Using Our Emotions to Our Advantage – Anger
In the previous post, we looked at how we can shift our perspective on situations to use fear in a positive way. Now we are going to explore how we can use anger to our advantage.
Anger is the fuel of nature. It is the burning of our desires that we can set ourselves alight with to effect change in the world. If we learn to use it wisely, it can even be like a super power…
For a lot of people, anger is regarded as a bad emotion; something we need to hide and repress. This is because anger can be a scary thing.
Speaking from personal experience; I use to have a strong link between fear and anger. This is because I was scared that I could not control my feelings and that my anger if expressed, would escalate in to rage.
I was afraid to consciously express anger. Once I learned the triggers for my anger, I began to feel aware of when it would arise, and I slowly learned over time how to interrupt proceedings and take control of my feelings.
Combined with redefining the beliefs I held which reinforced my anger; it felt like I had found the keys to the fastest car in the garage, or you could say; like taming a wild horse that could outrun the whole pack.
Anger is an extremely potent trigger for action.
Humans have evolved the emotion of anger as a response to dealing with a challenge or an obstacle. This is the reason why we gravitate to it as a secondary emotion; covering up feelings of disappointment, sadness, embarrassment, shame, and fear. All of these emotions can be perceived as representing a challenge to our egoic bubble of deluded happiness that we protect within our internal world.
Even if there is valid reason for why we could feel one of these emotions within the context of the situation in which they arise, we can subconsciously refuse to accept what is.
Rather than be honest with ourselves about the situation, we subconsciously flip our perception to one where we are a victim that is being persecuted rather than just being a simple human being which is being taught a lesson. We will talk more about the victim mentality in the next tool.
Channelling our Anger
When anger surfaces our heart rate and blood flow will increase; this heightens our senses and makes us more perceptive. At the extreme, this is a dialled down fight or flight; it is a powerful aid to help us succeed.
Channelling and using this free booster, is a skill that we can hone and practice though developing awareness. The mastery of anger is the first stage to the mastery of our fear and will unlock the potential you hold to develop emotional intelligence.
Here are some examples of how anger when controlled and channelled can help us thrive:
- Anger is motivating – When used positively and separated from any want to harm or destroy, anger is an immense source of motivation that drives us to remove obstacles that like in the way of our goals.
- Anger can help you feel in charge – Because anger is geared towards helping us overcome obstacles, when we feel angry, we more readily inflict costs and withhold benefits from others to preserve our own welfare. This is useful for us, but needs to be kept in check so we avoid using dominance of others to replace a lack of self-esteem.
- Anger makes us stand up for what we think is right – When we experience behaviour towards our self or other people that is not in alignment with our rules for how people should engage with the world, this can invoke anger. This is our bodies way of encouraging us to take action. If we channel our anger in this context, it can be used to drive positive social change in society.
- Anger triggers optimism – It may sound strange, but anger makes us focus on the action that we want to take and the outcome that we realistically think that we are able achieve. Realism and self-belief are the foundations of optimism.
- X marks the spot – Uncontrolled anger highlights exactly where you need to place your next step on your path to personal growth and evolution.
Summoning the Lion
There is another way that we can use our anger; we can invoke it. This is the same mechanism that our subconscious uses to trigger anger as a secondary emotion. This is a useful insight to help us with gaining focus for physical activities. I use this approach when I am going for a heavy lift in the gym.
The way to invoke your anger is simple; alter your perception so that you see the situation as a challenge that you must overcome. Focus on the challenge at hand and the outcome you want to achieve. See if you can tap in to your anger.
The thing to remember is that this is just a game. You are not really getting angry; you are just tapping in to your anger response to help you find the motivation and focus and overcome the challenge in front of you. It is a tricky game though because if you focus too much on the fact it is a game, that very thought will prevent your anger from surfacing! A true test in being aware of the equilibrium.
If this approach does not work, then you need to dig further to find a trigger for your anger. Here are some options:
- Imagine that your new found opposition (the challenge you need to overcome) is going to oppress you and smother you. Start to perceive it as another living being challenging you – to make this even more powerful you could think about this happening to someone that you love or,
- You can cast your mind back to a real-life situation that did invoke you anger and replay it in your mind – this approach is playing with fire. With great power comes great responsibility.
Allow the game to unfold in your mind until you find the right buttons to press to make you start to tingle and feel your sense of anger rising. One you have invoked your anger, express it by smashing the challenge in front of you! Let it rip!
This particular approach is great for hitting goals where you really need to exert yourself, and is also a really powerful tool to help you develop awareness of your emotional triggers so you can challenge the beliefs you hold.
If the triggers you want to challenge are volatile, and you are continually building up anger that you are repressing, you need to clear your energetic blockages and ready yourself to take a mindful approach to self-evaluation.
Invoking then expressing your anger though exercise is a great way to clear the obstruction and restore a sense of calm so you can shine the light of your consciousness on to what is going on. Just make sure you have lined a challenge up so you can express your anger before you start!
Enjoy, for now