Anger is a natural emotion, a response to feeling attacked, hurt, or violated in some way. It has a purpose. It helps us survive, giving us a boost of strength to fight back or flee when attacked or faced with injustice.
Most of the time when we get angry, we get over it quickly because, somehow, we resolve the situation and our feelings of anger pass. However, anger can lead to destructive and violent behaviour if we suppress it, or if we 'blow up".
Our approach to anger is typically learned behaviour that comes from our upbringing and cultural background. As a child, you may have been terrified witnessing your parents' or other adults' anger when it was out of control and destructive, or you may have been frightened by your own temper. Perhaps you were punished for expressing anger. Such experiences encourage you to suppress your anger.
Feelings of anger cause changes to occur within your body. Your glands pump adrenaline into your bloodstream, preparing you for fight or flight. You may experience a surge of energy and become hyper alert, poised for action. Tension builds. As long as this build-up is released in non-harming action or words, it helps diffuse the emotional intensity and re-regulate your body and mind so that you can go back to normal. But if you "stuff" your feelings, the energy is blocked, with no outlet. It may turn inwards and cause you problems. These can manifest physically, affecting your digestion, blood pressure, joints and muscles, heart and circulatory system, immune system, or pain threshold. Or, they can affect you emotionally, showing up as depression, addictions, compulsions, or bullying behaviour. So, not only can anger bring on serious health problems like ulcers or heart disease, but it can also factor into you losing your job, or your friends, or possibly your marriage.
Approached constructively, anger can be a motivating force for change.
Used destructively, it can damage relationships with others, erode your self esteem, and lead to depression.
The ability to manage anger is an emotional intelligence skill that anyone can learn if they are motivated to do so. The expression of anger can be changed through awareness of the underlying causes and learning to be assertive instead of aggressive. Counselling will show you how.