Anger: Why You Feel It And What To Do About It
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.
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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!
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.
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
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!
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. 😉
All great back up to my post Amandah! Thanks so much for adding to it! xo
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.
Thanks Vivek! Indeed, we all have all the emotions inside of us!
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.
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!
You are silly. Sense of humor is a great way to keep anger in check! Thanks for the compliments!
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
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.
Great point! Sometimes student s are angry at themselves for not studying enough!
Can’t wait to hear!
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. 🙂
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.
Thank you! I am glad the info was so easy to digest!
You have a great week, too!
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.
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.
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!
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.
A cool idea! I hope it works great for you!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
I hope it enhances your already beautiful process. I would love to hear if and how it makes any difference!
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.
“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!
Jodi and Harleena, I take deep breaths, count to 10. And then if I can I go for a walk or jog. It helps to calm me down. I did not realize guilt can be a part of anger. Very interesting 🙂
I sometimes hold it in and have been trying hard not to anymore. I’m sure that cannot be healthy. Thanks Jodi for this informative post.
Let me know if this insite does anything for your anger or helps you calm even faster, though it seems like you have a good handle on it.
I think all of these feeling kind of roll in together. And make the others worse! Helping one of them, will help all.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
I hope you had wonderful weekend, too! Thanks for stopping by. I think meditation is underutilized in the world. It should be taught in every school. We’d have a much different world!
Welcome to Harleena’s blog. This is definitely a good post on what to do about anger!
Anger is something we are born with. No matter how we control it, it will keep coming back. I love to play golf, polo or go for a long walk whenever I am angry. Sometimes I get angry for no reason.
Thanks for the share.
Hello Jodi, very good explanation of why anger occurs. Very interesting to know that guilt can also be part of anger. It certainly can mask anxiety which can be a cause of frustration and then anger.
Nice to meet you on Harleena’s place 🙂
I’d say ‘Beautiful!’ 😉 Lovely post with a powerful message and it flows smoothly.
As you implied, anger awlays been the second emotion and drived from other type of emotions for me too 🙂 Mostly, mistrust and social injustices lead me to anger, unwittingly. It’s rare but when anger embraces me, I just lose control and mostly I tend not to act. It comes within and through past experiece 😀 lol…
Meditation been helping for me on such occasions and yeah, with the help of validation 🙂 I’m a firm believer of the concept of causality too. It allows me to find what’s going on and take control of myself again when things out of my hand. Well, it all happens quietly 🙂
You have a wonderful weekend, Jodi and Harleena 🙂
Hmmm anger, Angry mood is a very dangerous mood and it said that Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured, but i think the best thing to do about it is that when you get mad on it you should try to get over it.
I agree it can be dangerous. That’s why we have to address it head on!
Thanks for coming!
This was an excellent post and it’s great to see you over at Harleena’s blog!
I loved what you wrote about what anger is and how we can deal with it. I’ve experimented with my own anger and the best way I’ve found to deal with it, is through how you explained in your post, which is to experience the anger without judging it. By not judging it, I become dissociated from it and stop myself from identifying with it. Meditation has helped me a lot to develop this capacity.
It’s been great being over here! I’m glad you found meditation to help you!
Such a wonderfull post and really anger has become problem of every single person. I’m 100% agree with your points and realy inspired- you’ve written very well..
Thank you so much for the compliments!
Hi Jodi welcome to Harleena’s blog ! 😀
Thanks for sharing with us this awesome post I really like 😀
I don’t get angry in fact I’m a person that likes joking and hanging out with friends. But Literally when I get angry nobody could stop me 😀
I think it’s bad to get angry the one should be just happy and cool as it helps you live a better life 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us this awesome post Harleena Opps Jodi
But Harleena surely gave her lovely blog for this post so thanks both of you! 😀
Thanks so much for the complements! It’s great to hear how happy and free you are, because happiness is true freedom!
What a great skill in dissolving your anger. You are really taking a step back here and seeing the whole picture. It does have a calming effect doesn’t it? What I do not heare is you noticed what it is you give value you to that prompted this anger. Look for this and honor it. I promise this will hlpe even faster. Though you are doing fantastic the way you are doing it. And maybe you are doing this, too, but just weren’t aware or just didn’t write it.
Good luck, keep it up!
Anger management is a tough task for a lot of people including me.As you said we sometimes take decisions which we regret later.I try to find a place where i can be quiet and have some peace of mind to think things through.
That sounds like a great plan! Taking some time to think, helps us all make better choices!
Thanks for the comment!
