Anger is a normal emotion that we all feel every now and then. If used wrongly it will become destructive, affecting your life. It can bring problems to your work, family and relationships. But what exactly is it? It’s an emotional state that varies in intensity and its usually associated with displeasure, irritability, and indignation. Experts believe anger is a survival mechanism that forms part of the “fight or flight” response. Back in the day we faced constant threat from animals and different dangers. But, now-a-day, there isn’t as much physical threats as there is emotional.
Anger is accompanied by a physiological response such as, high blood pressure, faster heartbeat, an increase in hormones and adrenaline. Various events can trigger this emotion, but don’t worry. It can be used as energy to take charge of the situation, rather than feeling hopeless. Anger can bring us power and control in stressful situations. Before going into detail on how it can be used constructively, you must first acknowledge it. Ask yourself these following questions:
- What are you really feeling? Is your anger masking a hidden problem such as insecurity, guilt, embarrassment, and jealousy, among others?
- What bodily sensations you are feeling? Is your body tense? Are your hands or jaw clenched? Are you breathing fast? Is your heart racing? Notice how your body is reacting to the situation.
- What triggered your anger? Was it an external problem? Are you jumping to conclusions? Are you overgeneralizing the problem? Are you looking for things to be upset about? Looks for things that fuel your anger.
After acknowledging it, give yourself a reality check by asking yourself:
- Is it worth getting angry?
- Is there anything you can do about it?
- Is your response disproportionate?
- Are you wasting your time acting upon it?
Those questions will give you a better understanding of why you are angry and if it’s worth your time and energy. Now, let’s talk about dealing with this emotion constructively. The following are techniques that you can use:
- Allow yourself to feel anger: Remember it’s a normal emotional response, that should not be suppressed. If you bottle up your anger, it will eventually come forward in ugly ways.
- Use it as motivation: Anger overpowers different emotions such as fear and content. To work towards a solution, replace anger with a positive emotion. For example, if you are stuck in a toxic relationship where your partner constantly blames you for everything. Then turn that anger into passion as motivation to end the relationship or seek couple therapy.
- Prove them wrong: If someone doesn’t believe in you, then use anger to work towards yourself. For example, if a friend told you that you won’t be able to lose the weight you want. Instead of resenting them, use that energy to work out and eat healthy.
- Exercising: It releases endorphins that help you blow off steam. It also creates adrenaline that allows you to channel your anger. Exercising doesn’t have to be boring. Do a physical activity that you enjoy such as: riding a bike, going to the gym, dancing, swimming, sports, hiking, and martial arts, etc.
- Redirect your anger: to something useful. For example, if you have experienced injustice then create a blog or a movement that peacefully targets the situation that angers you. Do something about it, that will overall empower others who have gone through the same.
Anger is a strong emotion that can be difficult to deal with, but don’t lose hope. Practice compassion and empathy towards others. Try not to blame the person, but rather the circumstance. Keep in mind people have different perspectives, beliefs, and opinions. Just because others disagree with you doesn’t mean you need to take it personally. People can be rude, mean, unfair, and cruel, but the actions of others shouldn’t affect your inner peace. In fact, use that anger to improve your life and lives of others. What are your opinions on anger? Let me know in the comment section below. Also feel free to read my previous article on criticism.
Anger is like flowing water; there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow. – C. JoyBell
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