Anger: Why You Feel It And What To Do About It

- | 76 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Self Improvement

Man wearing a paper mask of anger

Anger is chaos on the psyche.

I speak from experience. I have spent far too much time in the prison of anger in my own life and have realized not much good comes out of it.

In fact, it often feeds itself, as if I’ve put on anger-colored glasses that ultimately taint subsequent experiences.

When I am angry, I see injustice, incompetence, betrayal, and indifference everywhere. Everyone is against me. I am a victim of the world.

Do you ever feel like this?

Why Do We Feel Anger

Anger is a secondary emotion. Some other emotion comes first. Present is the feeling of a real or perceived loss.

Loss, or threat of loss, of something precious to you is implicit in the anger.

Perhaps this concept is clearest to comprehend when we are blatantly stolen from. But look at other examples of anger:

  • Loss of respect if someone disrespects you
  • Loss of the value of your time if an appointment or guest is late
  • Loss of hope, relationship, or happiness if someone hurts you
  • Loss of trust if you are betrayed
  • Loss of justice, life, or innocence in the face of injustice; loss of companionship if a loved one dies, or
  • Perceived loss of self value if someone doesn’t want to be with you.

You get the idea. Anger is grief of the loss.

Anger also masks anxiety.

Anger can arise when there is fear of loss and when something precious to you is threatened.

Many times you see this in children who have a tantrum when they are afraid to go someplace.

Most parents assume this is an anger problem, but if the anxiety were addressed, anger would no longer be a problem.

This is also apparent in people who are abusive. When they feel anxious, they perceive they are losing control.

They fall back on entitlement, demanding what they want, criticizing, being physically violent, and controlling someone else to calm their own inner anxiety.

Feeling a victim themselves, they often fail to see how they are effecting others.

Anger and Guilt: The Double Whammy

Most of us seldom allow ourselves to feel angry. And when we do express the emotion, we often take actions we regret later.

Feeling the anger is not the problem, but rather what we do with it.

If anger is expressed, accepted, and what is precious is validated, it would pass quickly without any ill effects or consequences.

However, as it usually happens, when we feel or express anger, self doubt almost immediately takes up residence in our mind and we begin to regret our response.

It is as if we are not allowed to feel, and we judge ourselves as wrong.  This feeling of “wrong” connects with every other time in our life when we felt wrong.

And if this feeling occurred often, it can feel overwhelming. Our anger no longer just fits the circumstances, it is heightened by this guilt, and we act and feel worse.

On top of that, we get mad at ourselves for our “overreaction.” We perceive a loss of control. The anger explodes and we are overwhelmed.

Do you know what happens next? We feel like a victim, of circumstance, of the injustice, of another act of thoughtlessness, of invalidation, of betrayal, and of our own inadequacies.

It can affect our very identity (i.e, I am a loser) and all too often does. Each of these multi-layers of self judgment make us feel worse.

Usually, the overall feeling and response of anger comes 80% (or more) from the guilt and only 20% (or less) from the original frustrating incident.

Feeling Without Judgment

Do you want to calm down? Allow and accept your feelings of anger without judgment. Let yourself feel it fully, and then ask yourself what it is you are losing or afraid to lose.

What does it say about what is precious to you?

Just naming it will validate it and help you begin to calm down. Once you know what is important to you, you are in a better position to figure out how to respond.

Love yourself for loving it. Appreciate yourself for appreciating it. You’ll respond prioritizing what you love rather than focusing on guilt or resentment.

You’ll take action that holds that preciousness, rather than taking action out of anger. You’ll feel better faster. I promise.

Over to You –

What do you do with anger? Share your experiences in the comments.

Update: I’d also like to take this opportunity to let my blog’s RSS subscribers know that they might not get the post updates as I’ve not yet substituted Feedburner with any other service. All of you are welcome to subscribe to my email newsletters to keep updated with the blog.

 

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos



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76 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Jodi

    July 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I love breathing too, this helps us calm, but I like anger to be processed so that it is not just stuck somewhere! Breathing can help us take a step back and then we have to take some action!
    xo
    Jodi

  2. Peter

    July 15, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Handling with anger is something like dealing with anxiety and controlling our inner fears. It isn’t easy at all, but if we want be successful and reach our goals, we have to learn it. I’d say that it is a secret key of success of all kind. There are already some online tutorials and yoga exercises which an help one to control his anger, breathing exercises are the best in my opinion.

  3. Erwin

    July 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Hi Jodi and everyone.

