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Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you examine your anger at the world and overcome it. Simply click here to connect with one via BetterHelp.com.
Do you feel like you constantly have rage simmering on your mind’s back burner?
Maybe you wake up already feeling angry, or can’t sleep because of the knot in your stomach?
Countless people deal with low-grade anger on a constant basis, and it can be incredibly difficult to deal with.
Furthermore, most people don’t want to be angry all the time. Not only does this kind of constant anger wreak havoc on one’s body and mind, but it negatively affects pretty much all relationships.
So what causes this kind of constant anger? And what can be done about it?
The actions you can take to improve your anger at the world will depend entirely on its root cause. Once that’s been determined, you can figure out what steps you can take to help it.
Below are the most common reasons why you’re angry at the world, and what you can do to release your rage.
1. You’re upset at all the injustices in the world.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “think globally, act locally” so many times that it makes your eye roll. But there’s a reason for that expression’s popularity. There’s very little that the average person can do about all the awful things that go on around the world on a regular basis.
The fact that we get news from all corners of the globe but don’t have the means to do anything about the ugliness out there can be incredibly frustrating. This is especially true if the horror shows strike close to home.
Human trafficking, animal abuse, environmental pollution, human rights atrocities… so many absolutely awful things happen every day, and the inability to cause a Reckoning can make anyone irate on a daily basis.
This is where acting locally – or taking whatever action you can – will mitigate some of that anger. Toppling pillars like Samson might not be something you’re capable of, but many small actions can lead to big changes.
No, you won’t be able to step in and obliterate a child trafficking ring on your own, nor can you take in and help every abused animal out there. But you can get involved and do what you can to help out.
Donate to reputable organizations, or do fundraising work with them. Foster rescue animals at home or volunteer to help take care of them at a facility. If you have the training and physical capability for it, you can even volunteer to be part of first responder/rescue teams.
Every single person on the planet has skill sets they can use to help others. Take the anger you feel and use it to transcend the helplessness and start helping instead. You are guaranteed to feel a lot less anger when you know you’re doing something tangible to make the world a better place.
2. The things you read in the news and social media fill you with rage.
Robert Fisk, a military correspondent with The Independent newspaper, once commented on how Victorian news reporters would: “…view battles from hilltops in the company of ladies, immune to suffering, only occasionally glancing towards the distant pop-pop of cannon fire.”
That sort of biased, one-sided perspective didn’t disappear last century, but instead has developed into what people now consider to be “real” journalism.
Facts are sidelined in favor of sensationalism, and opinion pieces from various sources are presented as reality, rather than an individual perspective.
Consider this question: how often do you get irate about something you’ve read only to find out later that vital details had been skewed or omitted for the sake of stirring the pot, so to speak? Or misrepresented entirely in order to poison people against someone or something, while extolling another’s virtues?
The bottom line here is to not believe everything you read or see on the news, or social media. Just because it’s broadcast doesn’t mean that it’s true. There are always numerous sides to a story, and one never knows the truth of a situation unless one witnesses it firsthand.
Analyze the pieces that are making you angry and try to delve into the motivation behind why they’re being published.
Are they offering neutral news reporting from an unbiased perspective? Or are they one-sided and sensationalized?
What effect do they have on you?
Furthermore, are they factual or opinion based?
Are you only exposing yourself to “news” that fuels your confirmation bias? Or are you taking the time to look at different viewpoints and then decide what to think or feel about it?
Learn to be discerning and delve into several perspectives of whatever’s going on. Do research, and look at opposing information, even if it makes you uncomfortable to do so. What riled you up one moment might cool significantly once you’ve gleaned a bit more information on the wider picture.
Furthermore, ask yourself why you’re exposing yourself to all of this. Is it to feel informed about various subjects? Or because you want to feel intense emotions and you’re using this stuff as fuel?
If it’s not vital, then cut it out of your life as much as possible. Much like junk food, a treat can become a threat if it’s not consumed in moderation.
3. You feel like those in charge are making all the wrong decisions.
Many people feel anger at the decisions being made about their lives when they feel like they have no input in the matter.
Children and pre-teens get incredibly frustrated when they feel that they don’t have a say in their own lives. There’s no free choice when it comes to what they eat, where they go, what time they get to sleep, etc. They’re merely served food and expected to eat it, and every aspect of their lives is dictated to them.
