What Is Anger?
Anger is sometimes called a “secondary” emotion because we often feel a more vulnerable emotion immediately before we feel anger.
Sometimes before we feel angry we might feel: embarrassed, stressed, rejected, hurt, frustrated, envious, or a full range of other emotions.
Anger can range from feeling mildly irritated to feeling enraged and out of control.
When To Seek Help
Anger may be a problem if:
- How angry you feel often seems out of proportion to the situation
- Your anger is hurting your relationships with loved ones
- Your anger causes you to act violently towards yourself, someone else, or things in your environment
- Your anger is affecting your ability to do your job
- Even mild frustrations cause you to go “from zero to 100” and to do things you later regret
- Your anger is caused by something that happened a long time ago
- You often turn to alcohol or substance use to cope with your anger
- Acknowledge to yourself that you are feeling angry. Try to name the other emotions you may also be feelings (e.g., embarrassed, overwhelmed, hurt)
- Slow down your breathing by taking deeper breaths
- Excuse yourself from the situation that is making you angry, if possible
- Redirect your attention to something calming and relaxing
- Go for a run or a walk around the block
How Therapy Can Help
Therapy can help you:
- Learn effective strategies for managing your anger in the moment
- Learn strategies to reduce your overall level of stress so that you can better cope with frustrations
- Gain a greater understanding of how your anger may be affecting your own well-being and your relationships with loved ones
- Identify patterns in what situations make you angry, so you can better equip yourself to handle these when they arise
- Explore introspectively things that may have happened a long time ago that make you feel angry
- Learn effective strategies for supporting a loved one who has difficulty managing their anger