What is anger?

Anger can be defined as an aversive state ranging from annoyance to rage. Webster’s says, “Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and antagonism, indignation or an automatic reaction to ay real or imagined insult, frustration, or injustice, producing emotional agitation seeking expression.”

Source of anger

Anger is caused by feelings of helplessness and the need to control situations, people and consequences.


Signs indicating when anger is a problem

When it is too frequent

When it is too intense

When it lasts too long

When it leads to aggression

When it disturbs relationships or work


Triggers that provoke anger

Aversive bodily sates such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, pain, and hangovers

Premenstrual syndrome and low blood sugar

Extremely rigid or biased appraisals of events

Irrational beliefs


Skill deficits in cognitive and behavioral areas can contribute to an impulsive acting out of anger

Obsessive Substance use

High conflict family environment

Stress-current life situations


How to handle anger effectively

Recognize the underlying feelings of tension, sadness, fear, frustration, hurt, rejection

Take time out to reflect

Pray about the problem

Identify the issue-decide whether you are distorting the truth about the even or person

Evaluate whether the issue is valid- do you have the right to be angry?

Address the issue and express your feelings

Get guidance from a pastor, counselor, or trustworthy confidante

Put the issue in perspective

Forgive and forget- forgiveness brings resolution and is a step toward reconciliation


Benefits of Anger

Anger can actually be really helpful. Anger is like a warning signal alerting you that something is wrong. It can provide the energy to resist emotional or physical threats. Anger can help you mobilize your resources and set appropriate limits and boundaries. Your anger can give you strength to resist threatening demands or violation of your values. Anger helps you overcome the fear of asserting your needs and facing conflict. Anger can be used for beneficial purposes.


Anger is good when turned into

Faith: Trusting in your Higher Power

Assertiveness: Speaking the truth in love

Problem-solving: Seeking the best solution

Conflict resolution: Negotiating to win-win

Forgiveness: Letting go of resentment


Goal of Anger Management Classes

The goal of anger management counseling or education is not to eliminate anger. Anger is a natural emotion and when acted on appropriately- a healthy emotion. After anger has been acknowledged it is important to reduce the emotional and physiological arousal that anger causes and learn to control its effects on the person and the environment.


Resource: Hoy, L. J., Griffin, T. (2010). What’s good about anger? (3. ed.). Oak Brook, Illinois: CounselCare Connection Publications.