How to Channel Anger into Productivity
If you’ve ever experienced anger, you know how overwhelming the feeling can be. The rage builds inside you until you feel like you will burst! Anger is a powerful emotion, but also a positive one if you know how to manage it. But what you may not know is that anger can be a valuable tool that can help you take action towards a goal and even inspire you to make the world a better place.
Turn Anger into Positive Action
Anger has gotten a bad rap over the years, and for good reason. It’s hard to feel comfortable with something so negative. But contrary to popular belief, feeling angry can be a good thing. You feel angry when something impedes your progress or when there’s social injustice.
It could be something as minor as being stuck in traffic or observing someone mistreated through no fault of their own. You think it isn’t fair. That’s not a bad thing; it shows you care. It also means you’re not indifferent to what goes on around you, and are concerned about making things better, rather than merely accepting the injustices that you see around you.
Some of the greatest changes in the world have come from people who were overcome with anger by an injustice they witnessed. Rather than simply being angry, they channeled it into action that led to positive change. Without anger or another strong emotion, there might not be an overwhelming motivation to take action.
You can’t have action without anger, but you certainly can have anger without action. So, one way to turn anger into productivity is to turn anger into energy, vitality, and passion. Is there a way to take something that angers you and turn it into something positive that benefits you and others?
Find the Root Cause of Your Anger
To turn anger into productivity and action, you have to get to the root cause of your anger. If you don’t, you won’t know what action to take. Does your anger stem from a work-related problem, or is it something someone did at home? If a specific person triggered the anger, talking about it is the next step. Face the person and make them aware of your anger.
The worst thing you can do is hide your anger and pretend everything is fine. That only makes things worse in the long run, because you internalize your rage and anger, and that can lead to resentment and future health problems. Talk to the other person and explain what you’re frustrated with.
Don’t blame it on them, but open up a line of conversation. It’s amazing how productive talking can be once you sit down and agree to communicate. Issues are easier to deal with once you get them out in the open. Expose them to the light of day.
Now Take Action
At this point, you should have a clear idea of exactly what you can do to fix the situation that you’re angry about. The only thing left to do now is act. This is where productive anger comes in. Taking action towards a goal will help you channel your anger into something productive, rather than feeling frustrated and helpless. Achieving this one goal will empower you, and it will urge you forward on a new path for future goals.
Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut and drown in anger and negativity, because once you do that, you’re halfway to giving up. Even worse, the anger you feel will smolder inside you and resurface at a future time. The sooner you address your anger, the better it is for your mental health. Make a plan on how to handle your anger. If it involves talking to the party or parties you’re angry with, do it. If it’s a social injustice, is there a way to make positive change?
Self-care is powerful! It can save you from expensive healthcare. Minding your health in small ways will help you support your mind and body when you’re angry or frustrated. When you’re enraged or stressed, quality sleep and stress management are even more important. Anger activates stress hormones that cause a rise in heart rate and blood pressure. In fact, studies show anger increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, and there’s scientific proof of that.
Anger isn’t healthy for your heart or your brain. Getting adequate sleep helps lower the stress hormone cortisol. Studies also show that stress management techniques like mindfulness meditation and yoga can lower stress hormones too. Walking outdoors in nature also has a calming effect on your mind and body. Don’t neglect self-care practices when you’re angry. That’s when you need them most!
The Bottom Line
Anger is a universal emotion; everyone feels it at some time or another, whether it’s directed toward colleagues, family members, or injustices in the world. The key is to channel it into productivity, but also take care of yourself and your own needs.