All our negative qualities have possibilities of being harnessed and channelized into productive action. Negative qualities are akin to nuclear power, which is largely understood as being a destructive force because of the Atom Bomb and is unfortunately not well known for being a rich source of productive energy, used widely for generating electricity. Anger is a common enough human impulse and largely manifests itself in sudden and provocative outbursts often laced with violence and expletives. The consequences are fear, equally reactive anger, mistrust, bad blood and a breakdown of meaningful communication. Anger converts itself in disruptive, unproductive, wasted energy.
Since anger is a natural response that we are all born with, we cannot eliminate that emotion. However, it is possible for each of us to harness its power by our own proactive initiative and channelize it into a utilitarian energy that will bring us peace, happiness and results. Here are ways to channelize anger into productive energy:
Release it gently – When angry, most people react aggressively with a raised voice, a string of expletives, level unsubstantiated allegations, cast aspersions on others and vitiate the environment. At times, an expression of anger is justified in order to grab attention, emphasize authority, highlight the importance of an issue or merely to get rid of pent up emotion. However bursts of anger must be well controlled, appropriately directed and sparingly resorted to, so as to be effective. Ideally one must be able to channelize anger like a laser beam to pinpoint the problem and cull it before it spreads. Anger must not be expressive; it must not be demonstrative; it must only be sharp, incisive and administered in the right dosage and focused on resolving an issue without destroying the relationship.
Channelize it appropriately – When anger is expressed, it often transpires that there is more collateral damage done than intended. Often the anger is directed at the wrong person or issue, the expression of anger is completely disproportionate to the problem being tackled, it creates more psychological trauma than effective problem resolution and often on hindsight one would realize that it was both futile and stupid to have let off so much steam and become emotionally drained. To channelize anger appropriately the trick is to distinguish between a problem and a person. Never end up shooting the messenger. Do a root cause analysis and then focus on the real problem without flying off the handle impulsively.
Burn it up productively – President Abraham Lincoln once famously remarked that ‘Write a letter when angry and you would have written the best letter you ever regretted’. The beauty of the wisdom in that observation lies not in what is apparent but in the immense possibility it holds to productively burn up our anger. Express your anger in private; shout, scream, rave, rant, write down all your feelings, fling things around but do so when alone and then tear off what your wrote, clean up the mess you created and by then you would have regained your equilibrium and expended your pent up emotions. When angry take deep breathes and count to 10 if still angry count another 10 and so on till your breathing stabilizes and your anger subsidies. Don’t forget that anger is just one alphabet short of danger.
Make anger your anchor. – When there is a tempest in your life, frustration and anger coupled with self pity aggravate your plight. The anger that wells up within could turn into a poisonous gas that can explode; but you can, with a strong will and determination, rationalize and convert it into a strong anchor that will steady your thoughts and enable you to weather the storm. The satygraha movement that Gandhiji resorted to, is one of history’s best examples of how anger was anchored to help a nation win freedom from its foreign rulers. In daily life, if one is unfairly criticized and anger wells up within, use that energy to perform efficiently with vengeance and then prove your worth to those who criticized and tormented you. They will view you in a new light; with a wee bit of remorse and a large dose of admiration at your efficiency and equanimity that you displayed despite the provocation. Try not to react to anger but absorb the energy that anger generates and direct it towards a productive goal. Imagine yourself to be a batsmen using the pace of the ball to skillfully direct it between the fielders to score runs.
- Recollect the times when you got really angry and how did you react to the provocation for that anger. On hindsight was you anger justified? Would you have reacted differently today?
- Which of the following styles do you adopt when angry? Now that you realize it, how would you try to avoid that approach?
- Be sarcastic
- Be explosive
- Blame / criticize others
- Keep your anger pent up
- Be constantly irritated and complaining
- Express self pity
- Shun people and go into a shell
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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