When I am in anger, I just try to sit alone, dont talk to anybody, dont allow anybody to advice me . Close my eyes , try to question myself…if I react in my anger what can be consequences….obviously reacting in anger cant be profitable as anger overshadows wisdom. Take time to react.And it has helped me a lot.And the best of it is that I have learnt to have patience and yielded tremendous results.
How do you respond to someone who in his need for control can sometimes come across as arrogant and bossy? It’s my adult son, and I’m always at a loss for words when he does this to me other than becoming defensive, meanwhile wanting to blast him. But I can’t I don’t want to look like a bigger jerk than he’s already being.
Great question! Setting limits will be hard with a fellow who uses control to get his way. He is probably used to people backing down or getting on the defensive, keeping him in an power role.
His anger may be a power tactic.
Maybe you can talk to him about this insight, but it would be best to have a mentor type older man talk to him about how to treat people, especially women. You can set limits but it would be best if you were ready to not take things personally and were prepared because he might protest a bit at first. This is not about you really, so you have no need to defend yourself.
Let me know how it goes!
Hello Jodi and welcome to Harleena’s blog.
Nice post on anger management 🙂 . I easily get pissed off and i hate it when it happens. But i have learned to control my anger in a way. and how i am able to compress the anger is by walking out on that particular thing that angered me.
Thanks for stopping by and dropping such a wonderful post here with us. Do have a lovely weekend ahead
Thank you for the welcome!
I do worry about “compressing” anger. That sounds like you end up invalidated and I worry about it coming out later. If you find yourself in this situation again, go ahead and walk away, if this helps, but when you are alone, try to get awareness of what upset you. What is it that you valued and honor it. You’ll be able to let the anger go and it won’t sneak out when you don’t want it to!
Hello Jodi, welcome to harleeena Blog today,
There are so many things that can make us angry, the most important is how we are able to control the anger,
Anger can go as far as destroying a relationship, businesses name etc, we all need to learn how to avoid getting angry
Thanks you for coming up with this wonderful post..
Thanks for the welcome! Thanks for noting the downfalls of anger, it can indeed ruin many things! Hopefully the post helped people understand it and address it is a new and easier way!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Me too, I can tell you tales about how anger took control of my life. I have a relatively short fuse and I usually have bust ups quite often only to regret later. Mid-teenage years were the worse, I can tell you.
Over the past few years, I’ve learnt to control it. Because emotions like anger and fear come from the subconscious part of the brain, being conscious or understanding the situation with the conscious part of the brain can help you overcome anger very easily. I’ve very tough initially but over the years I’ve been able to do that.
Of course the consequence of anger is guilt. Seriously, I’ve spent a good number of months or even years in such a phase.
Good post! Great issue to highlight!
Thanks so much for sharing your personal story. I have been in both of those places. Feeling and expressing great anger and feeling pushed down by a ton of guilt. Neither feel good. I am glad you are controlling your life now rather than anger. Understanding and acknowledging yourself through awareness is a loving way to handle it. I am glad you are you and you did what you did!
Hi Jodi, What a powerful post! You really provided us with an in-depth analysis of anger, where it comes from and how to deal with it. As a parent, I know how important it is to understand that. It’s easy to mirror your child’s anger, but it’s more important to understand it. If we see that our child’s anger arises from fear, we are much better able to deal with it.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom here at Harleena’s place!
I feel so validated! That’s for “getting me”. This is just it. When we take a step back and not take things so personally, we can deal with everything in life much better! Thanks for stopping by!
Good topic for the blog post! Wish there was some magic wand which could be swayed and all anger would disappear from world!
I like the little tips you have offered to overcome this.
I think if people took my advice we might be able to get rid of anger. If we got rid of judgment, I think all of the problems in the world would go away. I am talking about judgment in the most general sense. Meaning get rid of any guilt or fear. Because then we would have any competition at all. It would be awesome!
Thanks for this great comment!
Thanks for a very helpful article.
I’m so glad you’ve made the vital connection between anger and fear – fear and anxiety are so often at the root of anger and the aggression that can result from it.
As I’ve got older, I think I’ve got better at recognising when I’m starting to feel angry, then analysing what the problem is so that I can get myself under control. It can be quite cathartic to have a good rant, but I think you can also end up feeling foolish – we can do and say really stupid, hurtful things when we’re angry, things that can hurt other people and ourselves.
It’s interesting that anger often features in comedy – it can be very funny – which is why, I think, you often end up feeling like an idiot when you’ve lost control and had a full-on tantrum. When that happens, I think you’ve just got to be willing to laugh at yourself, learn and move on.
