5 Ways To Channel And Utilize Anger To Your Advantage
I’ve always been short-tempered growing up. As a kid, I never learnt how to suppress or control my anger. I would have a random outburst of tantrums and oftentimes I would say things that I don’t mean. I can only imagine the pain my folks and people around me must have felt when hearing these vicious words coming out of my mouth. But I can also imagine how anger is reciprocated when I throw these tantrums.
Everyone has felt anger before. We either anger someone or get angry at someone. Anger is an ugly emotion, and over time it may become destructive without proper control. It may even result in conflict and aggression. However, if you’ve expressed it constructively, anger can be very beneficial. Through the years, I have learnt that anger does not solve my problems but make matters worse—not just for me, but for others as well.
However, I’ve also learnt to tame it and use it as a non-lethal weapon in the best way I can. To do that, we would need to channel our emotions well, express them properly, as well as utilize anger to our advantage. Here are 5 ways to do so:
1. Anger Fuels Planning
Have you ever been insulted by someone where they infuriated you so much that you’d do anything to get back at them? The good news is that you can! “You cannot achieve this.” “You lack skill.” “You are incapable of this task.” If those discrediting statements sound familiar to you, then I would like to remind you that they are terribly wrong. Their insults may become valid the moment you decide to let them affect you.
You can, however, use this anger as a drive to your planning of self-improvement. Whether it may be your skill or attitude, don’t let this anger dissipate instead wreak vengeance on your enemies by showing the best and improved version of yourself. Self-improvement knows no bounds, take that rage and turn it into a plan of betterment. As soon as you start planning, you’ll find the determination to execute the steps within; consequently, you’ll be able to find your footing and catapult you to your successes and goals. Never be afraid to pursue the things you consider impossible, ride off that determined rage to do all these things you’ve once discarded while you still possess the energy to do so.
2. Anger Stimulates Motivation
Anger is empowering when it is used correctly. Let’s imagine anger in the passenger seat of your car and you’re the driver who gets to decide your destination. The anger would only give you the motivation so you’ll have clear directions of where you would want to go.
One of the many examples to illustrate this is the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) which started as a response to the shocking death of George Floyd from police brutality last year. People took their anger to social media, protested, and did their best to raise awareness on this issue. Their anger has motivated us to rise and make a stand too. It has also educated many others around the world about the seriousness of police brutality and racial injustice. In other words, we should be inspired by this and channel our anger to become motivated. This motivation can either bring about benefits for ourselves or create a better outcome/ world for everyone else. We must always keep in mind that instead of choosing hatred and revenge, we must always choose peace and love.
3. Anger Reveals Your Shortcomings
Our weaknesses are exploited whenever we get angry. When someone gets on your last nerve, it brings out the worst in you. This can’t always be a bad thing if you allow it. Instead of snapping and letting the anger get out of control, use this time to cool off and learn about your shortcomings. Observe your shortcomings, perhaps you may notice that you have an impatient streak or maybe you may find that you jump to conclusions and assume things too quickly. Whatever it may be, focus on improving and bettering the situation before you get angry again in the near future.
Always remember that everyone has shortcomings and imperfections of their own. We are all still learning and improving as people! Besides, as perfectly imperfect human beings, we have so much room for improvement. We should never be discouraged when encountering downhills and rough patches in our lives.
Here’s a saying I always think of whenever I’m in anger, anger doesn’t solve anything, it builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.
4. Mental Health Recovery
Did you know that meditation is one of the best ways to achieve inner peace and calmness? Neither did I until I’ve tried it myself. This YouTube video by Headspace has been a guideline for me to practice exactly that.
A Harvard mindfulness research has shown to probe depression benefits. In another research, it shows that meditation enhances the effect of therapy. It’s killing two birds with one stone, not only are you able to cool yourself off and have a mind of clarity during an argument but you avoid the need to take extra measures to prevent a strain on your mental health. That deep state of relaxation and tranquil mind can do exactly that when you practice meditating, focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. There are zero downsides to mediation, it’s a free therapy where it can be easily taught and learnt. Besides, who doesn’t like the word ‘free’?
5. Improving Physical Health and Fitness
I have written a list of what you should do with your anger but here is one thing that you shouldn’t do. Don’t bottle up your anger! Let off some steam by diverting your anger on improving your physical health. Your anger shouldn’t be pushed down and hidden, they will boil and show itself over time. It’s like putting a lid over a boiling pot, the soup will slowly rise to the top and spillover. Trust me when I say the consequences are ugly.
When you channel your anger into a sport or exercise, it can help you push through and run that extra mile. Picking up Muay Thai and boxing are examples of healthy ways to express your anger. Hitting the gym or going for a night jog works too, it takes your mind off things and makes you feel accomplished and motivated. This is enough to keep that blood pressure at bay. You wouldn’t want to respond in a knee-jerk reaction. Remind yourself that you are in control of your emotions and not the other way round.
On a final note, anger may be a natural phenomenon but that doesn’t mean you can’t ameliorate and step in to take the bull by its horns, redirecting this anger to make the best of a bad situation. Remember that it’s all part of life, humans are designed to make errors. Nonetheless, whenever you get angry again, just ask yourself, “How do I want to handle it?” I’ve received plenty of advice about my temper growing up, but someone has once told me that diamonds are made from coal which has stuck with me through my bad days ever since, urging me to want to make that drastic change and become a better person.