bother coming anywhere near me. If I cross paths with you or your slut ever again, there would be hell to pay.”

Benefits Of Getting Angry

I was brave to do and say those parting words to my ex, wasn’t I?

I went back to the dorm, still shaking from anger, but my head was much clearer than when I was meditating. I could remember all the telltale signs that Matt wasn’t always honest with me; I just chose to ignore them and avoid being confrontational.

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However, thanks to my ex’s infidelity, I became a fool no more. It pushed me to confront Matt immediately and break things off with him before he could do it. No, I refused to give him that satisfaction. And I was never violent, but I knew that he deserved the two hard slaps he got from me.

Furthermore, getting angry helped me see that I didn’t need a man like Matt. Although it would have been easy to forgive him and believe that he would never repeat his mistake, I still knew deep down that he might do it again. After all, he already got a taste for it and broke my trust in the process. That’s a problem that I didn’t want looming over our heads.

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Final Thoughts

I came home that same weekend and told my parents about my first heartbreak. I initially thought that they would say, “Oh no, you should’ve dealt with the matter more calmly, honey.” Thus, I was shocked and happy when Dad said, “That guy’s lucky that I wasn’t in New York. Otherwise, he’d get more than a slap from me.” Mom even added, “You did great, baby girl. Never let anyone step all over you.”

While I don’t think I’d enjoy getting angry regularly, I figured that it would sometimes be good for my mental health.

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