How to Release Pent Up Anger in a Healthy Way

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by Ellie Goode

my cat with pent up anger inside

I walked into my office yesterday after spending the day house-sitting for some friends.

After throwing my bags on the floor, I walked into my office to start working.

But nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.

​There was blood and feathers everywhere.

All over the floor.

Red blotchy splatters on the windowsill.

On the glass windows.

And all over my pristine white office walls.

It was a bloodbath.

Wonderful 🤮 ​

Did someone get murdered in my office?


Yes they did 😵​

I saw a dismembered leg lying there on the floor.

A bloody mess of intestines.


There were feathers everywhere.

On every. single. surface.

My cat Zeus had decided to attack a bird while I was out, and chased it right into my office to kill it.

I found the rest of it lying in our bathroom severed in half.

He didn’t want to eat the bird.

No… He just wanted to kill it.

And while I could have gotten mad (which I did) and pissed off (just a hint of displaced anger), and complain about how annoying this whole situation was (I mean.. have you ever tried to clean up feathers? Every time you sweep, they just blow everywhere)…​

Zeus was just being a cat.

​Cats like to chase birds.

To hunt their prey.

It’s in their nature.

Their animalistic nature.

It’s how they express their kill instinct and rage.

And yet as humans – so many of us keep this impulse suppressed. Which eventually leads to displaced anger – dumping it on yourself or others.


Because we’re afraid of embracing our animalistic side.

(Note: I’m definitely not saying go out and kill people or birds for that matter, what a mess).​

But your nervous system has this capacity for “kill” energy.

​It’s what humans did back in the jungle and as cavemen (or cavewomen), before Netflix, shopping, and Uber Eats existed.

You had to hunt and kill for your food.

Protect your tribe from threats.

We all have this survival instinct. We all have pent up anger. And it’s buried deep inside your nervous system.

But if you don’t learn to release pent up anger in a healthy way, it’s going to come out in unhealthy ways:

  • Porn addiction
  • Cocaine habits
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Screaming at your kids or coworkers
  • Intense anxiety
  • Numbing depression
  • OCD (checking 8 times that the kitchen stove is off before going to bed)

Anger and rage = survival energy that wants to be released from your body.

From your nervous system.​

It’s the “fight” part of the fight-or-flight response of your autonomic nervous system.

​But anger (or rage) are big emotions, so many humans keep it suppressed (and honestly, I don’t blame them).

But the downside of suppressing your rage is that you’re suppressing your motivation.

Your drive to get things done.

And your physical energy.

Plus, you’re setting yourself up to have loads of pent up anger that’s going to burst out of your nervous system when you least expect it (e.g. displaced anger).

By suppressing your anger or rage, you’re putting your nervous system into “freeze” mode (and into a dysregulated state).

Which creates havoc in your physical body like:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Skin conditions
  • IBS and gastro issues
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Sexual arousal dysfunction
  • Fluctuating appetite and hunger

All of these are symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system.

These are symptoms of living in a perpetual state of fight-flight-freeze.

This taxes your nervous system in huge ways, is exhausting, and can lead to many physical illnesses, because you’re constantly looking for threats and using all of your physical energy to stay alive.

As you can see, there are many costs to pent up anger and displaced anger.

And luckily, there’s a way to release this rage and anger from your nervous system.

So if you want to learn how to release your pent up anger in a healthy way (and not kill birds or humans in the process) – then check out this episode I did with John Wood about annihilating your enemies (don’t worry, you’re just murdering them in your imagination).

Happy rage-ing 🔥

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Ellie McIntyre - sex money and rage podcast

Ellie Goode Host of the Provocative “Sex, Money & Rage Podcast, Nervous System Junkie, and Plant Psychonaut 🌿

I created Sex, Money & Rage to talk about everything that’s taboo. BDSM. Plant medicine. Healthy Rage. Kink. Emotions. Boundaries. Money issues. Less thinking, more feeling. How to get into your body and silence your overactive mind.

Sex, Money & Rage provides straight-up, powerful nervous system tools to help you dominate life’s toughest moments.