What is Anger?
Anger is a healthy, natural emotion and a basic, human response to certain experiences. It occurs particularly at times when we are under attack, or feel deceived, insulted or frustrated. Anger also helps to relieve stress, pent-up energy and tension. In certain situations, it increases our energy levels and helps us cope more effectively.
Unhealthy Symptoms of Anger
When anger gets out of control it can be destructive, and may have a significant impact upon our quality of life, affecting career, physical health, relationships and wellbeing. Anger can also be a warning sign that all is not well, or that boundaries have been over-stepped. It may be a sign of deep hurt and sadness caused by past or present experiences. Anger may give rise to overwhelming feelings of stress, trauma, depression and anxiety.
To maintain a healthy balance, the first step is to acknowledge our anger. The problem lies not with the emotion itself, but in the way it is expressed. Explosive, violent or passive displays of anger can lead to depression, apathy, withdrawal or addiction. Whilst anger is a healthy emotion, it can become excessive and may be symptomatic of a more complex issue affecting your psychological health.
Therapy can support anger issues by helping you to:
- Become aware of the triggers and feelings that give rise to anger and irritability
- Recognise what happens to you when you are angry and understand your consequent feelings, thoughts and behaviour
- Understand the impact of anger on your personal life and relationships, enabling you to effect change and growth
- Accept and become compassionate towards yourself
- Find a way to develop yourself psychologically in the short and longer term, enabling you to lead a happier life
- Understand and appreciate other people’s points of view, thereby reducing angry reactions
- Explore the underlying issues causing your anger and gain a different perspective
- Discover new ways of expressing yourself, which fit the real you