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Anger is not always a bad thing and can actually serve a positive function in our lives. For example, just as our body's immune system will aggressively defend itself against foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, so anger can act as our psychological immune system, energizing us to protect ourselves or those we care about from injustice or harm. Anger can also provide us a way to discharge tension in the body resulting from physical or emotional distress. Furthermore, it can motivate us to take care of a problem that threatens to block our needs from getting met or cause us to lose something of value. This type of healthy anger, when not accompanied by destructive or harmful tendencies, is natural.
However, anger can become unhealthy and cause physical or psychological harm to ourselves and to others. It can undermine our relationships, our goals, our health, and our happiness. Unhealthy anger is often a secondary emotion because it is really just masking the primary emotions of fear or emotional pain.
If you are experiencing frequent anger and struggling to control it, counseling can help you with regaining a healthy emotional balance and control. Counseling can help you explore the roots of your anger and identify any underlying causes such as trauma, painful feelings, fears, irrational beliefs, thinking errors, or unrealistic expectations that might be contributing to your anger. Using cognitive behavioral therapy, along with mindfulness and relaxation training, you can gain greater impulse control, learn to handle situations in more constructive ways, identify and manage your triggers, and maintain healthy, rational perspectives.