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13 Helpful Quotes About Managing Anger

It can come on slowly, building up like smoke in a kitchen, or all at once, like a kettle screaming. However it reaches us, anger is an inevitable part of life. Most of us are probably familiar with concepts like “anger management” and “road rage,” and we’ve likely seen images of red-faced cartoon characters with steam coming out of their ears.

Despite its negative reputation, anger can be a helpful emotion. It may act as an alert when our boundaries have been crossed, when we’ve been hurt by someone, or when we’ve just flat-out had enough. If we continually repress our anger, it may crystallize into resentment.

That said, it’s important for us to release our anger in healthy ways, rather than to lash out and let it control us. Studies have shown that excessive anger can make us more impulsive, negatively impact our memory, and even render us more vulnerable to chronic illness. Instead of “venting” our anger through aggression — such as yelling or breaking things — it’s better, scientifically speaking, to give ourselves space through something such as meditation, journaling, or yoga. If we sit with our anger and hone in on its source, we’ll likely be able to manage it more easily and effectively.

And for those of us who are unsure where to start, these quotes can help us approach and channel our anger differently.

Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters … You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.
Jim Butcher

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Anger is a valid emotion. It's only bad when it takes control and makes you do things you don't want to do.
Ellen Hopkins

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Your anger is like a flower. In the beginning you may not understand the nature of your anger, or why it has come up. But if you know how to embrace it with the energy of mindfulness, it will begin to open.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

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If we can stay with the anger long enough, we will see it change into something else — hurt, sadness, some other feeling — or even dissolve. What had seemed so solid breaks down, is transformed. The key lies in staying with the experience through all its changes.
Tara Bennett-Goleman

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You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer; it eats upon the host … So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it You talk it. Never stop talking it.
Maya Angelou

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Expressing anger is necessary.
Jenny Holzer

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It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses.
William Arthur Ward

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When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.
Mark Twain

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The thing to do is to grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.
Zora Neale Hurston

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When anger spreads in your breast, guard against an idly barking tongue.
Sappho

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Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.
Eckhart Tolle

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My anger is trying to tell me something. Anger always carries information, but its message is seldom immediately clear. Befriending anger includes finding ways to retrieve this message.
Evelyn Eaton Whitehead and James D. Whitehead

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Anger is like / A full-hot horse, who being allow’d his way, / Self-mettle tires him.
William Shakespeare

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Featured image credit: Sasin Paraksa/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
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