What Is Anger?
What Is Anger?
Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.
Anger can be a good thing. It can give you a way to express negative feelings, for example, or motivate you to find solutions to problems.
But excessive anger can cause problems. Increased blood pressure and other physical changes associated with anger make it difficult to think straight and harm your physical and mental health.
Important Reminder - Anger Can Be Healthy!
Anger is a healthy, normal emotion when you know how to express it appropriately. Anger management is about learning how to do this.
Anger is one of the many profound effects life has on us. It's one of our emotions. And we're going to feel it when it comes our way - or else repress it.
"Anger is part of life. We need not dwell in it or seek it out, but we can't afford to ignore it.
We can shamelessly feel all our feelings, including anger, and still take responsibility for what we do when we feel angry. We don't have to let anger control us, but it surely will if we prevent ourselves from feeling it."
~ Melody Beattie
Anger is a powerful and sometimes frightening emotion. It's also a benfiicial one if it's not allowed to harden into resentment or used as a battering ram to punish or abuse people.
Anger Is a Warning Signal!
It points to problems.
Sometimes, it signals problems we need to solve. Soemtimes, it points to boundaries we need to set. Sometimes, it's the final burst of energy before letting go, or acceptance, settles in.
And, sometimes, anger just is. It doesnt have to be justified. It usually can't be cinfied to a tidy package. And it need not cause us to stifle ourselves or our energy.
We don't have to feel guilty whenever we experience anger.
We don't have to feel guilty.
Breathe deeply. We can shamelessly feel all our feelings including anger, and still take responsibility fo our behaviors.
Oftentimes, the actions we take when in a state of anger are reactionary. In the moment, with adrenaline pumping, our judgment may become clouded. Our awareness of the consequences of our actions is often obscured by the intense emotions we are feeling and releasing.
“Speak when you are angry - and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret."
~Laurence J. Peter
- Repressing anger solidifies the otherwise natural emotion into resentment.
- Resentment creates the sensation within us that whatever, or whomever, we are angry at ought to be aware of our natural mind state. We begin to fester in the emotion, and the resentment continues to grow. Oftentimes, if we are resentful towards a person but have said nothing, that person remains entirely unaware that we are upset and continues to do that which provokes us.
- We cannot afford to expect others to be mind-readers. Healthy outlets for anger include open communication and facilitating an environment of trust. One who has experienced such a dynamic knows all too well that the absence of anger in the environment is profound.
Helpful External Resources
- SelfGrowth.com's Anger Management Website Directory
- Anger Management: On-Line Resources
- Inner Health Studio: Anger Management Worksheets
- Controlling Anger: Tips, Techniques and Resources
- How Much Do You Know About Anger (In Yourself & Others?Take the Anger Pre-Test
- How Angry and Hostile Are You? Take the Anger Index
- Anger Management for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Clients Participant Workbook (PDF) supplied by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
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