Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transferred. This is one of the laws of thermodynamics. That scientific law can easily be applicable towards how anger can be. To paraphrase trauma therapist Tiana Renae from her segment on the one hundredth episode of The Minority Trailblazer Podcast by Greg E. Hill,
“Anger is a surface emotion. We must peel back those layers to understand the deeper roots of that anger.”
There are many suspects to anger based on many different factors. A simple example is getting road rage when someone cuts you off in rush hour traffic and screaming curse words in the car when that happens. That’s verbal anger based on a superficial level. Usually when anger is on a superficial level, it’s only based on that situation and one gets over it minutes later and go on about their day.
Anger can be stemmed from deeper roots such as behavioral anger and chronic anger. For example, Mike Tyson. Once known as the “Baddest Man on The Planet” and former world heavyweight champion boxer, Tyson iterated that the roots of his anger came from fear. In his self-titled, 2008 documentary and on his Joe Budden episode of his Hotboxin’ With Tyson Podcast, he said his anger began with fear, specifically when some bullies killed his pet pigeon. In the documentary, he also talked about how poorly he handled rise to fame as the youngest heavyweight world champion and how people used him caused his fear and isolation to be transitioned into anger that he used in the ring. Then his anger was transferred into deleterious habits such as drug and sex addiction.
Certain traumas and repeated behaviors in early life can be the flowerbed for the roots of anger within an individual. Yet, anger when weaponized, can be a great source for productivity. Going back to Tyson, he channeled his earlier anger from his youth and time in juvenile prison to win fifteen fights in one year, winning an Olympic boxing match in nine seconds at fifteen years old, and becoming the youngest world heavyweight champion at twenty years old. When one finds a medium to transfer anger to creativity and productivity, one can find self-awareness and an escape from deleterious behavior.
Via Merriam-Webster, anger is defined as: a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.
One can change that second half of the definition (usually of antagonism) and turn that antagonism part of the definition into fuel for a protagonist. In order to do that, one must manage that anger and harness it into productivity. In my post grad depression article, I discussed insecurities and doubt I had during my post grad journey and it transferred into anger. I channeled that anger into getting in the best physical shape of my life over the summer in the gym. I channeled that anger into productivity by applying for jobs five to six days a week, fixing my resumes and touching base with employers for interviews [to read more about what I exactly did, click HERE].
Below are some tips on how to manage anger from The Mayo Clinic, to Read further in depth you can click HERE.
-Think before you speak
-Once you’re calm, express your anger
-Get some exercise
-Take a timeout and meditate
-Identify possible solutions
-Stick with “I” statements
-Don’t hold a grudge
-Use humor to release tension
-Practice relaxation skills
-Know when to seek help