As such, it’s not surprising why so many rebel in their teens: they ache for the freedom of personal sovereignty and the ability to make decisions for themselves.
Needless to say, for an adult to feel like they have virtually no say in what’s going on in their lives is enough to make anyone incendiary with rage.
When those in positions of power seem to be constantly dropping the ball, or making decisions that affect people, businesses, and families negatively, a lot of people end up feeling angry and betrayed.
Doubly so if they didn’t vote for the people who ended up in positions of authority.
The best way to deal with this kind of anger is to focus on areas in which you do have autonomy, and work with those as best you can. If something doesn’t affect you personally, right now, push it aside and don’t even think about it. Just focus on you right now.
Where are the areas in which you can step into your personal power?
How can you express yourself freely without recrimination?
Once you’ve taken the steps to really celebrate your autonomy, you can go about extending your influence in a wider sphere.
For example, are you feeling a great deal of anger at the fact that your city council doesn’t do enough outreach work for the homeless, especially in wintertime? Then start a program of your own. Get together with members of your neighborhood or faith community and take donations of food, warm clothing, sleeping bags, etc. Then create care packages that you can pack into a car and deliver to homeless folks right on the street.
There are always some actions you can take that don’t require permission from higher ups. Taking this kind of initiative will do a lot for reducing your rage, and increasing your overall sense of righteousness and personal fulfillment.
4. Things are happening in your life that you can’t control.
The feeling of powerlessness often manifests as anger. This could range from feeling intensely angry about the insomnia that you can’t seem to shake, to being stuck in traffic, or dealing with crap traumatic memories that you can’t seem to let go of.
The latter in particular can inspire a lot of anger, especially if you never got resolution or closure in the circumstances that damaged you. Many people who were abused as children end up feeling a great deal of rage in adulthood, for example. This is because they were trapped in their circumstances when they were younger and were never able to get justice or restitution for what they experienced.
Later in life, when they come across situations that they can’t control, or feel are unfair to them, those old feelings will resurface. Since they never had closure, it’s like they have open wounds that cause extreme anger when prodded at. If you’ve ever had a bruise that you keep whacking on tables or doorways, you’ll know what that’s like.
When this happens, take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Recognize whether you’re actually feeling anger about what’s happening in this moment, or if you’re reacting to something that happened in the past, but you’re being reminded of now.
Then ask yourself whether you can accept the fact that you have no control over what’s going on right now. Once you accept that you can’t do bupkis to change your current circumstances, you can release yourself into that feeling.
Then find an outlet to release the tension that’s built up inside you. If you’re able to go for a walk or do some physical exercise, then do that. It’ll allow the energetic buildup to flow out of your body, and you’ll feel a lot lighter and more at ease as a result.
Alternatively, if you can’t get physical in that moment, then focus on your breath. Bring each angry thought to the surface and envision it encapsulated in a bubble. Then breathe that anger-filled bubble away from you with every exhalation. Each breath out pushes the anger further and further away from you until it fades out of view.
If you find it helpful, consider carrying some meditation beads with you. Some people like to wear mala bracelets they can fidget with when they feel sudden waves of anger or anxiety. Others like rosaries or similar.
Basically, find a way for you to capture what you’re feeling in the present moment, and let go of what arises in a healthy, focused manner.
5. You’re angry at the world for changing.
This ties in with the previous point about things that aren’t under one’s individual control.
I’ve heard from a lot of people that things were so much better “in their day.” Maybe we’ve all been guilty of this at some point. The music was better, food was healthier and cheaper, movies and books were more engaging…
Whether this is nostalgia or reality, the fact is that tons of people feel sincere anger and frustration at the world changing around them. This is especially true for those who might be upset at how technologically demanding everything is, if they have difficulty keeping up with it.
Many people take great comfort in sameness, and as a result they can feel an immense amount of fear and anxiety when change keeps happening around them. They want things to remain as they are, comfortable and dependable, so that they feel safe and secure in their surroundings. When big changes happen, they’re suddenly in unfamiliar territory and can get very angry and combative as a result.
This can extend to their expectations about how others should behave. As an example, you may have an older relative who’s irate at the thought of people asking one another their pronouns, or referring to folks by words that don’t make any sense to them. A world in which people can choose something as fundamental (to them) as gender is frustrating and confusing.
In their minds, things are the way they are, and to question that puts their entire paradigm into question. It’s much like taking a person who’s been immersed in a devout faith their entire lives and dropping them into a country where a totally different faith is practiced. They might not have even been aware that there are other religions out there, let alone what “those people” believe or practice.
If this is where your anger is stemming from, then determine exactly what it is that’s upsetting you, and why, and what you can do about it. If it’s contemporary media that you dislike, then make a point of not exposing yourself to it. Similarly, if you don’t like certain aspects of modern culture, keep in mind that nobody is forcing you to engage with it. Just don’t condemn others who choose to walk a different path than you do.
Personal choice is often weaponized to deprive others of the same. Someone might refuse to take a certain action or speak certain words because they’re firm in their personal autonomy. But then they want to force others to behave the way they want them to in order to maintain their individual concept of order and propriety.
Remember the quote “Your freedom ends where mine begins”?
The world will change, but you can find your comfort wherever you like. Don’t demand others change or stagnate to suit your whim, but don’t feel obligated to change because others want you to either.
Remember to always seek the root cause.
No matter what you’re feeling, there’s always an underlying reason for feeling it. If you’re feeling tired all the time, then you’d determine why, right? Working long hours, feeling emotionally overwhelmed, not getting enough sleep, being anemic or otherwise nutrient deficient, fighting off an illness… all of these are very tangible things that can contribute to someone feeling exhausted. And when you get to the root of why you’re tired, you can take action to get more rest.
The same is true for sorting out the source of your anger.
Take some time to investigate your mind and spirit to determine why you’re feeling all of this rage. You’ll likely feel more anger, as well as other rollercoaster emotions, while doing this. That’s understandable, but it’s the most important part of this investigative process.
Many people choose an externalized subject to project their anger onto in order to avoid or mask problems that they don’t want to face head on. They might be dealing with intense unhappiness in their marriage or partnership, for example, but don’t want to face the reality of that. Instead, they choose something outside of themselves to use as a scapegoat for their own unwanted emotions.
In a case like this, it isn’t the political climate, social injustice, or anything else “out there” that’s causing you to be angry. It’s simply aspects of your own life that you’re refusing to look at plainly because confronting and dealing with them will require change. Possibly the kind of change you don’t want.
But that’s life. We don’t always – or even often – get the life circumstances we’ve daydreamed about. More often than not, we have to deal with issues we didn’t anticipate, and learn to navigate existence while rugs keep being pulled out from beneath our feet. We can’t nail those rugs in place, but instead have to come up with ways to ride them out with grace.
Release your anger so it doesn’t control you.
If you’ve been avoiding looking at the truth of your circumstances and lashing out in all directions, now is the time to stop.
Be real about what’s actually going on inside you; what you’re really angry about. Once you have that honesty in front of you, you can confront it head on and develop protocols on how to move forward.
That doesn’t mean it’ll be an easy ride, nor a pleasant one. But like the other situations mentioned above, taking action is the one thing that will quell and release the rage inside you.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), anger is seen as a build-up of creative energy that needs somewhere to go, but has been blocked from doing so. This type of blockage can manifest physically as well as emotionally. For example, kidney and gall stones are considered to be physical symptoms of unexpressed rage.
Anger is a type of energy, and needs to be given direction so it can be released. This is exactly why finding an outlet for it is so important.
As we mentioned earlier, you can try to release this rage through meditation and physical activity. However, the most effective thing you can do to let go of the anger you feel at the world is to do something about it.
Some people naturally find a way to use their anger in order to fuel positive change, but most need a bit of help learning how to harness and channel it. It’s a lot easier to be angry and feel despondent than to figure out how to transform that into transformative change, but you can do it.
Write down the issues that anger you the most, and then do some research to find some organizations that work towards helping those very issues. If you like, start looking at some of these outreach programs:
Instead of letting your anger consume you and poison your personal life, let it be a fire under your bottom. Throw yourself into doing some good, whether in your community or beyond, and watch that hot rage dissipate into clouds of positivity and growth.
Still not sure why you are angry at the world or what to do about it? Speak to a therapist today who can walk you through the process. Simply click here to connect with one of the experienced therapists on BetterHelp.com.
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