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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

How Can You Transform Your Hulk Anger Into Something Good?

How Can You Transform Your Hulk Anger Into Something Good?

No one likes an angry person yet it’s such a common feeling within all of us. Losing your cool and being described as having a ‘short fuse’ usually just means you’re unable to contain the negative feelings triggered inside you.

This kind of energy is deemed negative because it creates bad feelings inside of other people who are at the brunt of the anger and even cause the angry person to feel badly about themselves and the world around them.

But can this negative energy be used for good? Does it always have to be interpreted as a failing quality that affects people in a damaging way?

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    The Positivity Within The Emotion of Anger

    Anger is found in most animals capable of emotions which indicates that there is some evolutionary reason why we are able to feel this emotion in the first place.

    This reason is survival. Our job is to react to situations effectively in order to survive and if we feel threatened, attacked, frustrated or powerless we need to let the pack know to back off or stop what’s happening.

    But anger could play another important role in our lives. Researchers Jennifer Lerner and Dacher Keltner, studied the effect of anger and fear on risk-taking individuals and found that anger gives you the same outlook towards risk as happiness. What does this mean? An angry person has an optimistic view towards risk estimates. They are more inclined towards taking risks which effectively means you can use this inherent inclination to change your bad habits and adopt good ones, according to author and researcher, Dr. Marcia Reynolds.

    The Secret to Using Anger in a Positive Way

    Reynolds goes on to explain that, “the skill is to shift the focus of your anger away from external circumstances to instead focus on what you strongly desire to change within yourself. It is not your flaky boss or overwhelming responsibilities that make you scream at strangers while you drive. You should be angry that it has taken so long for you to realise that you have the power to change your circumstances. Use your anger to initiate the positive shifts you need to change your life.”

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    So how can we use anger positively and change our internal world and our perception of the external?

    Identifying Your Rage is the First Step

    Being mindful of when you step into these angry feelings may seem hard but doing this in the moment is training you in positive self-awareness. It may not seem much but it’s an inner strength that will get stronger the more you use it. This inner strength will serve you throughout your life so in effect you are developing emotional tools that can help you relax. Learning to take yourself away from the situation and use breathing techniques to recover will help in many other stressful situations you encounter later on.

    Use Anger to Learn Productive Conflict

    Anger is usually synonymous with arguments. If you find you’re quite attacking when you’re in angry, argumentative mode then it means you have an opportunity to practice more self-awareness. Techniques such as slowing down your speech, pausing and breathing, and lowering your voice can all help your mind calm down in the moment. You may even find the other person mimics you in order to relax the situation.

    It’s also an opportunity to consider the other person and why they may have their point of view and do this without judgement. Perhaps they haven’t understood what you’ve said or they also aren’t being mindful of how you feel in the angry moment. These moments are a wonderful opportunity for self-development, self-awareness and empathy.

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    Use Angry Energy For Motivation

    Anger is an essential emotion because it allows us to process negative feelings and eventually let go of a situation in our lives. When the anger is all-consuming and lingering, this is when it can be damaging to our well-being.

    Channelling negative energy into something positive is the best way of coping with that feeling of rage. Physical activity is the best way to do this as anger causes our body to speed up. If you need to improve performance in anything physical such as running, swimming or any other performance sport, doing this in a more angry state will help improve personal bests.

    The good thing about anger, especially if it’s performance related, is you can choose to use it to fuel your desire to perform rather than focus on mistakes. It can even help channel effective brainstorming and solutions. This way you are taking away the negative energy directed at the feeling of anger and focusing it more on a positive solution.

    Use Anger as an Opportunity to Grow

    Anger may be a problem but know that it’s an essential part of being human and our emotional recovery. If you find you get triggered very easily it means you’ve integrated it more into your being than is necessary. But this doesn’t have to be bad. Truly see this an an opportunity to learn about yourself and your capabilities. Realise that it’s an opportunity to make a habit of drawing on your inner strength, create solutions to problems, understand others better and even motivate you performance-wise.

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    Anger doesn’t have to be so negative. Let it teach you to grow.

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      Anna Chui

      Communication Expert

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      Published on July 13, 2018

      Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

      Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

      What if you could discover some tools and methods that could improve your relationships? What if by gaining a little knowledge you could understand your relationship dynamics better and give them a boost up?

      By learning what secure attachment is and how to restructure your thoughts, you can become more self-aware of your relationship dynamics. After becoming more aware, you can then take a few steps to make them better than ever. That’s something that many of us could benefit from.

