Anger is a familiar emotion for us all. When one thinks of anger, rage and violence are usually associated. Anger is a secondary emotion that is useful for every human. Anger is defined as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. Sometimes people get angry when they get frustrated or put down. Some people will cope with anger by drinking, using drugs or self harm. By knowing how to manage anger in a healthy way, we can use this emotion as a tool to get our needs met.

A secondary emotion is an emotional response we have to other emotions. When a person feels angry, there is always an underlying primary emotion. Some might feel angry when they are hurt, betrayed, lonely, or even hungry. Being able to identify what is beneath that anger is helpful in managing anger.

There are many ways to manage anger in a healthy and effective way. Before learning about healthy coping skills, it is important to first know what triggers anger and what some warning signs could be. Knowing the triggers and warning signs of anger can help better manage anger and not let it get out of control. Some healthy coping skills to use when angry are muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and other types of grounding techniques. These are natural ways we can calm down our bodies. Other healthy coping skills include walking or exercising, talking to a loved one or someone trustworthy, reframing our thoughts (turning negative thoughts into positive ones), journaling and practicing self-care.

Contributed by Chelsea Vicario, MS, CSAC, Williamsville Wellness