How To Diffuse and Positively Channel Your Anger

Allegedly, Lance Armstrong positively channeled his deep-seated anger for his dad — who deserted him as a child — into cycling as fast as he could and excelling whenever he’d race.  Tom Brady, the stellar New England Patriot quarterback, wasn’t selected in the NFL college draft until the sixth round. It has been observed and it appears that Brady effectively channeled his deep feelings of being disrespected, as well as his feelings of resentment and anger, into showing all of his detractors how very wrong they were about his ability to make a major impact in the NFL.

What Lance Armstrong and Tom Brady have in common is that they appear to have used their anger to fuel them to reach extraordinary heights in their professions.

We all “get angry.” When you are making a life choice and your very best judgment, along with your reasoning and evaluative processes become clouded, dismantled, or hijacked by your anger/rage, the choice and action you make and take, respectively, may well not be the ones that are truly best for you and/or your career.

In my book, Your Killer Emotions, I discuss The 7 Steps of Emotion Mastery, which enable you to make highly beneficial choices – free from sabotaging emotions. An integral component of this process is diffusing your anger. Here are some suggestions to accomplish this:

  1. First and foremost:  DO NOT make an important decision or choice when you are overcome by anger!  Always, stop, cool down, and, as they say, “take the pause that refreshes.”  Additionally, DO NOT opt for an immediate, emotional quick fix, response, or retaliation, such as unthinkingly and destructively lashing-out. Oftentimes, we opt for short-term, anger-assuaging satisfactions, but in the big picture of our lives and careers, these reflexive, emotion-generated reactions are counter and highly detrimental to accomplishing what we truly want for our lives and/or careers in the long term (our “Gold Ring Dreams”).
  2. ALWAYS strategically identify what you truly want in and from the choice you’re going to make.  This means that you must know what you truly value the very most before you make your choice.  This way, you will make a well-thought-out choice that reflects and effects your most treasured values and goals.
  3.  If it is appropriate, try to truly understand where the other individual who is pushing your emotional buttons or evoking your anger is coming from. Strive to see things from their point of view. Chat with the person in issue, in an open and non-defensive manner. Oftentimes, learning where others are coming from brings understanding, as well as sympathy/empathy, which can diffuse and thereby lessen the strong energy charges generated by your anger.
  4. Another means to diffuse your anger, is to take a moment to think about all of the blessings and positives in your life/job/career.  This can help you to cool down from the angst of the moment, so that you are then better able to think clearly and strategically.Always be “Consequence Cognizant.”  This requires you to carefully think about and vividly visualize:
  • The most severe and heinous consequences that a poor/destructive, anger-triggered choice and act on your part can have on your life, your career, and/or those you love; and
  • The most positive, beneficial outcome(s) that you will secure because you took the requisite time to strategically choose – anger free - the most constructive course of action.

Your takeaway here, is that there will be times when you will be angry. What you want to do in these instances, is to not emotionally react in these situations, but to instead, strategically and constructively choose your actions. As Lance Armstrong and Tom Brady allegedly have done, channel the potential  anger-generated, negative energies that you experience, into positive life and/or career-enhancing endeavors – thereby using your anger as your valuable ally! The sweet result may well be that you will attain life and/or career Gold, as well as gain (increased) feelings of high self-esteem, self-worth, and the core-confidence to achieve your most cherished goals.

Your Killer Emotions is available on www.amazon.com and www.bn.com!

Tips for Avoiding Poor Decision Making During Stressful Times

A few days before last Christmas, I was in an elevator with a prominent attorney. During our conversation, he mentioned that he is always busiest during Christmas, New Year’s and other times when individuals are under more stress than usual. He warned, “When people are stressed out, they make their absolute worst choices!”

Toxic emotions (e.g. feelings of sadness, hopelessness, alienation, hurt, rejection and the like) and stress can block or dismantle your reasoning processes and the use of your best judgment. It can also amp up the voltage of the energy charges generated by your potentially toxic emotions. Therefore, it is essential for you to do your best not to make important life choices when you are under an emotional barrage or high stress.

In my book, Your Killer Emotions: The 7 Steps to Mastering the Toxic Emotions, Urges, and Impulses That Sabotage You, I discuss The 7 Steps of Emotion Mastery, which enable you to make highly beneficial life choices—free from sabotaging emotions, urges, and impulses.

Here are some holiday suggestions to keep you under “wraps” this season when you are at the company holiday event, family reunion or other hustle-and-bustle:

1. First and foremost: Do not make an important decision or choice when you are overcome by emotions or stress! Always, stop, cool down and “take the pause that refreshes.” Additionally, do not opt for an immediate, emotional quick fix, response, or retaliation. Oftentimes, we opt for these short-term satisfactions, but in the big picture of our lives, these unthinking, emotion-generated reactions are counter and highly detrimental to accomplishing what we truly want for ourselves in the long term (our Gold Ring Dreams).

2. Be “consequence cognizant,” which requires you to think carefully and visualize vividly about the following:

a. The most severe and heinous consequences that a poor/destructive emotionally charged choice can have on your life, career and/or those you love

b. The most positive, beneficial outcome(s) that you will secure because you took the requisite time to choose strategically the constructive course of action

3. If it is appropriate, try to understand the position of the other individual who is pushing your emotional buttons or evoking a potential toxic emotion-generated response. Strive to see this person’s viewpoint. Chat with this person in an open and non-defensive manner. Oftentimes, learning where others are coming from brings understanding as well as sympathy/empathy, which can diffuse and thereby lessen the strong energy charges generated within you by potentially toxic emotions.

4. Another way to diffuse your emotion-generated energy charges is to take a moment to think about all of the blessings in your life. This awareness can help you to cool down from the angst of the moment, so that you are then better able to think clearly and strategically.

5. You should not make important holiday choices when you are tired, experiencing high levels of stress or have had too much caffeine. Additionally, you never want to make important choices when you are under the influence of alcohol or clarity-impairing medicinal or recreational drugs. Your goal is to be cognitively clear and precise when making holiday choices. Therefore, you want to stay away from anything that can impair your cognitive processes.

Your takeaway here is that we all experience high levels of stress and potentially toxic emotions during the holidays. I use the word “potentially” because these emotions are toxic to you and your well-being, if they trigger destructive and/or self-sabotaging acts on your part. In these instances, you want to avoid reacting emotionally in these situations; instead, strategically and constructively choose your actions. Channel the potential negative energies that you experience into positive, life-enhancing endeavors—thereby using your emotions and their energy charges as your valuable allies.

The sweet result may well be that you will make positive, life-enhancing holiday choices, as well as gain (increased) feelings of high self-esteem, self-worth and the core-confidence to achieve your most cherished goals.

By Ken Lindner

(This article originally appeared in Artsphoria, AKH Publications, 2012)