Expert advises, ‘Go ahead and feel the anger: It will encourage social change’

Expert advises, ‘Go ahead and feel the anger: It will encourage social change’

[Ed. – Johnny, get angry; Johnny, get mad.]

Just after yet another unfathomable school shooting in the U.S., Speaker of the House Paul Ryan implored, “This is one of those moments where we just need to step back and count our blessings.”…

As a professor of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University and an expert in the benefits of positive emotion in response to stressful life events, I teach people how to cope better with stress through doing things like finding the good in a difficult situation, savoring positive events and, yes, even counting their blessings.

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But, the inclination to seek a quick fix, and move ourselves into a sunnier mental space comes at a long-term cost. Simply, anger and other so-called “negative” emotions also have benefits and should not be suppressed, ignored, or denied, either.

Anger, despite its reputation, is not a bad thing. When faced with the repeated tragedy of mass shootings, complex feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and disgust are common, normal, and important to allow, not only for our own well-being, but in order to work towards real and impactful change.

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