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How to Go From Anger to Action

You're pissed off. Ok. Now channel it into action. Here's how:

  1. Allow yourself to feel it. Being angry is a natural emotion. Don't be afraid to experience it. Try not to let it consume you though! Instead, acknowledge it as a feeling and move on to the next step.
  2. Consider why you're angry. Try to be specific. What exactly about the situation makes you angry? Let's use an example and say that your state's legislation passed a bill restricting access to reproductive care. Are you angry at the outcome: the bill itself? Are you angry at the process through which it was passed? Make a list of the ways in which you are upset by something, in the hopes of identifying exactly what and how you've been enraged.
  3. Explore how to take action.  Once you have a better sense of *why* you are angry, consider how you can address the source. If your anger is at how a bill was passed, you might consider contacting your legislators to express your displeasure. If your anger is at the bill itself, you might connect with organizations fighting to protect reproductive rights to see how you can join the battle. You might also do both. It's up to you.
  4. Try to move the anger off the front burner. Anger can be a great fuel for action. So don't take it off the stove entirely. Let it simmer in the background to keep you motivated. However, try to take it off a full boil if you can. While anger is a natural human reaction, it can also be taxing. Self-care is paramount and we need you in the fight. So don't let anger win; use it instead!

Curious to learn more about how anger intersects with emotional intelligence and how it can be used for action? Consider reading this from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence: “Dr. King Still Inspires: Transforming Anger to Action.”

Here are some additional articles on the power of anger (and why it's ok to own it):