Anger – it’s the emotion we’re supposed to manage, minimize, and avoid at all costs. And yet, anger arises when we feel like we’ve been treated unfairly, which in many situations makes it completely legitimate.
That said, is the expression of anger in certain situations advantageous? The excellent book The Upside of Your Dark Side says yes, as long as you’re using anger strategically, as opposed to letting anger control you.
According to the authors, anger has more benefits than you might think. Research shows that experiencing anger is associated with a more optimistic outlook. It also helps spark creativity.
Anger can be a highly effective performance-enhancement mechanism, and in some cultures it’s actually linked to better health, which flies in the face of our Western beliefs about its negative ramifications. And despite its intense nature, anger leads to violence in only a small percentage of situations.
Of course, as a strong and highly inflammatory emotion, anger should always be treated with caution. Here’s the right way to get angry:
- First, determine if anger is useful in this context. Staying steaming mad because you lost your car keys is a waste of energy – let it pass and solve the problem instead.
- Let other people know that you’re experiencing anger, and that you might not express yourself with as much clarity as you usually would.
- Slow the situation down. Pause, observe, take a deep breath, and use the time to think like a chess player about the most advantageous use of your anger in this situation. (Mindfulness practice makes this much more doable.)
- Now act instead of react.
With this process, research shows that you can express anger in disputes, negotiations, and other situations in which you’re being treated unfairly and get your way more often. But don’t pretend to be angry as a ploy – one study cited in The Upside of Your Dark Side shows that faking anger in negotiations backfires, resulting in higher demands being made in return because you are now seen as untrustworthy.
Anger truly is an energy. Treat it with the respect any powerful energy source deserves, and it can fuel the achievement of your goals when necessary.
- Book: The Upside of Your Dark Side
- Article: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad
- Article: The Rarely Recognized Upside of Anger
- Article: Negative Emotions Are Key to Well-Being
- Video: Rise – Public Image Ltd.
I gotta admit it … one major reason why I chose this topic was so I could quote John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) and include a PiL video. This is one of the perks of having your own newsletter. 😉
And in the spirit of Further: “May the road rise with you.”
If your favorite junk food seems to have the irresistible allure of crack cocaine (and makes you feel just as bad after), you might not be that far off: Fat And Sugar-Heavy Diets Are Addictive – And Harm Your Brain.
The quest for extended longevity marches on, with scientists discovering a gene linked to longer life in mice. On the human side, the more immediate key to longevity may be adopting healthier practices along with your partner.
But isn’t there a bigger question here? Living long is not the same thing as living well. Science 2.0 tackles this issue with Longevity Genetics Is Missing The Point: Live Healthier, Not Longer. After all, no one dies of old age.
It’s fitting that the super-wealthy seem the most obsessed with living longer; at least they can afford it. For the rest of us, it takes some hard and smart decisions – Longevity can make retirement planning tricky.
If you want to build wealth for tomorrow, you’ve got to get stuff done today. Ask yourself these 10 productivity questions each day to make a plan that you stick to. My favorite productivity assistant is Evernote, and these 12 surprising ways to use the software gave me a lot of new ideas.
Thanks to technology and the Internet, we’re all DIY to a greater degree. But should we be doing our own investing without assistance? For those who said yes, quantified self tech may provide better guidance through a digital financial conscience. Speaking of the quantified self, are you ready for the quantified workplace?
“If you take a look at all the different lists of habits, routines, principles and priorities among successful entrepreneurs from Ben Franklin to Mark Cuban you’ll find these three universal success factors.” The three personal development goals successful people pursue habitually. Here’s a head start on one of the three: How to make learning a regular part of your life.
Of course the modern world is bad for your brain, but why not click over on your smart phone while cooking dinner and helping your child with her homework to read why. And then, if you decide to unplug a bit, you could use these 3 ways to harness your brain power and change your life.
One thing you’ll see emphasized in future issues of Further is the importance of play, for children and adults. And yet many adults struggle with the very concept. It’s when we lose our inner child that things turn, and researchers may have pinpointed the exact moment when we start to transition away from carefree kids, unafraid to perform in public or of what others may think of us.
If you enjoyed this issue of Further, please Tweet it. Or share it on Facebook. Or why not go old school, and forward it to everyone in your email contact list. That’s how we used to do it, multiple times daily, back when no one realized how truly awful a thing that was to do.
- The Epic Food Fight: Plants Versus Paleo
- Three Real Ways to Protect and Enhance Your Brain Power
- Meditate to Dominate in 2015