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Mark Twain’s Advice on Anger: Move Your Acid!


For several years, I have poisoned myself with the indulgences offered by the world: drugs, booze, food, sex, etc. You name it and I’ve probably done (or want to do) it. What I find to be eye-opening though, is that more than any substance I have put in my body, the thing that plagues my soul the most is anger.

In 2013 I started a downward spiral into the dark cavernous recesses of my psyche. I was depressed, hurt, felt abandoned, but most importantly—I was angry.

Mark Twain once said regarding anger, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”  How do I deal with this? Well, I think in Twain were alive today he would like at me and say “Dammit Dan, get your acid moving!”

Get your acid moving.

Word play, of course, but it’s solid advice. If we don’t take the responsibility for our anger (or another emotion that keeps you imprisoned) then it will slowly kill us. Consider it a cancer of the soul (or the psyche for the non-religious), but research has long shown a link between psychological stressors and physiological illness.

Think about the last time you got angry. What did you feel? A sudden rush? A flushing in your face that went down to your extremities and body? Perhaps, it started down and worked its way up? Maybe you choked up a little or even shed a tear? Did you shake with Parkinsonian like tremors or give the nearest wall a remodel with your fist?

These are all responses to this “acid” that Twain mentioned.

The good news is we can get it out. I can get it out. You can get it out.

So how?

Talk. Forgive. Write. Create. Exercise. Meditate. Pray.

Whatever method allows you to fully express what is within you.

My doctor said to me, shockingly I might add, “Dan, if you would just get the anger out. You could come off of most of your medicine.”

Well, I have and now the work really begins.

No more band-aid. It’s surgery time. Oh, and by the way, surgery sometimes hurts, during and after, just ask anyone who’s had their appendix taken out or, better yet, a major surgery that saved his or her life.

It’s time to get your acid moving! It’s time to get out what is flowing deep inside and keeps you held back.

How will you get your acid moving, today?

People will try to stop you in the name of ‘social norms, politeness, fear, misunderstanding, control, etc’ but don’t let them. This is your journey to serenity and wholeness. You are allowed to expression emotion.

When something is funny, you laugh which is an outward expression of an inward emotional experience so with that said, I challenge you to “Get your acid moving!”

For me, the takeaway is to continue to be vulnerable, work on my self-care, treat my body as the temple it was created to be, and believe that I can improve and grow in patience, kindness, and mindfulness.

What’s the takeaway for you today? I’d love to hear from you.

Be well my friends,


Angry Man image from Shutterstock.

Mark Twain’s Advice on Anger: Move Your Acid!


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APA Reference
, . (2016). Mark Twain’s Advice on Anger: Move Your Acid!. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Mar 2016
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