      When we hear the term secure attachment, our mind typically goes to a relationship. And that’s exactly what it’s about.

      In this article I’ll discuss the concept of secure attachments in more detail and how restructuring your thoughts can help you strive towards achieving better relationships.

      Relationships are a hugely important part of our lives and whatever we can do to improve them is a good thing for everyone involved.

      What is attachment theory?

      Let’s do a quick overview of what attachment theory is. This will provide a good foundation for the rest of this article.

      The esteemed psychologist John Bowlby first coined the term attachment theory in the late 60’s. Bowlby studied early childhood conditioning extensively and what he found was very interesting.

      His research showed that when a very young child has a strong attachment to a caregiver, it provides the child with a sense of security and foundation. On the other hand when there isn’t a secure attachment, the child will expend a lot more developmental energy looking for security and stability.

      The child without the secure attachment tends to become more fearful, timid and slow to explore new situations or their environment.

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      When a strong attachment is developed in a child, he or she will be inclined to be more adventurous and seek out new experiences because they feel more secure. They know that whoever is watching out for them will be there if needed.

      Bowlby’s colleague, Mary Ainsworth, took the theory further. She did extensive studies around infant-parent separations and provided a more formal framework for the differing attachment styles.

      How attachment develops

      Simply put, attachment is an emotional bond with another person. Attachment doesn’t have to go both ways, it can be one person feeling attached to another without it being reciprocated. Most of the time, it works between two people to one degree or another.

      Attachment begins at a very young age. Over the history of time, when children were able to maintain a closer proximity to a caregiver that provided for them, a strong attachment was formed.

      The initial thought was that the ability to provide food or nourishment to a child was the primary driver of a strong attachment.

      It was then discovered that the primary drivers of attachment proved to be the parent/caregivers responsiveness to the child as well as the ability to nurture that child in a variety of ways. Things such as support, care, sustenance, and protection are all components of nurturing a child.

      In essence a child forms a strong attachment when they feel that their caregiver is accessible and attentive and there if they need them; that the parent/caregiver will be there for them. If the child does not feel that the caregiver is there to help them when needed, they experience anxiety.

      Different types of attachments

      In children, 4 types of attachment styles have been identified. They are as follows:

      • Secure attachment – This is primarily marked by discomfort or distress when separated from caregivers and joy and security when the caregiver is back around the child. Even though the child initially feels agitated when the caregiver is no longer around, they feel confident they will return. The return of the parent or caregiver is met with positive emotions, the child prefers parents to strangers.
      • Ambivalent attachment – These children become very distressed when the parent or caregiver leaves. They feel they can’t rely on their caregiver for support when the need arises. Even though a child with ambivalent attachment may be agitated or confused when reunited with a parent or caregiver, they will cling to them.
      • Avoidant attachment – These kids typically avoid parents or caregivers. When they have a choice of being with the parent or not, they don’t seem to care one way or the other. Research has shown that this may be the result of neglectful caregivers.
      • Disorganized attachment – These children display a mix of disoriented behavior towards their caregiver. They may want them sometimes and other times they don’t. This is sometimes thought to be linked to inconsistent behavior from the parent or caregiver.

      What attachments mean to adults

      So the big question is how does this affect us in adulthood? Intuitively it makes sense that as a child, if we have someone who will be there when we need them, we feel secure. And on the other end of the spectrum, if we aren’t sure someone’s going to provide what we need when we need it, we may become more anxious and fearful.

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      As an adult, we tend to wind up in one of three primary attachment types based on our childhood experiences. These are secure, avoidant, and anxious. Technically, there is a fourth one, anxious-avoidant, but it is quite a bit less common. They are described as follows:

      • Secure – When you have a secure attachment, you are comfortable displaying interest and affection towards another person but you’re also fine being alone and independent. Secure types are less apt to obsess over a relationship gone sour and handle being rejected easier. Secure types also tend to be better than other types with not starting relationships with people that might not be the best partners. They cut off the relationship quicker when they see things in a potential partner they don’t like. Secure attachment people make up the majority of the attachment types.
      • Anxious – Folks who have an anxious attachment style typically need a lot of reassurance from their partners. They have a much harder time being on their own and single than the other styles and fall into bad relationships more often. The anxious style represent about 20% of the population. It’s been shown that if anxious attachment styles learn how to communicate their needs better and learn to date secure partners, they can move towards the secure attachment style.
      • Avoidant – Avoidant attachment style represents approximately 25% of the population as adults. Avoidants many times have the hardest time in a relationship because they have a difficult time finding satisfaction. In general, they are uncomfortable with close relationships and intimacy and are quite independent. They are the lone wolf type person.
      • Anxious-avoidant – The anxious-avoidant style is relatively rare. It is composed of conflicting styles – they want to be close but at the same time push people away. They do things that push the people they are closest to away. Many times there can be a higher risk of depression or other mental health issues.

