Understanding Anger

When we discuss anger, it can mean many forms, intentions, and expressions depending upon the situation, people, and experiences. 

Looking at the noun version of anger, it means to hold a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. It can be applied/conveyed by stating any of the following descriptive:






ill temper










When we put anger into action, shifting anger from a noun to a verb, it moves anger into a step by way of inciting, imparting, or provoking anger into an individual or a situation.   

To get to the root of understanding anger, it helps to know where this energy comes from and what possible invitations show up in our expressions. These four expressions of anger manifest in different behaviors. However, the triggers are usually the following ways:

  • Frustrations
  •  Irritations
  • Abuse
  • Unfairness

From the root, it also facilitates recognizing the four stages of anger and how that impacts your well-being and interactions. The four stages of anger are:

  • Annoyance
  • Displeasure
  • Aggravation
  • Hostility

Suppose our feelings and emotions are already heightened to such a level of sensitivity. In that case, there is the possibility that differences of opinions, dissimilarities in perspective, any past issue, or even unresolved feelings lead us down a path into any or all of the above stages. And all the while, you have thoughts and emotions crossing back and forth in your mind; your mind and body are processing the symptoms of anger. 

Symptoms can present in any or several of these expressions:

  • Easily irritated
  • Overwhelmed
  • Clenching jaws or grinding teeth
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Hurting others: verbally or physically
  • Tense, nervous, or unable to relax
  • Resentful towards other people or situations
  • Loss of control yourself

For all the points above, anger does serve a purpose in our lives. Anger provides several benefits we could overlook when we focus on processing the chaos of feelings. Anger can serve us well by:

  • Protecting us from danger
  • Change is needed
  • Facing obstacles
  • Defines who we are, what we believe, and how the world perceives us
  • Need to take action to create an accurate truth

Anger is one of those primal emotions that never really goes away, but it can be harnessed, directed, and guided to be productive rather than destructive. Listed below are several popular recommendations on how we can all use techniques to help bring us back to a mindful moment and construct a healthier navigation path for those heightened emotions. 

  • Think before you speak. Remember, you can’t take back what you said; only apologize for it
  • Once you’re calm, express your concerns in a calm and approachable manner
  • Exercise is good for releasing the energies 
  • Timeouts aren’t just for kiddos- adults need them too… 
  • Problem solves with facts and not feelings 
  • Grudges- Not worth dragging those negative feelings any further than in the moment that they happen
  • Create a relaxation routine focused on activities that support calm, rest, and well-being balance  

Strong emotions can leave us feeling a bit unsettled, and coupled with the experience or past experiences that are still resonating in our beliefs, it can create a chaos of feelings and thoughts that move us from making irrational decisions to more mindful and more sound judgments for our lives. Being true to your values means incorporating your emotions into making decisions and conducting yourself in a way aligned with your values, integrity, and true to who you are.

If you want to learn more, let’s connect at info@lwcounselingllc.com to schedule an appointment. Until then, be well, my friends!

Dr. Shana Garrett

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