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How to Channel Anger Productively

Learn how to channel anger productively from anger management expert Dr. J. Ryan Fuller in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Anger is a negative emotion and, as such, most of us most of the time describe it as something that's unpleasant. At the same time, it does have extremely important functions. One, it can alert us that something is wrong or that some goal or need is not being met with being blocked. When that's the case, first we definitely want to make sure that the goal is really what we want and that it has value. So we might want to understand if our goal is being blocked, why is it so important to us.

The second piece then is we want to make sure we're not adding any fuel to the flame by believing something or thinking something that is irrational about our need not being met. So we want to believe we can, in fact, exist and get along well without the goal being blocked so that we're not as angry. Because what we know from the research is the angrier we get we actually, in fact, pollute our thinking, we're not thinking as clearly and we sabotage efforts to actively problem solve.

So a real key to being productive when we're angry is to first to understand why we're angry. In other words, identify the goal that's being blocked, try to understand what it's about, and then make sure we try to neutralize as much as possible how attached we are to the beliefs that we can't handle it being blocked. By bringing our anger down, we're then going to be able to actively problem solve a lot better and think more clearly about it. Because certainly anger is providing us with the signal or cue that there is a problem and it's going to give us the energy, in fact that we're going to apply towards problem solving but we're only going to do that if we're thinking clearly about it.

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