    I admit that being angry is a simple matter, but to control it is difficult, very difficult. Maybe we should learn a lot from Bruce Banner. CMIIW

    • Jodi

      July 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      It may not be as difficult as you think when we look at it form the way described in this post! It’s the judgments that keep us attached, get rid of those and anger disapates. Not hard at all!
      xo
      Jodi

  4. Amandah

    July 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Jodi,

    To me, anger is an emotion that needs to be felt and dealt with in a healthy manner. It’s all right to feel anger; you don’t have to feel shame about it. It’s what you do with your anger that could get you into trouble. For example, if a person compliments a peer of yours and it angers you, take a step back and ask, “Why am I feeling angry?” Maybe your anger is masked as insecurity. Maybe you feel you’re not receiving the approval you think you deserve. The good news is that YOU can approve of you. You don’t need the approval of people. All that matters is that you’re doing your best and “running your own race.”

    Anger can be the catalyst for change. Let’s face it; most people do not like change. Anger can push you forward.

    Finally, you can channel your anger into a creative project, i.e., painting, writing, etc. Who knows… maybe you’re create a masterpiece. 😉

    • Jodi

      July 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      All great back up to my post Amandah! Thanks so much for adding to it! xo
      Jodi

  5. Vivek Baghel

    July 8, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I appreciate this great article by Jodi who share such a great post about life… Anger & love both both can came any time with a person. There is no more different between Anger & love these are both are part of each other such like day & night. Those never be to much long with each other.

    • Jodi

      July 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks Vivek! Indeed, we all have all the emotions inside of us!

  6. Brad Castro

    July 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Great topic – although I always thought that anger came from being hurt, and that loss or the sense of loss was what led to depression.

    Judging by the responses to your post, however, there’s obviously great validity to what you’re saying.

    And I want to echo what one commenter suggested – there can be a healthy aspect to anger as well.

    I recall a specific evening back in the mid 1990s when I was coming out to myself after YEARS of repression and denial that everything finally boiled over – or rather that I finally took the lid off to what I was feeling.

    I would describe it as an intense, clean rage – “righteous indignation” is a little too cerebral of a description – and it was profound and beautiful.

    lol – since then, of course, most of the times I get angry now, I’m just being petty and weak.

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      July 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Brad,
      It is about hurt, this is exactly what I was saying! Letting yourself feel is the way to go! It’s the stuffing it that becomes too dangerous! As you point out!
      xo
      Jodi

  7. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

    July 1, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Darrell,
    You are silly. Sense of humor is a great way to keep anger in check! Thanks for the compliments!
    xo
    Jodi

  8. Darrell Cherry

    June 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Jodi,

    Thanks for the great article, though I must admit in kind of ticked me off when I first read it. Wink!

    I’m still a work in progress but much less angry than I used to be. Always a work in progress.

    Your comments on guilt and anxiety are right on the mark, and learning to accept and examine the cause, while difficult, really does help to stem the tide.

    Thanks again for sharing

    Darrell

  9. Atul

    June 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Sometimes kids get anger when teachers shouts them in the schools and sometimes, when they didn’t get passing marks in their exams.

    The exam-passing thing happens with all, whether he is a 35 years man who is giving PhD exams and if bychance he is unable to clear his degree,he will be definitely angry.

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      July 1, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Atul,
      Great point! Sometimes student s are angry at themselves for not studying enough!
      Love,
      Jodi

  10. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

    June 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Dear Charmie,
    Can’t wait to hear!
    Love,
    xo
    Jodi

  11. Charmie

    June 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Dear ma’am,

    Few days back my mum dad scolded me for behaving in a strange frustrated way. They are very annoyed on me for being such a short tempered these days. Anger management is never manageable by me, I don’t know why? I always get frustrated when I am not able to do some work and moreover the work load and studies also contribute their part into it.

    I will follow your steps and will let you know the results soon.
    Thank you for such a great share. 🙂

    Regards
    Charmie

  12. Arleen

    June 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Very good article. The problem with anger is that it is self destructive. Some people binge eat, drink, or take pills to calm themselves down. I usually try to take a step backward and first ask myself is it work getting upset over. Can I change what I am angry about? If I can then that is one thing, usually you can’t. If I realize that I can’t change it I move on. There are many ways to control anger. Stop that voice in her head, change what your thoughts are, stop emotional reactions to a situations. Becoming more aware of oneself and what we are doing is damaging ourselves. There are always going to be triggers, but do not have to react to them. When I see my husband get upset over something, I will say to him, is it worth a heart attack? I find if I get angry I can get over it very fast. One less stress to deal with. Everything is how we react.

  13. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

    June 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Neamat,
    Thank you! I am glad the info was so easy to digest!
    You have a great week, too!
    xo
    Jodi

  14. Neamat Tawadrous

    June 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Jodi and Harleena,

    Thanks for a very powerful and helpful article.

