What does anger do? Simply put, anger leaves us feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and out of control. But the emotion, as is, is not all dark. Anger, depending on how you deal and cope with it, can transform into something productive and surprisingly beneficial.
By definition, anger is an unpleasant reaction in response to a demand, belief or expectation. Typically, when you go through a bout of anger, the emotions racing through your brain include: negative thoughts and negative feelings. These emotions are then acted upon—leading to negative behaviour, which takes the form of yelling and in extreme cases, violence.
It is this behaviour that is frowned upon by society, and understandably so. But if the flip-side to that is repressing your rage—you’re only doing yourself a disservice. A multitude of psychology studies have shown that when you bottle up all that concentration and saturated emotion in an area deep-down, inaccessible to one and all, it has a direct correlation to your health, promoting the experience of pain, stress, anxiety and in some cases, depression.
In contrast, acknowledging your pain and harnessing that energy towards a more motivating force will not only pull you out of that fiery anger pit, but additionally, will make you optimistic and confident. Understand your anger, pay attention to it instead of ignoring it, welcome its presence—and then, reason with it. This will lower your stress levels and help you manage your pain. Addressing the very presence of anger will also benefit your relationships instead of you experiencing a situation where every hurdle ends in one explosive spew of emotions.
By ignoring anger altogether, you are ignoring the prospect of something being wrong. Look at the good in the emotion—above all its job is to alert us that something is wrong. Anger may as well be the reason why we have systems and protocols in place at the office, why you stepped out of a deadening relationship or why your boss has quit making snide sexist comments—a lot of good can be attributed to this smoking emotion. But what’s important is moderation.
When your expressions get out of control—that’s when we run into a problem. Screaming, yelling, abusing, physical violence—these things are literally bad for your heart. They can have a serious effect on your family and on the people that surround you. So what you need to be mindful of is managing your anger in a healthy way.
The way in which you need to manage this bustling resource of emotion is to first stop. If you find yourself in a situation that is triggering you to explode, just stop and breathe. Then think for a second. Think about the consequences of your outburst. Is it worth it? It almost definitely is not. Then ask yourself what it is that you’re angry about—is it the current situation or is it a lingering irritation? Do not misdirect your feelings to someone who doesn’t deserve it, which tends to happen. If this is a matter of unmet expectations, figure out what needs to be done and how it can be done in a healthy way. Once you’re able to do that, you’ll automatically be able to calm down. Next, think of how you can cool off—and do it. Finally, reward yourself for managing the situation with the utmost maturity—a little positive enforcement can work wonders.