We tend to think of anger as a wild, negative emotion, but research finds that anger also has its positive side. When we quit smoking we can feel what seems like extreme anger until our physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects find balance. For those of us who learned that anger is an inappropriate emotion it can become a deal breaker.....
...Or we can put anger to use for our Nicotine Recovery!
Anger is a motivating force like all emotions. (Emotion literally means to put in motion.) Anger can make us push on towards our goals in the face of problems and barriers. Who doesn't need that during their Recovery? When we see something as beneficial, we want it more when we’re angry. So, when used right, constructive anger can make you feel strong and powerful and help push you on to get what you want.
It may sound like an odd thing to say, but angry people have something in common with happy people. That’s because both tend to be more optimistic. Anger is empowering!
What about our loved ones, you say? I know I was concerned that my anger would be too much for them. Anger expressed appropriately is actually good for relationships! When you hide your anger, your loved one doesn’t know they’ve done something wrong. And so they keep doing it. And that doesn’t do your relationships any good. The expression of anger, if justifiable and aimed at finding a solution rather than just venting, can actually benefit and strengthen relationships.
Expressing anger when loved ones smoke around you or even just leave their pack of sickerettes on the counter in front of you knowing that you're withdrawing from the strongest addiction of all, is a good example. Don't you want the support of your family member or friend by keeping their smokes to themselves? Speak up or it probably won't change. They may not even realize that this is extremely annoying, at best!
Anger can also provide insight into our own faults, if we allow it. We can examine and choose our values and boundaries only when we're in touch with our anger. Then we
to do to improve our lives. Anger can motivate self-change.
Anger can be a legitimate way to get what you want. Anger is likely to work best when it’s
justified, if you appear powerful and when the other side’s options are limited. In the right circumstances, then, it’s possible to both get mad and get even.
So how do we do anger safely when we (I know I did) smoked our anger down inside us for years?
The likely features of constructive anger are:
- that the person who caused the anger is present,
- that it is justified and proportionate to the wrongdoing,
- and it is expressed as the first step in trying to solve a problem rather than just venting bad feeling.
Used right, anger can be a handy tool. But use with caution as people find anger the most difficult of all the emotions to control, especially when they're used to smoking it away!