How is Anger Healthy?

Anger: a powerful and overwhelming emotion that you’re most likely all too familiar with. It can flare up in various situations, often unexpectedly. Everyone reacts to anger differently; some prefer to withdraw until they regain calmness and others find they lose all self-control. Contrary to popular opinion, anger isn’t an emotion you need to run away from. Rather, anger is a natural way to release pent-up emotions, especially when done in a healthy manner. Despite the bad rap that anger gets when compared to the other emotions, anger offers us the opportunity to explore introspection and practice effective self-control. 

Though natural and unpredictable, anger is a logical response to external stimuli that creates distress, confusion, or disarray. When we become angry, we normally switch off mental thought processes as we absorb the intensity of our anger. It is usually afterward when we consider the immensity of our reaction as well as the reasons behind its manifestation. It gives us a chance to think about what exactly our anger is directed at. No matter how explosive or controlled, our anger makes us pause and consider whether our reaction stems from personal issues within ourselves or other outside factors. It is then we get a chance to problem-solve and determine whether we should cope or compromise, which is an important decision to make if you’d like to prevent similar outbursts in the future. 

On the other hand, irrational anger can point to problems we have with ourselves such as underlying guilt from unresolved issues. In fact, our anger is often used as a tool to distract from our feelings of guilt or shame. To prevent the inevitable pain and anxiety we tend to feel when riddled with guilt, we instead choose to push aside and mask these feelings by being angry. The surge of energy and power that anger can afford helps to prevent feelings of vulnerability and helplessness. This defense mechanism typically transforms into a daily coping routine, as we become so accustomed to hiding our true feelings that we misplace the reasoning for our anger. Thus, it becomes crucial to look closely both internally and externally whenever the strength of anger overtakes us. 

As counterintuitive as it may seem, anger can also be helpful when learning to practice self-control. Uncontrollable anger presents as both uncomfortable and undeniable, meaning you can’t ignore it but you can certainly make yourself aware of what triggers it. You shouldn’t run away from your anger, rather it can be beneficial for you to embrace it in order to understand its root causes better. Are you feeling disrespected, alone, invalidated? Anger can help you address why and help you to recognize what needs to be fixed to prevent it. You can learn to recognize signs of impending anger in response to these triggers and implement self-control techniques such as breathing, meditating, going for a walk, exercising, or simply removing yourself from the situation. 

Anger bubbles up suddenly and without warning, yet it’s possible to take away positive lessons to improve your well-being and self-control. We all experience anger at some point in our lives among the range of emotions we deal with daily, but it doesn’t have to remain a negative reaction to be avoided at all costs. So why not embrace your anger naturally as all human beings should and retain only positivity from it? 


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