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Harnessing the Positive Power of Anger

Universe in a magic DropAnger is a very scary emotion and often silently prohibited in society. We don’t like to be ‘out of control’ in an angry way, and often times we hide our anger to ourselves and others because it scares us.  Uncontrolled and unexpressed anger generally leads to violence as we have learned throughout history so it makes sense we see it as ‘bad’.

I’ve found through time and experience that it doesn’t have to be that way, and in fact the more than we run from it the more that it pops up when we least want it to!  That certainly never gets anyone anywhere.

Anger can be productive. It can drive you, give you energy.  While sadness and sorrow stops you, disciplined anger can propel you to initiate positive action.

For instance, I am a writer.  I am very sensitive and often hurt, and while I don’t like to admit it get angry as well.  I have always hated anger, because very rarely was it expressed to me in a non-threatening way.  So my defense mechanisms always kicked up and I tried to run.

Unfortunately my body needs to release anger, and with the added bonus of ADHD and impulsiveness, the ways I was expressing it were not helpful to myself or others.  So I had to learn about it.  Experience it.  Really FEEL the anger when I felt it.  See how it moved through my body, changed my thoughts, brought on physical sensations.  Even doing that was hard, but once I did I figured out a way to release the energy and create positive action.

The benefits are profound.   I reach my goals more quickly, have better relationships, less addictive issues and have more energy.  We all need to express anger, what makes the difference is how we express it, and I personally do it through writing about positive solutions to challenging problems.  You can try exercise, painting, music, jumping, writing, or photography.  Anything that lets you express that energy in a positive way.

And the times where I don’t have the time or patience or wisdom to sit and focus on it, I write furiously and frantically.  But the difference is I don’t publish it, so I release it without hurting others.  Of course that is the theory, I am not perfect at it, but I certainly am practicing.

Share with us your tips and techniques.  How have you personally recognized anger and channeled it into something positive?

Creative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney

Harnessing the Positive Power of Anger

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2010). Harnessing the Positive Power of Anger. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Jun 2010
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