Getting angry’s a normal, healthy part of being human – we’ve just got to be careful not to let such a powerful emotion get out of hand. Awareness is the key.
You make some fantastic points about anger and comedy. I always say we need to take ourselves less seriously! It helps so much when we can laugh at ourselves instead of judge! Thanks so much for your contribution to the conversation!
Hello Jodi Lobozzo Aman,
I have to say that very clear & informative article to understand anger & how can we check our anger. Everyone has Anger. It is common feature of human being. But we can’t exceed its limit. That’s the key point.
Thanks for awesome post 🙂
Thank you for the compliments! I agree it is a common feature of human beings. I hope this article can help people be less forgiving with themselves and others. I hope that this will take everyone down a notch then! Keeping us all in check!
Thank you for stopping by!
Really a great post, and it’s very helpful for me especially -because I get angry without any reason. Thank you dear for sharing such a great experience (thought) with us.
I hope the post showed you that there is always a reason. When we think there is no reason, it is fodder for us thinking that something is wrong with us (judgment) and only makes the anger worse. Or at the very least, it makes us feel worse.
Let me know if it effects you differently at all!
Well said! I think it may also be helpful to understand that very often anger issues build up over time – sometimes over many years. As a young adult I began experiencing stomach pains and strange rashes – after a battery of medical tests it turned out to be the result of years of stuffing anger from my childhood. It took time, but I was able to resolve those issues, so for me the key to resolving the problem was awareness and the willingness to reach out for help.
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your personal story! I see this happening all the time. In fact, I have come to believe that stress is the most common denominator in physical illness as it happened with you.
I appreciate how you set your mind to resolving it, or dissolving it as sometimes I like to call it. You go girl! And now you are helping others do the same! Thank you so much for stopping by!
This is a great post. The one thing I would love to add, if you don’t find a way to channel the anger in a positive manner you are bound to explode eventually. Pent up anger also leads to health issues such as high blood pressure.
Fantastic point! When we don’t allow it, we are judging ourselves. This compounded with the anger is a recipe for disaster! I wish we can all allow it without judging we’d all walk around with much less stress that way!
Thanks so much for adding to the converstation!
Hi Jodi and Harleena,
Interesting take on Anger. I used to keep in inward for most of my life. It did cause ulcers and that’s when I knew my body was talking to me. I grew up not to show anger but through a long journey, I can now understand it. It is a secondary emotion. I don’t get angry much.
If I do I’ll stomp around the house talking real fast for a minute or two, then have to laugh at my own behavior.
I have grown up around angry people, angry ex husband. So much so, that it did give me a wake up call. I avoid angry people and this post makes so much sense to understand them better.
Not that I would put up with any kind of abuse, but I didn’t recognize it as a secondary emotion until now.
Thanks…you have enlightened me once again!
Thank you, Donna, for your lovely comment!
I love hearing about your laughter at yourself. I always think that if we just lighten up on ourselves, things would be a bit easier! I am glad I shed light on some of the reasons people feel and express anger. I know it does not condone it nor mean that you should put up with it as you said, but it helps us not take it as personally. Which can be so important!
A warm welcome to my blog, as a guest blogger. I’m so glad to have you over at Aha!NOW. I’ve to admire you for the help and support you offer to the readers on your blog and your work for the sexually abused people. And, there could not have been any better person than you as a certified counselor to deal with your today’s post on anger.
You’re right – anger is a sign or symptom, whereas the real reason lies underneath it that sometimes we fail to understand. It could be fear, anxiety, loss, or threat of loss as you mention in the post. I agree with you that it is important to know why you feel anger, and this self-discovery would help one to deal effectively with anger. Everything depends on how we deal with anger – people sometimes really mess up their lives when they do not understand how to deal with their anger. It’s interesting how you suggest to feel the anger without judgment in order to resolve it.
I’m sure everyone would benefit by your suggestions and wisdom based on your personal and professional experience. I’m going to let you and my blog readers communicate with each other and discuss the topic because I know you’d give them the best advice!
Over to you, Jodi, and wish you a very interacting and interesting session with the readers of Aha!NOW
Thank you so much for this opportunity to reach out you the readers of Aha!NOW. I am glad to let people know of the other side of it, which, I believe is very important in dealing with anger and letting it go! Peoples’ anger is a major part of why they come to therapy. They are very angry about what has happened in their life. When we had conversations that uncovered what was important to them, they recovered quickly. I am so happy to be able to share this with your readers!
I hope we touch some lives today! Many thanks to you!
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