What is anger?

Anger is an emotion.  It provides us with information about ourselves, our immediate environment and the nature of our relationships.  

Sometimes the way we express anger can cause problems.  It can lead to arguments and sometimes violence. 

Sometimes anger is justifiable and a positive force to support change.  But anger can also be associated with unhelpful beliefs about other people, events and ourselves. 

If you ask "why am I angry?"  "why am I reacting like this?"  it can help you to make decisions and take better care of yourself. 

Anger Management

It is not people or events that make us angry.  It is our reaction to them.

Some people are more likely to feel angry or fly into a rage.  This might be because they find it hard to cope with feelings like frustration.  

Sometimes experiences from childhood can be at the root of this and anger in this situation is understandable and justifiable.   Other people can experience anger because they have been traumatised in adulthood.   If either of these is you, you may also need help to deal with what happened to you.  But, learning to tolerate anger and other emotions  - so that they are not controlling you - is still really helpful (See Dealing with feelings and Trauma in Related sections)

In any situation where anger is causing problems there are things that we can learn that can help.

To start to control the physical symptoms of anger, learn how to relax click here (not do if PTSD/trauma)

Start to consider your thoughts.   Learn to question them.  Techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy can help with this.  Need link

People can often feel angry because they are expecting a lot of themselves or other people.  This can leave them feeling let down and resentful.  If this is the case for you start to think about how realistic your expectations are.  Sometimes unrealistic expectations can be linked to perfectionism.

More information on learning how to cope with anger can be found in the resources section below.

When anger is justified

Anger can of course be justified.    It is normal to feel angry if you have been abused or treated unfairly or experienced powerlessness because of who you are.  Anger is a strong emotion and women, in particular, can be fearful of it.  If this is you, you might want to have a look for some of the books that explore women's anger.

In situations where our anger is a normal reaction then it can help to find a way to express it constructively.  It might be helpful to release some anger through physical activity (for example, kick boxing or running). Or it might help to write things down, e.g. to write a letter (not necessarily to send!).  Or to talk to someone you can trust to get their opinion and support.

This doesn't mean that you should - or will - let go of feelings that can help you make positive change.  It is about being able to control your emotions enough so that they work for you rather than causes you problems.



Mental health Anger


Books that can help
Download Relaxation Exercises
Tools to help change your thinking
Managing Your Emotions