      Here’s where it gets really interesting:

      Move towards secure attachment

      The good news is that it is possible to move from one style to another. Specifically, it is possible to move towards a more secure attachment style.

      Now as you might imagine, this is not an easy or a quick process. Like any type of big change where you are attempting to alter such a deeply ingrained mindset, it takes a strong will to accomplish.

      The first step is developing an awareness of your attachment style. The next step is to have the desire and drive to move your attachment style towards the more secure style.

      If someone with an anxious or avoidant style has a long term relationship with a secure type, the anxious or avoidant person can slowly get brought up more towards a secure style.

      The opposite is also true, they could bring the secure person more towards their attachment style. Therefore, you have to be conscious of your type and if you want to move more towards secure, it takes persistence.

      Therapy is an option as well. Anxious types many times need to work on their self-esteem, avoidants on their connection specifically and compassion.

      How to restructure your thoughts

      Ready for the way to do it? Here we go:

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      For the Avoidant Style

      As with any type of change on such a deep level, the first step is awareness. Realize you have an avoidant style and be aware of it as you have interactions with your partner(s).

      Try to work towards a place of mutual support and giving/taking. Try to lessen your need for complete self-reliance. Allow your partner to do some things that make you a little uncomfortable that you would normally do yourself.

      Don’t always focus on the imperfections of your partner. We all have them, remind yourself of that.

      Make yourself a list of the qualities that your partner has that you are thankful for.

      Look for a secure style partner if at all possible, they would be good for you to be with.

      If you have a tendency to end relationships before they go too far, be aware of that and let it develop further.

      Get into the habit of accepting and even instigating physical touch. Tell yourself that it’s good for you to have some intimacy. Intimacy can help you feel safe and secure.

      And over time you can realize that it’s okay to rely on other people.

      For the Anxious Style

      For the anxious style, the #1 thing to work on is learning to communicate needs better. This is a huge issue for the anxious style.

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      First and foremost if you communicate your needs more clearly, you will have less anxiety, that’s already a big win. This will also allow you to better assess if a potential partner is good for you.

      Try to bring your feelings more to the surface and most importantly, share them with your partner. Remember that secure attachments typically communicate pretty well, this is what you are working towards.

      For the Anxious-Avoidant Style

      The anxious-avoidant is a very small percentage of the attachment styles. Since this type tends to be anxious in the relationship AND more or less a loner, the key here is working hard to be very self-aware of your actions.

      Use the parts of striving towards secure attachment from the anxious tips and the avoidant restructuring of your thoughts to consciously work towards being more secure.

      When you find yourself pushing someone away, ask why. If you feel worried that your partner is going to leave you, again, ask yourself where this is coming from. Have they shown you any reason to believe this? Many times there is no real evidence. In that case, allow yourself to calm down and try not to obsess over it.

      For the Secure Style

      Since the goal is to move towards a more secure attachment style, there isn’t much needed here as you might imagine.

      Something to be aware of is being in a relationship just because it’s “okay”. Don’t stay if it’s not a good place for you and your partner. If your partner is of an anxious or avoidant attachment style, stay mindful to not start developing characteristics of those styles.

      Strive towards Secure Attachment

      As we wrap things up, you’ve probably developed a good idea of the benefits of secure attachment. If you don’t currently have a secure attachment style, here are some benefits of restructuring your thoughts more towards this style:

      • Positive self esteem and self image
      • Close and well adjusted relationships
      • Sense of security in self and the world
      • Ability to be independent as well as in relationships
      • Optimistic outlook on life and yourself
      • Strong coping skills and strategies for relationships and life
      • Trust in self and others
      • Close, intimate relationships
      • Strong determination and problem solving skills

      If you are an anxious or avoidant style or the combination of anxious-avoidant, it is possible to move towards a secure attachment style.

      It takes self-awareness, patience and a strong desire to get close to being secure but it can be done. You will find that putting the effort into it will provide you with more open, honest and satisfying relationships.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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