    Indeed, from experience I can tell that fear and anxiety are the root from which anger stems. And I also discovered that insecurity also leads to anger. So many times, I burst into anger because I am scared and insecure about something and only to regret it at the end.

    Thanks for the advice you provided here to analyze and not be hard on ourselves and just be aware of the causes of anger so we can control it before it turns into a disaster.

    Thanks Jodi for a great educating post about analyzing anger. Also, thanks Harleena for having Jodi share such a great article about anger. Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat

  15. Dwayne Castle

    June 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Jodi, and what a welcome way to introduce yourself, through this post.

    I have found that anger itself CAN be a healthy emotion. It tunes me into myself and causes me to ask the questions you have addressed. Am I angry due to selfishness on my part, or is there an injustice going on somewhere close to me? Anger by itself hasn’t been found to be a problem for me. UNCONTROLLED anger on the other hand has at times reared its ugly head and caused reactions which were far worse than the anger itself. We ought to control our emotions not allow them to control us. Scripture says it is okay to be angry, but to sin not, which is a tough but worthy challenge. Thanks again for posting.

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      June 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Dwayne,
      Your comment helped to clarify some things. I love what you point out. We can define these things in many ways, which is why we can see them as good or bad. It is important to know what we are talking about. Anger the emotional response or the actions we take, either inappropriate or not. All these can be called anger, but they are really separate. We can allow the feeling and need to in order to let go!
      Thanks
      xo
      Jodi

  16. Kabenlah

    June 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I enjoy laughing a lot.
    In an angry mood, I just look through the mirror and pour that outrage to that I see in the mirror and that will obviously be me myself.

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      June 25, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      Kabenlah,
      A cool idea! I hope it works great for you!
      Jodi

  17. Sylviane Nuccio

    June 25, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Hi Jodi,

    Sorry for being so late on your post, but I was with no computer for 3 days.

    Great subject, Jodi.

    I know two people close to me who have an anger problem. Both in a little different way, but noneless a strong issue with managing that ugly monster that comes out of them at times.

    I so agree with you that anger is fear and anxiety, because anger is weakness anyway. We do not get angry when we feel strong.

    Anger is also a poison for the body and the mind and if we feel that we get angry more often then we should, we surely should seek help.

    Thank you for this great topic.

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      June 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Sylvianne,

      I appreciate your comments but there is loads of judgment about anger in your words. This can compound the problem. Look at anger from another angle and see if you can notice what is in the shadow for your friends and see if you can calm them but validating that. Judgement is a poison to the body ever more so than anger.
      Love,
      xo
      Jodi

  18. Adrienne

    June 25, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Hi Jodi and Harleena,

    Whenever I use to get angry I would explode at that particular time. I learned over a period of time to breath deeply and walk off to cool down before I say or do something I regret. For the most part that’s how I’ve lived my life for a number of years. I’m definitely not perfect in this area because there are times when the issue won’t go away and there is no escaping.

    I just know that when I’m angry I say hurtful things at that moment that I KNOW I’ll later regret which is why I prefer walking away from the situation.

    I’m a Leo so I blame it all on that, my hot head. The older I get though the more I really don’t have this issue as much or maybe it’s just because I’m not put in these types of situations as much. Either way that’s fine with me.

    ~Adrienne

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      June 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Dear Adrienne,
      thank you for sharing your personal story. Time does help us cool down and refrain from things we’d regret. Add this component if it does ever come up again. Try to validate yourself for what you are holding precious. See what happens!
      Love,
      xo
      Jodi

  19. Sherman Smith

    June 25, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Hey Jodi and Harleena,

    Very interesting topic on anger. I learned something today that 80% of your anger comes from guilt and 20% comes from the original incident.This is something I have to really digest.

    When I get angry, I make an effort to stay open and look at the situation from an “aerial view”. I ask myself why am I angry at this and is there any other way I can respond to it or is there any other action I can do to balance the situation out. Then I’ll ask myself if my response a signal of growth.

    I like your answer to focus on what your love as a priority versus focusing on guilt and resentment. I’m going to have to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      June 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Sherman,
      I hope it enhances your already beautiful process. I would love to hear if and how it makes any difference!
      Thanks!
      xo
      jodi

  20. Suhas

    June 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Jodi and Harleena,

    A very needed topic for me as these days I really get angry with things I must not. In this post I could understand the fundamentals of anger and this is going to help me. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      June 25, 2013 at 1:15 am

      Suhas,
      “Must” means there is judgment there. Let go of the judgment. This doesn’t you act inappropriate! But you’d be surprised how having compassion for yourself dissolves the anger faster than anything else! I really do hope it does help!
      xo
      Jodi






Anger: Why You Feel It And What To Do About It

by Jodi Lobozzo Aman time to read: 3 min