Turning Anger into Productivity
By Erin Rebello
Whether it’s a poor mark on a test or a falling out with friends, feelings of anger can really take a toll on the teenage mind. With an underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex, teenagers are prone to making regrettable decisions. This becomes even more true when emotions are involved. There are times when life seems too cruel to be real, but it’s all part of the human experience, and we must persevere. Though you might want to do nothing more than scream, cry, or punch a wall when you’re upset, there are a variety of different ways you can channel you anger into something more productive and beneficial to your situation.
When you’re mad, the first thing you’ll want to do is take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. Though you might want to stop thinking about it altogether, the best and most helpful thing to do is to take a look at what’s going on. It important to take a minute to consider what exactly you’re mad about and why you’re mad about it. Then, try to think of ways you can make your situation better. Rationalizing your emotions makes it easier to digest what’s going on and might help you realize that you’re mad about something that’s easily fixable.
If you just want to cool off and take your mind off things, I find that doing chores works surprisingly well. I take my anger out on the dust bunnies under my bed instead of the people who might have hurt me. Yardwork is also great because it gives you a change of environment and allows you to take in the fresh air. Another plus about doing your chores when you’re upset is that when you feel better and calmer, your errands are taken care of and you have more time to do things that you love.
Another way that people like to channel their frustration into productivity is through exercise. Slap on a pair of headphones and blast your favourite motivational tunes while you go through your workout. It’s scientifically proven that your brain releases endorphins, i.e. happiness chemicals, when you exercise. These chemicals make you happier and leave you feeling great after a powerful workout. You’ll also probably be too tired from your exercise to feel mad! Overall, why cry when you can get abs and feel happy at the same time?
Finally, a great way to get out the anger is through self-expression. By expressing your feelings, be it through writing, dance, painting, etc., you are able to separate them from yourself. For example, if you write a poem about why you’re feeling mad, chances are that it will help you rationalize the situation. In a way, self-expression allows you to leave your emotion on your canvas and step away from them. You might also find that your artwork and writing is more passionate and emotion-filled when you’re feeling a certain way, which helps you improve as an artist.
Overall, there are a lot of great ways you can turn your anger into something positive. Of course, there is a time and place for being upset, but sometimes you just have to pick yourself up and take a good hard look in the mirror. You are the only person that dictates your emotions; no one else can tell you how to feel. When it comes down to the facts, self-improvement only happens if you’re the one who decides to make the change.