What is anger?
Anger is a normal emotion. It’s one of many feelings that people can have about things happening in their lives, just like feeling happy or sad.
Anger can tell you when to protect yourself, when stand up for yourself, and when you feel your rights (or the rights of someone else) have been violated. Anger usually tells us something about what is important to us. So feeling angry can be useful, but it is important to consider how we express anger so that we can express it in a more helpful way.
When you feel anger you still have choices about how to respond
For many people, anger can lead to becoming aggressive or even violent, but anger and aggression are not the same. Anger is a feeling, while aggression and violence are actions. Anger can sometimes feel intense and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to lead to aggression and other unhelpful expressions of anger.
Instead of responding to anger reactively “without thinking”, you can listen to your anger and work out what it means. You can ask yourself, “Why am I feeling angry?” This is a more helpful way of dealing with anger because it allows you to address the problem proactively, not reactively. By first recognising that you are feeling angry, you can then evaluate why you feel angry, and decide what to do next.
Common triggers for anger include: