Is Anger Helpful?
Anger is a funny emotion. There are times we feel happy and justified with feeling angry, and certain that our anger helped us. And, there are times when we wish we weren’t angry, and would like to take back our angry decisions. One study found that the only emotion that people enjoy feeling more than anger is happiness. That is because we often feel justified in our anger. We feel like we should be angry. However, we don’t take the time to notice how anger is impacting our lives. Or if we do notice it, it is often after the fact.
There are some positive effects of anger. It could help you feel motivated to make a change in your life or to confront someone who wronged you. I am sure anger has had a positive impact for most people in some capacity. Afterall, all emotions are helpful to some extent. But, anger can also lead to negative consequences such as poorer relationships with friends, family, or your romantic partner. It is also associated with medical issues such as heart disease and stroke. Anger often has a way of coloring our vision so we can’t see straight. When we are angry we feel justified in our angry thoughts and behavior, and may even take revenge.
Given this, it is important to recognize when anger is functional and dysfunctional. In fact, anger itself could be functional, but yelling at the person may not be. We want to make sure to separate the emotion from the behavior. Being angry doesn’t mean that we have to fly off the handle or curse at someone. It could mean voicing your opinion, but in a respectful way. And typically, that respectful way is more likely to get you what you want and keep the relationship. It is important to recognize that the goal of anger management therapy is not to eliminate your anger, but instead to cope with it in a functional way. A way that will help you reach your goals and live in line with your values, not one blinded by rage. As such, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
If anger is getting in the way of my life?
Has my anger hurt my relationships?
Has anger impacted my job?
Am I proud of what I’ve done while angry?
Do I like being angry? Why not?
Has anyone told me I have an anger problem? Why might they have said that?
If any of the answers to the questions above concern you then seek out a professional who can help you cope with your anger more effectively.