Anger has a bad reputation. We are taught from a very young age that getting upset or losing our temper is no way to act. We’re made to feel shame for letting our emotions get the best of us, even if it’s justified. Anger may be a natural and normal human emotion, but we are taught to suppress it and control it before it controls us.
Perhaps the reason why anger is such a one-sided topic is that it’s often tied to violence and unpredictable negative behavior. To be angry is one thing, but depending on the person and the situation, anger can quickly spiral out of control. This potential lack of control is what incites fear and leads people to the conclusion that anger needs to be managed, if not avoided entirely.
What we have been taught about anger, however, isn’t necessarily 100% true. Although anger can lead to destructive behavior, there is another side to the story — anger can be constructive as well.
As we explore the positive and negative aspects of anger, we here at Blair Wellness Group want to remind you that everyone feels angry at times. It’s how you act upon those feelings that will determine how your personal and professional life is affected. If you find that you’re often at the mercy of your own feelings and anger is affecting your overall quality of life, keep reading to learn how you may be able to channel this negative energy into something truly beneficial.
What Is Anger?
Everyone knows the feeling, so an official definition seems unnecessary. What’s important to consider, however, is that anger isn’t just a strong negative feeling that we would be better off without, it’s an emotion that has been with us throughout our existence and we are here today because of it. Although this complicated emotion may have originated as a way to increase our chances of survival, using anger in a way that benefits our current lives requires careful attention to how we act upon those feelings.
Constructive Vs. Destructive Anger
Although anger has been traditionally viewed as problematic and even dangerous, it’s important to recognize that there are two different types of anger — destructive and constructive. Destructive anger is that which negatively affects you and those around you. Physically, it can cause you to have headaches, chest pains, and high blood pressure, as well as other life-threatening conditions. For the people around you, who may be subjected to your rage and violence, it can instill fear and intimidation.
Constructive anger, on the other hand, involves thoughtful targeting of your emotions to better your situation and create lasting, positive change. Instead of stifling your anger, constructive anger requires you to recognize it. In recognizing your anger, you’re giving yourself permission to feel and act upon it. The subsequent step — the most important one — is determining what you will do with it and that will make all the difference in whether your anger is constructive or destructive.
For instance, you may be angry about having a job that you hate or having to work with a difficult person. Instead of letting your anger build up to the point where you lose control, instead, you can funnel this anger to motivate you to find a new job — even if that means going back to school, learning new skills, or moving to a new location. The point is, anger can be the catalyst change that propels you in a new direction.
Benefits of Constructive Anger
Anger surrounding a difficult job situation is just one example of how constructive anger can energize us to act. Here are just a few other examples of how anger can be beneficial when focused properly.
- Anger can drive us toward our goals
- Anger can provide a sense of control
- Anger can reduce feelings of fear and helplessness
- Anger can help us to stand up for what’s right
- Anger can give us the strength to get out of difficult or dangerous situations
- Anger can inspire us to solve problems and better our situation
How To Use Your Anger As a Motivator
Anger is a two-headed creature. On one side, it can be all-consuming, taking us down a perilous path of self-destruction. On the other side, anger can help us see that we don’t have to be paralyzed in the present. It allows us to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and if we’re angry enough about the status quo, anger will mobilize us to do what is necessary to achieve positive change.
The key to using anger for good is to understand its purpose and not let it overcome you. Realizing that anger isn’t something that must always be avoided will give you freedom over your emotions and focus that can fuel your ambitions.
Contact Blair Wellness Group
If you struggle with anger management problems or are having difficulty channeling your anger into a positive motivator, you may want to consider making an appointment at Blair Wellness Group. Dr. Cassidy Blair is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist based in Beverly Hills. Through her practice at Blair Wellness Group, Dr. Blair offers specialized treatments and therapies for a variety of conditions, disorders, and difficulties, including Anger Management. Dr. Blair is passionate about providing individualized care and offers a client-centered approach to therapy. If you are interested in gaining the tools you need to feel more in control and improve your quality of life, we encourage you to reach out and request an appointment with Dr. Blair.
About Blair Wellness Group
In addition to anger management therapy, we offer comprehensive therapeutic and psychological services including treatment for anxiety, depression, stress, mood disorders, addiction, relationship issues, and more. Our concierge-style of therapy allows our patients to pay for services as needed without having to rely on insurance. Plus, they can schedule their appointments during their lunchtime, in the evening, and even on weekends. If you’re interested in learning more about how Dr. Blair can help you, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!