USE ANGER PRODUCTIVELY: A 5 Step Process
© 2005 Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.
Anger is neither good nor bad! It is simply energy.
It is your natural emotional energy that arises when you feel like something (or someone) is blocking you from getting what you need or want. For this purpose, anything on the frustration to rage continuum is considered anger.
Without making any judgments about whether you should need or want any particular thing, here is how you can direct your own supercharged energy.
- Notice that youíre angry. Sometimes it is unmistakable ó if you didnít restrain yourself you would be yelling or getting physical ó and getting yourself into trouble. Sometimes it is more subtle: a clenched jaw that almost feels normal, an ache in your gut, tight shoulders, or just snapping at people who havenít done anything wrong.
- Figure out why you are angry. Again, sometimes it is obvious, and sometimes it is hidden in a jumble of normal activities. Perhaps many small frustrations have added up to one massive headache.
- Think about what would need to change for your angry feelings to dissolve completely and be replaced with satisfaction. Sometimes it is a simple as an apology. Sometimes nothing short of a massive change in your environment will do the trick.
- Use your energy to strategize how you can arrange to make the change happen. If the necessary change is too big to manage all at once, think about a small piece of the bigger change where you can make an impact now.
- Take the first step. Maybe it is working on a physical task for 15 minutes to begin to clean up a mess. Maybe it is asking someone to do something differently! It doesnít matter how big or small that first step is ó do something now!
Your focused angry energy is powerful. Keep using it to push for the changes that will make a real difference for you.