Like any emotion, anger is something all of us experience from time to time. But while some of us rarely get angry, others find themselves in a constantly unpleasant and aggressive state of mind. Learning how to control anger is something all of us need to do for maintaining a healthy mindset.
Usually when we get extremely emotional, we are no longer in control. Anger causes the most problems because not only does it makes you do things you later regret, it also leaves you shaken up and feeling troubled afterwards. Additionally, it may easily evolve into rage, an extreme representation of anger. As daredevil quote goes:
Anger is a spark. Rage is wildfire – out of control, therefore useless.
Stick, Marvel’s Daredevil
Anger can work for you or against you. It’s raw energy which an be harnessed and directed toward a certain goal, but if you let it get our of your hands, it will bring down a storm of shit on your life.
Universal goal of life is trying to experience more pleasant emotions (happiness, love, pride) and less unpleasant emotions (fear, sadness, anger). Still, you can’t choose what you feel and throughout life you will always touch both ends of the spectrum. Contrary to what some people may believe, you can’t avoid feeling anger. And that’s normal.
However, you also can’t suppress it; if you try to push it down, it’s going to keep eating you from the inside and make your life even more miserable. Before trying to change or influence it in any way, it is essential to understand that anger is here to stay. But that can actually be a good thing – it all depends on your perception.
Anger starts causing serious problems when it stops you from thinking clearly. Generally, there are two ways we process information and reach conclusions; by using logical or emotional reasoning.
Logical reasoning means dealing with facts and evidence, drawing conclusions based on straightforward thinking using induction or deduction. For those unfamiliar with these terms, deduction means reaching a conclusion based on established premises (just like Sherlock Holmes does), and induction is the opposite, concluding specific premises based on general facts.
Emotional reasoning is very different. It occurs when certain emotions overflood you to the point where you are unable to think logically. Emotions cloud your judgment so much that people often believe they are 100% right even when presented with evidence proving otherwise.
If you get into a fight and become enraged, you are done. You are no longer controlling the situation – the anger is controlling you. That’s why angry people in a hyper-emotional state often say things they normally wouldn’t, even things they don’t actually believe.
Anger is a powerful emotion, and any emotions is an experience; you can’t avoid it, you can’t suppress it, you can only choose how to perceive it.
DESTRUCTION VS MOTIVATION
The aspect of anger you should focus on is that it’s fuel you can use to jump-start certain activities and unleash your inner creativity. It enables you to switch off the logic reasoning and simply do things without thinking too much.
Most people let anger get the best of them and go into Hulk mode – they shape their thoughts differently, change the color of their face, turn violent and (passive) aggressive, all short of ripping their clothes of.
Warner Bros., Tumblr
It’s the natural way of experiencing it for most people. Alas, that is a very unhealthy habit.
Instead of hulking out, approach it from a different perspective. I previously touched on the this subject in relation to Batman.
Bruce Wayne is a very complex character because he is very emotionally unstable; from a psychological perspective, he never dealt with the death of his parents which left him emotionally scarred. Deep down he is filled with unbearable pain and he decided to do something many regular people do – replaced pain with anger.
Anger is often used as a substitute emotion, replacing other unpleasant feelings like pain or anxiety. People push more hurtful emotions down and decide not to deal with them, while allowing their anger to surface. But if everybody does it, why does that make Bruce Wayne complex?
DC / Warner Bros. , Gosu Noob
When he adapted the persona of Batman, he developed a very peculiar mindset. His pain was so unbearable that he decided to go to the extreme. He did the unhealthy thing and substituted pain with not only anger, but rage. However, unlike most of us who go into Hulk mode, he uses his excessive anger as a fuel.
His anger keeps him sharp and focused. In a fight, he doesn’t feel fear or insecurity because his rage tops all of that. At the same time, he is focused on his tasks and is able to use deduction to solve problems and outsmart his opponents. His anger makes him cut out the bullshit. His anger is the motivation to get from point A to point B.
DC / Warner Bros., Giphy
Batman is special because he can simultaneously use and switch between logical and emotional reasoning. Still, as the previous quote noted, anger is best used only as a spark – in real life, excessive anger will blind even the wisest person.
APPLYING ANGER FOR SUCCESS
Your goal should be to accept anger and allow yourself to feel it, but not let it overcome you. A boost of anger is energy you can directly apply to amplify your activities.
If you’re in bad position in life, whether working a shitty job or being in an unstable environment, use anger as motivation. Get so angry about your reality that it motivates you start hustling extra hard. Learn new things, get a new job, move out. Even if it’s not possible to do it right away, start preparing right away. Start saving money so you can invest in the future. Start expanding your skills so you can get a better job. Start reading and learning so you can think of better solutions.
If you’re an artist, let anger rid you of thinking and allow you to unleash complete freedom in your creativity. Paint, draw, sketch, write, dance without thinking too much – let your emotions lead the way.
To be able to harvest this energy and channel it towards a certain activity, I wholeheartedly suggest meditation. Like a lot of people, I used to have prejudice about it, thinking it was part of certain religious practices.
In reality, meditation is simply not doing anything – it’s relaxing and abserving the world around you without taking any action. Mediation is being alone with your thoughts and being okay with it. It’s very simple and only 5-10 minutes of meditation a day can enable you to clear your head and gather control. If you’re unsure on how to start, I suggest heading over to Calm and relaxing with short guided mediation.
If you’re constantly angry, that’s not a good thing. But instead of just feeling guilty or bad about it, channel it differently. Instead of yelling at people, sending angry messages, or being passive aggressive, take actions to change.
Go work out and use anger to boost your abilities. Go for a run and allow yourself to sweat out your rage. Use your freedom from logic to express yourself through creating art.
Psychologically speaking, emotions win large percent of the time and most people lose control. That’s because most people don’t realize that’s a problem. They don’t realize that they can do something about it. They don’t understand that anger can be a good thing.
But you do. Don’t be like everybody else – be exceptional.
This article is part of a series. Click here to read the next article dealing with real life examples and concrete advice on getting your anger under control. But before you do, ask yourself – how are you dealing with anger? Leave a comment and let me know.