Updated: May 27
I’d like to talk about your anger.
No, better yet, I’d like to help you dance it out, sing it out, or SCREAM it out. Reach down to the pit of your stomach and drag that anger out at the top of your lungs. That’s right. I know you’ve got some pent up anger in there.
Maybe it’s directed at your a$$hole boss. Maybe it’s directed at your annoying co-worker. What about your whiny staff that want more days off? Maybe it’s directed at God or the universe for being so unfair. Maybe it’s directed at the politicians and insurance companies and for-profit health systems that prioritize money over people. No matter your target, I’m willing to bet you have some anger seething in the dark parts of your psyche. You may not notice it every minute of your day (I hope not!), but it probably rears its ugly head once in awhile. It’s actually good, if you know what to do with it. It’s like harnessing electricity. Electricity can light up your house or it can shock the crap out of you. Like Benjamin Franklin, you need a key and a kite.
In order to help you start collecting your anger and using it for good, I’ve compiled a playlist for you. Go to Spotify to listen.
I tried to compile a mix of genres so that something speaks to your anger. Who knows, you might find a new genre that pushes your anger buttons. Hit the play button and for the love of all the self-righteous frustration boiling up from your insides, dance, sing, or scream until you tame that beast.
Some of you out there may be confused about your anger level.
Here are a few tidbits that might help if any of these scenarios describe you:
You don’t feel anger, just sadness. Don’t worry, there will be a sadness playlist in the future. Sometimes you have to cry before you can scream. Until my sadness playlist is released, make your own or find someone else’s sad playlist on Spotify. After you’ve cried it out for an hour or so, try to transition to the anger playlist. Your anger is in there, you may just be internalizing it. If you can’t find the anger, time to call your therapist (you do have one, right?)
You don’t feel anger, or sadness, or any other emotion. You may want to start with a sadness playlist too. Numbness is a weird place to be. Apathy may mean that you’ve given up attaching your feelings to anything in your work. The thing is, people need healers, not robots. If you feel nothing bubbling up after you listen to the anger playlist or your self-created sadness playlist, make an appointment with that therapist.
You feel angry all the time. You carry your anger around with you like a backpack full of rocks. You bring it to family dinners and a night out with your friends. You take it out on patients and their families. You get pissed off when the toothpaste runs out or the dishwasher doesn’t empty itself. Okay fine. That’s where you are. But if you take it out on the dog, it’s gone too far. It probably went too far already. You needed this anger playlist a long time ago. Try taking the playlist with you to the boxing gym. Punch it out. Then try the jumprope (that sh$+ is hard!). Still angry? Make a backup plan. Start the wheels turning for a change in your life. Your therapist is waiting for you on speed dial.
You've listened to the playlist. Now what?
All you have to do is listen (and dance, sing, or scream) today. But tomorrow, when you have tamed your anger, you can use it for good. Anger drives change in healthcare. Love might also contribute, but isn’t that the flip side of anger? Ask the mama bear. Once you tame the beast of anger, you may just be the next Clara Barton or Pete Stark. But no pressure: just take it one angry song at a time. Flipping healthcare on its head can wait another day. You just have to stop breathing fire first.
What are your angry songs?! Leave a comment so we can add your favorites to the playlist.
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