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As with every strong emotion, there are both healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with anger. It can be a key motivating force when it comes to making life changes. Noch of pickthebrain.com sums it up this way: “Anger is fuel, a motivation for us to change our surroundings, actions, behaviors, and perspectives.”
When you’re turning green with anger, channel that energy into writing instead of smashing things, you may be surprised at your end result. People have harnessed their anger into physical strength to defend themselves from attackers, invest in charitable causes such as child abuse, and write brilliant articles.
Research demonstrates that writing is a way to expose the underlying emotions of anger, cool down, and channel your inner hulk into positive energy.
According to the comic legend, Bruce Banner grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father who eventually murdered his loving mother. Consequently, a psychological complex of both fear and anger took over Bruce and the Hulk was born. His angry feelings can be exposed at any moment as he is easily enraged. The Hulk has small amounts of Bruce’s memory and intelligence, but when combined with anger, he is detrimental to society (and buildings of course.) In other words, “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!”
When it comes to expressing yourself in writing, you may feel compelled to vent, write in all caps, and use curse words, but that’s what editing is for. I wouldn’t suggest writing an angry email to your boss and then sending it off. Instead, put your thoughts on paper and edit your writing after you’ve cooled down. Chronic anger is not suitable for writing because it consumes your mind, clouds your thinking, and may result in violent or destructive behavior. Being enraged doesn’t give you a license to say whatever you want without any boundaries or consequences. Instead, you still have to think logically and keep the tone of your writing appropriate.
Anger is typically a cover-up for other feelings, which means that expressing anger will expose those underlying emotions of fear, hurt, shame, insecurity, or vulnerability. This explains why somebody can be enraged one moment and crying the next.
One reason that writing works for anger is because using your senses allows you to cool down. Sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste serve as an inspiration for writing and personal expression, while at the same time anger is diminished. You feel a sense of relief when your thoughts are put on paper.
Note: You don’t have to write about the incident that make you angry, rather, writing in general will blow off some steam, convert negativity into positivity, and allow you to move on.
According to the Association for Psychological Science, anger activates the left side of the brain, which is generally associated with most positive emotions. Psychologists have also studied how anger can be used for motivation to go after something they want. They discovered that people subconsciously put more effort into obtaining objects associated with anger. Basically, your body goes into survival mode when you’re angry and prepares itself to fight for what you want. Angry people like Bruce Banner and the Hulk perceive the world as a place where you’re in control or you’re being controlled. Military general Thaddeus Ross continually hunts him and won’t stop until he is destroyed. The Hulk is fueled from his childhood anger and makes it clear that all he wants is to be left alone.
Anger may always be perceived as a negative emotion, but there are plenty of ways to channel it for the greater good. Unless you’ve been exposed to gamma radiation, you have no excuse for not utilizing anger as positive motivation. Next time your blood pressure is on the rise, reach for your laptop or notebook and start writing, not smashing things.