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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.

      More by this author

      Anna Chui

      Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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      Last Updated on October 30, 2019

      How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

      How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

      Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

      In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

      Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

      You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

      What is the Stages of Change Model?

      Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

      Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

      Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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        The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

        The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

        The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

        The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

        1. Precontemplation
        2. Contemplation
        3. Determination
        4. Action
        5. Maintenance
        6. Termination

        How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

        To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

          Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

          Stage 1: Precontemplation

          At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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          For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

          Stage 2: Contemplation

          At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

          You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

          The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

          Stage 3: Preparation

          At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

          Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

          Stage 4: Action

          When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

          Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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          Stage 5: Maintenance

          After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

          Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

          Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

          Stage 6: Termination

          Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

          However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

          How long does each stage take?

          You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

          So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

          The limitations of this model

          The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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          Require the ability to set a realistic goal

          For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

          If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

          Difficult to judge your progress

          The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

          Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

          Conclusion

          The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

          While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

          Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
          [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
          [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
          [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
          [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
          [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
          [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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