Diary of a Happy Therapist: Anger

Happy Therapist ANGRY. Film at 11

madRight now, I feel angry. I won’t bother with the details but rest assured, I am very, very angry.
Does this mean I am no longer a happy guy? No. It means that right now I am experiencing anger.
Ever the therapist (even in the midst of this anger) I take my cues from Tal Ben-Sharar, the professor teaching happiness at Harvard. In his book, Happier, Professor Ben-Sharar purports that all of our feelings are valid and that to resist these natural feelings is to continue to be snared in them – or you may have heard it phrased “What you resist, persists”. So rather than “shoulding” on myself and telling myself “You’re the Happy Therapist! You shouldn’t feel anger!” I am feeling it. I notice that as I gave myself permission to feel what I am feeling at this moment, I felt intense anger for several minutes and gave myself permission to vent. I further noticed that the feelings are disappating surprisingly fast. I couldn’t keep up that initial level of anger even if I wanted to. I feel better. Not calm. Not cool. Not “over it”, but definately better.
I share this experience with you to help dispell some of the myths of Happiness. Being a Happy person does not mean that I/we go about with a cartoonish smile painted on our face at all times. Happy people get over feelings such as sadness or anger faster than their unhappy counterparts (Sonja Lyubomirsky, The How of Happiness). Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go scream into a pillow.

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