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Positive Ways to Channel Your Anger

  Written by Kerry Watts

It’s always wonderful to see friends overcome personal challenges and turn them into something powerful. Recently, I had a conversation with a friend regarding her anger management issues and how she was struggling everyday to keep her frustrations under control. Suppressing her anger only caused more stress, so I recommended channeling it in a positive direction.

This isn’t easy to do, because anger is a natural, powerful emotion. It bypasses your ability to reason and triggers a reaction. Many people believe that the only way to handle this strong and overpowering emotion is to suppress it entirely, which does more harm than good.

Anger Doesn’t Have to Be a Negative Emotion

 Anger is a response to a perceived threat to your well-being, and is commonly considered a negative emotion.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Your brain senses this threat and triggers a response that can help you escape the situation quickly. It is an instinct cultivated through years of evolution to help human beings survive.

This emotion is designed to motivate you, so why not take that motivational boost and channel your anger in a positive direction. There are numerous movies, books, and stories that describe this and showcase just how powerful a motivator anger can be. There have been countless real-life incidences where the fury of the masses has led to a revolution.

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How to Channel Your Anger

 Channeling anger positively can be a struggle, because it requires self-awareness and control. It’s tempting to just let loose and express your anger freely, but that can damage your personal or professional relationships.

Here are some steps that can help you channel this emotion productively without causing any harm to others:

Direct Your Anger Inwards

 Inwardly-directed anger can be very frustrating and stressful. It traps you in a vicious cycle that is difficult to escape from. For example, people who perform poorly in their workplace can experience a significant amount of frustration and anger. This is directed inward as they struggle to get work done well. Unfortunately, anger can compromise the quality of your work and your productivity. This cycle keeps repeating itself until the point you find a way out of it.

Here are some suggestions that can help break the cycle:
  • Accept the Anger – As mentioned before, this is a natural response to a threatening situation. When anger is directed inward, it is an indication that your own actions are threatening your well-being. Accepting this emotion is the first step to channeling it positively.
  • Understand the Cause – You can’t address the situation without identifying the cause. Try to determine why you’re angry and frustrated. If your productivity is low, look at the reasons for it. Are you overwhelmed by the work? Are you facing a burnout? Are you addicted to social media? Is something in the environment compromising your mental health?
  • Use Anger to Power Through – These internal problems can’t be resolved easily, but staying motivated is difficult. Use your anger to power through the situation instead of feeling helpless. Anger is your support, because without it you might feel lost or demotivated or. This emotion will give you the physical and mental energy to power through. If you need to cut down on work, talk to your boss about lessening the load. Disconnect from social media or take action against a negative person in your environment. Use anger as a motivator and courage to get this done.

It’s a good idea to keep in mind that you are in control of yourself and while your body or mind can rebel, it is possible to regain your balance. Turning anger into motivation is one of the best ways to do this.

Direct Your Anger Outward

 Sometimes the problem doesn’t lie with you, but with outward elements. This can be frustrating, because you don’t have as much control over how other people behave or what they say. Anger directed at outward sources should turn into non-violent, productive action.

Here’s a look at how you can do it:
  • Prove People Wrong – Everyone has pride and self-esteem. They want to feel competent and be successful. When someone doubts your capability or competence, anger is a natural reaction and can quickly put you on the defensive. Instead of wasting your breath on them, turn this emotion into action. Prove them wrong by succeeding. This is the best way to channel your rage and get your revenge on people that doubt you.
  • Spark a Revolution – Revolution doesn’t have to be large-scale or involve millions of people. It can start at a more personal level. For example, if you face misogyny and unwanted attention in the workplace, but get no support from HR, use the anger to spark a revolution within your company. Compel them to make better policies and provide a safer environment for the employees. This way, you don’t just help yourself but also others who have stayed silent.

Sometimes you just can’t influence other people or change their perspective. In such situations, the helpless anger can result in a lot of stress. A good way to deal with situations you can’t change is to release anger through physical movement. You can dance, run, exercise, clean your home, learn martial arts, etc. All of these have a positive impact on your mind and body.

When it comes to anger management, don’t hesitate to ask for some assistance.  People need a different perspective to identify why they experience excessive rage and understand the underlying issues. Getting help ensures you find your balance sooner and learn healthy coping mechanisms.

I’ve seen a dramatic improvement in my friend’s life, relationships, and even her interaction with me, ever since she started channeling her anger positively. She is calmer, smiles more, doesn’t get stressed easily, and is far more productive. The personal improvements are just the tip of the iceberg, because she has channeled it to a good cause. She motivated her community to reduce the use of plastic waste, they’re starting to clean up the beaches, and become more conscious of the environmental impact of excessive plastic.

Her productivity doesn’t just improve her life, but has positively influenced other people’s lives as well. It just needs a little dedication and self-awareness to bring in positive results.

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