Anger… the sharpest double-edged emotion ever to be experienced.
It at once, fills us with a feeling of passion, being right, power and wielding the sword of justice.
And on the other – it destroys our relationships, buries the real hurt driving it and leads us to say and do things we end up paying for over decades!
And if you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’ve let this last expression get the best of – and do the worst to – you. Or maybe it’s because you’re in a business, intimate or family relationship with someone whose anger seems to be out of control.
And is making your life a living misery.
The impact of anger is universally felt. But we all express it uniquely. Perhaps you’re the kind of person whose anger is easily turned on like the flip of a switch. Zero to 100 in under 2 seconds.
Or maybe you’re the kind of person whose anger is slow to burst like lava rising bit by bit, little by little, only an inch at a time until BOOM! – a volcanic eruption. It might even take you by surprise.
Either way, if your anger isn’t channeled constructively, it can wreak havoc on your love relationships, future opportunities, and everyone around you.
But when you can channel your anger into constructive expression and constructive action, it can help you to make huge positive changes in your life, connect more authentically with those you love, stand up to injustice, and model to those around you what it is to live a life of choice.
The key, of course, is to catch the flare at the start and then channel your anger in the very moment when it surfaces – so you become master of the heat rather than its victim.
These following quotes may help you do just that.
1. Anger or Peace for Your Mind?
Anger clouds your focus.
Anger’s intensity seizes your mind and you start fantasizing of ways to strike, to retaliate and Hulk-smash everything in your path.
This feeling of destructive power feels good in your body at the moment; it’s energizing. But of course, it’s not power that lasts or serves your highest goals.
Because afterwards – after the smashing – what will you be left with?
As Ralph Waldo Emerson says:
“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”
And our best decisions only come when we are at true choice – which is when we are not being tossed around by fury.
It is up to you what to focus on.
2. Positivity Weakens Anger
When you’re angry, anger filters everything. The world becomes a provocation. An annoyance. Fuel for your fury. A sulpher-field of negativity.
Anger stokes your blood – and, in the moment, you can’t see the positive even though it might be right before your eyes.
It’s as if you’re looking at the world through just one eye. And it only sees the worst in everything.
And so your intelligence suffers. Your decisions will be limited. Your freedom to choose your next move is shattered.
How long might it take you to realign with your highest goals towards becoming the best and most likeable version of yourself? And likeable, mind you, not merely to others, but to yourself.
Businessman Lee Iacocca summed up the “action” solution to anger’s blindness,
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”
What positive action do you choose to do the next time you’re angry?
By doing so you’re building momentum towards pushing you out of your comfort zone, towards the kind of person you desire to be.
You also are proving to yourself that anger doesn’t control you.
There is a second level of solution – and that is more inward.
You can not only sublimate anger into positive action; you can also – through practice – dissolve anger’s hold on you by diving into its source within your own resistance to the world as it appears, dissolving your attachment to your expectations and seeing the wisdom lessons that anger is showing you.
How do you do that? Zen meditation helps. Therapy helps. In my coaching practice, we have techniques that accelerate the journey into this kind of insight. It’s actually easier than you think – and you already have the answers inside you.
3. Untamed Anger Is Venom
Anger makes you stupid. You lash out. Sometimes with your fists. Sometimes with your words. You spit venom. You lacerate. You erase years of good will with one murderous rant.
Author Jessamyn West challenges the old “bricks and bones” cliché around the damage verbal venom can cause:
“A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.”
Emotional abuse in relationships leaves wounds that may never heal.
Can you remember the last time someone lashed out at you verbally?
How did it feel?
Did it feel like an arrow pierced your skin? Can you still feel the sharpness of that pain?
If so, then you can imagine the depth of type of damage you cause when you allow anger to speak your words for you.
Angry words scar forever.
4. Use Anger as A Tool
At times when you’re angry you may feel like it’s natural for you follow where anger tells you to go. In a sense, it takes the steering wheel from you.
But what if you could learn to direct that heated up energy you’re feeling somewhere else?
Anger itself is not “bad.” There is righteous anger that can produce justice in the world. And there is unexpected anger that helps us wake up to the injustices or abuse directed at us.
The thing is, as a conscious being of choice, that you are capable of turning that heat into something that burns, or something that powers your life’s engines forward.
As psychologist Wayne Dyer says,
“There’s nothing wrong with anger provided you use it constructively.”
So how can you transform your angry energy into constructive energy?
You can channel that angry energy into exercise, writing a poem or manifesto, starting an activist movement, or musically capture what you’re feeling by making beats and rhymes
Through creative expression, through the arts, you can not only cleanse your spirit so that you are more free again, but you can also liberate others from their constrictions.
In every moment, you can be anger’s master. Or anger’s artist.
You don’t have to become anger’s puppet.
Best Selling Author, Emmy-Nominated Producer, Screenwriter and Entrepreneur, Adam Gilad leads a community of over 80,000 men and women on their quest to create love and a bold, inspired life. Having served as a Stanford Humanities Center Graduate Research Fellow and host of National Lampoon Radio, Adam blends a bracing mix of research, humor and global wisdom traditions to help men and women break through the habits blocking their ability to open into love and freedom.