There are many reasons behind our emotions – some are slight instances that trigger an emotional response, while others are situations that have built up over time. In either instance, a common recurring emotion is anger. When we feel angry, we experience physiological responses such as our heart racing, sweaty palms, feeling “jumpy” and more. Our mind signals us into “fight or flight” mode – and we either express our anger, or we hold it in.

Expressing our anger is determined completely by us – we either tell the person that we are angry and we explain why, or we exhibit rage. We yell, cry, scream, storm out, and more. A common argument that people have with one another is whether their anger was justified. The truth is that we all are justified in having emotions, but we are also responsible for the way that we act on our emotions.

We are all comprised of history – memories, experiences, feelings, behaviors, learned behaviors and ways of coping, etc. We each have our own triggers and stressors and, when prompted, our historical pattern of reaction that we learned or developed when we were younger may arise. Our reasoning for developing anger over a specific subject may prove confusing to others who don’t understand why, but something in our brains prompted a response. We are allowed feel angry if that is how we feel, as there is no justification needed for feeling human emotions. We must be healthy in the way that we allow ourselves to express and release it, however.

Being angry and showing aggression are two completely different concepts – and aggression is not a healthy way to react to our feelings of anger. According to the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 90 percent of aggressive incidents – incidents that end up in the criminal justice system – are preceded by anger. Only 10 percent of anger incidents are followed by aggression. This proves that it is the way in which we act on our anger that places us in risky situations.

Anger can bring about a plethora of other feelings and actions wanting to be taken – but the best way to act on anger is in a way that is healthy towards ourselves and others, and to view anger as a learning experience. If we can learn to channel our anger into healthy alternatives, we take control over ourselves. For example, anger can be released by exercising, playing sports, boxing, running, and more. Anger can also be healthily released by respectfully expressing our anger to someone in a safe environment. If we can learn to better cope with our anger, we can better handle situations that bring up that emotion within us – ultimately creating and maintaining a safer environment for ourselves and those around us.


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