Positives of Anger
People have a negative impression of anger, but like any other feeling, anger is neither good nor bad. It is only a feeling. What is important is what you choose to do with the feeling. At times, it is very appropriate to become angry. There are actually several positive aspects of anger including:
- Anger alerts you to a problem that needs to be addressed. Some people are not efficient at noticing their thoughts and feelings. Anger can serve as a warning to you that a situation is triggering unwanted feelings in you.
- Anger tells other people that you are feeling upset. Experts refer to this as the rattlesnake effect. A rattlesnake makes others aware of its presence so that they can stay away until the situation is resolved. This can reduce the likelihood of negative situations unfolding during periods of anger.
- Anger gives you increased energy to act. Feeling angry pumps your body full of adrenaline. Think about the last football game you watched. Before the game, the coaches work to trigger an anger response in the players. Then, the athletes are able to direct these feelings in ways that help the team to accomplish the ultimate goal of winning the game. In some cases, anger can also improve mental energy in the form of focus and attention.
- Anger lets you know a conflict needs to be addressed. If a situation or relationship continually triggers anger, it is an indication that you must act to change the situation. The feeling of anger will point you in the right direction but you must act appropriately.
How Anger Develops
How does depression turn outward and become anger? Surely, there is no single answer but the themes of power and control are common. Depression makes people feel powerless and out of control. People feel so uncomfortable with these feelings that they take severe actions to avoid them. They work to control and have power over every aspect of everything in life. They learn that becoming angry will give them what they seek. If anyone resists, the angry person will only increase the frequency and intensity of anger. An unwanted habit forms to overcompensate for fear and powerlessness.
How to Manage Anger
Managing the unwanted effects of anger is not an undertaking to approach lightly. The person will lose the sense of power and control that they work so hard to maintain. Ideally, the person with anger will have had enough negative experiences caused by anger to see the error of their ways and seek change. Once committed, changing anger is as easy as A, B, C. Here’s how:
- Track your anger – To change anger, you must first understand your anger and what makes you angry. Look for themes, people, time of day, locations and other trends that emerge from your anger. To create a tracking sheet, simply find a piece of paper and include the day, time, situation, how you felt and how you responded. Rate your experience of anger on a scale from 0 to 100 and ask trusted people in your life to review the information with you. Their perception of your anger will likely be unique and give you needed insight.
Once you become proficient at tracking and understanding your triggers, you can begin breaking them down in terms of their A,B,Cs.