Anger is an emotion we all know.  Despite many misconceptions, anger is a healthy emotion.  Although anger is a common and healthy part of life, anger can become a problem.  Anger is quite complex and is made up of many physical, emotional, and psychological processes.

When Anger Becomes A Problem

Anger can become a problem when…
violence occurs
-others are hurt and scared of your anger
-you lose control of your anger
aggression occurs
-you are easily triggered by small things
-you use anger as an excuse for your behaviour
-you use anger to control others (through fear and intimidation)

Controlling Your Anger

Having control over your anger so that it stays in a healthy place involves self-awareness. This means being aware of how you are feeling.  Sometimes you can feel yourself being triggered or getting too worked up.  When you feel like you are losing control over your anger, it is important to implement self-care and give yourself a “time out.”  This isn’t to discipline yourself, it is to give yourself time and space to regain control over your anger and feelings.

Self-talk can be useful in these situations when you are losing control to your anger.  Self-talk is a therapeutic tool where you talk to yourself mentally. Self-talk can either be negative or positive.  Positive self-talk is worth practicing because it will have an impact on how you feel.  Some things you can say to yourself when you start to feel aware that you are losing control of your anger are:
-I can feel myself getting too angry, I need some time right now to cool down.
-I don’t have to control this situation, I don’t have to be right.
-I can only figure out what is going on for me, not anyone else.
-If this person wants to get upset and angry, that’s their own stuff.  I don’t need to respond or tolerate this behaviour.
-I cannot control other people’s behaviour, I can only control my own, and cope.


After you have calmed down, get curious about your anger.  What was going on for you?  What led up this situation?  Know your triggers! Ask yourself “I get angry when…” This will help you know yourself better and what triggers you so that you can avoid losing control over your anger in the future.

Remember anger is a normal and healthy part of life, we are all human!  Sometimes we lose control over our anger, but we do not have to let it get the best of us.  Learn from it so that you can prevent it from happening next time.

Photo Credit: Darian Vincent

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