Productive Rage: How To Channel Your Anger In Constructive Ways

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angry woman
Self

Anger is energy, and when expressed positively, it can convince a lover or child that they are loved.

Channeling anger productively can be motivating and can help you get a job done when you’re tired.

Tiger Woods even said, "I sometimes lose my temper on purpose to fire myself up."

Expressing anger can be either destructive or constructive.

When anger is expressed negatively, it can devastate a child of any age, especially when they're very young.

Anger can destroy relationships and ruin things of value. People can hurt others when they get angry, but they often hurt themselves.

However, there are times when it's appropriate and productive to get angry. But often, getting angry can be dangerous and even embarrassing.

It's helpful to know the difference and have the impulse control to carry out the choice. Most important is how a person acts when angry.

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Here's what channeling anger productively looks like...

Sam pulled into her garage after a long, hectic day at work. As she got out of her car, she heard glass breaking.

She went around the corner of her home and saw the shattered living room window. Her son and his friends stood on the street, frozen. One of the boys had hit the baseball through the window.

Sam was enraged! Last time, it was the neighbor’s bedroom window that had been broken. She’d told them many times to practice in the schoolyard nearby.

She wanted to scream at them and slap them silly!

Sam knew that she was too angry to deal with the boys right then and told them so.

She sent her son to his room and told his friends to go home. She changed into her jeans and a T-shirt, went into the backyard, and chopped some wood.

As she chopped, her rage dissipated. She was still angry, but not enraged. Then, she got her son to help her put some plywood over the broken window.

Later that evening, she and her husband sat down with their son to deal with the problem.

Sam did not blow up nor did she block her anger. She allowed her muscles to do what they needed to do — attack.

But she did not attack her son or his friends; she attacked the wood. She destroyed and created something simultaneously.

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When people get angry, their bodies pump adrenaline into the bloodstream, preparing their muscles for fight-or-flight.

Their muscles are primed to act and as they do, the adrenaline is processed. However, if the anger is blocked, then the muscles do not do what they naturally do.

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The adrenaline stays in the muscles, often causing side effects, such as shakiness until it is eventually processed. Blocked or unexpressed anger builds up over time.

The brain and the body need to deal with it in some way.

Some people blow up because they can no longer tolerate the tension. Others suppress and repress their anger, which can lead to physical and emotional illnesses.

Depression is often the symptom of repressed anger. Neither is healthy, and both can cause a lot of harm.

It's not easy to find wood to chop, but there are many other ways to express anger constructively and productively, like throwing a rug over a railing and whacking it with a broom.

Try channeling your anger productively, rather than destructively, and see how much better your relationships are — and how much better you feel. 

RELATED: How To Get Rid Of Your Repressed Anger

Bea Mackay is a psychologist and has been helping people reclaim their lives through individual, couples, and family therapy for over 30 years. For more information, visit her website.

This article was originally published at beainbalance.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.