You might feel bummed, pissed off, unhappy with a person or situation. That’s normal. Although anger is often seen as negative, this emotion also has its good sides.
What causes anger
Anger often hides sadness, disappointment, frustration or loneliness. It’s not always easy to express those emotions. Unfortunately, when they’re kept inside you, they can cause you to feel overwhelmed by your emotions and that can be expressed in excessive anger.
How anger feels
Anger can become harmful when it builds up and isn’t well managed. Your fists clench, your temperature rises… You might act violently, adopt an accusing attitude (It’s all your fault!), say hurtful things or sulk. Later, you might feel ashamed or guilty about what you did when you were angry.
Why anger is useful
Anger can be constructive and tell you that you see something unjust, frustrating, or hurtful. It can also encourage you to resolve a conflict, know your limits, or make changes in your life.
What to do when you feel angry
- Try to understand what triggered your anger. What happened? How did I react? Why did I react like that? What did I feel?
- Try to prevent the next explosion of rage by identifying clues that tell you you’re getting angrier (you’re shaking, you’re flushed, etc.) so you can take steps to manage it before it gets too strong.
- Stand back and take a moment to think when a situation makes you angry. Don’t let yourself get carried away by other people’s anger.
- Relax by breathing slowly and imagining yourself in a happy place.
- Decompress and burn off your excess energy in activities such as running or skating.
- Express your emotions; don’t let them build up, but talk about them to your friends, parents, or Tel-jeunes.
- Consult a professional if you feel that anger takes up too much space in your life.
After an explosion of anger, you may feel guilty or embarrassed. To feel better, you can:
- forgive yourself
- apologize to the people who were there when you lost your cool
- explain yourself to these people and look for solutions with them
By learning to understand what’s hiding behind your anger, you’ll discover better ways to define yourself and express your limits and your needs.