Can Anger Actually Be Useful?

Most of us are taught from a very early age that anger is a ‘bad’ emotion. Where are told to manage it, to keep it in check. And so, most of us learn to ignore it—to shove our angry feelings deep, deep down where they won’t upset anyone. But censoring your anger isn’t healthy. In fact, finding a way to improve your relationship with anger can be tremendously beneficial.

First off, it is important to remember that there are no ‘bad’ emotions. Each of your feelings is a valid form of experience. They are all completely human, and none of them are innately ‘bad’. It’s how you handle and express those feelings that truly matters.

With anger, many of us tend to lose our cool—scream, stomp, punch, fume. That’s destructive anger. But if you redefine your relationship to anger, expressing it can actually be an incredibly positive experience—meaning your anger can actually be productive.

When Anger Can Be Useful

Here are three powerful ways that anger can be supportive and healthy.

Can Anger Actually Be Useful?

1. Anger can promote personal growth.

Think of anger as a force for positive change in your life. It can provide insights to our deepest values… as well as our deepest faults. By becoming aware of these parts of yourself and expressing them in a healthy way, you can actually grow and evolve as a person.

Sure, there is a lot of discomfort in experiencing and acknowledging anger—but you’ll come out the other side a wiser, better version of yourself.

2. It kicks you into gear.

Without anger, you might not ever take action to address the things that truly upset you. Anger is a very clear sign that you are not happy with something in life, and it can provide the fire you need to roll your sleeves up and do something about it.

According to anger-management expert John Schinnerer, PhD, “Being mad can be good for society; it motivates us to work toward positive change. Things like #MeToo or the civil rights movement wouldn’t exist without anger.”

3. It reminds you what is important to you.

Every time you feel a little twinge of anger, it’s like a gentle reminder to prioritize what you value most. Maybe you’ve been letting people walk all over you at work. Maybe you feel like your partner isn’t pulling their weight around the house. That feeling of anger could simply mean you desire respect and appreciation.

Anger is never truly about the small things that light our fuses. It speaks to a greater truth about what we value in life. By taking anger as an opportunity to step back and audit our lives, when can ensure that we continue to live true to our most deeply held beliefs.

Can Anger Actually Be Useful?

Get Angry in a Healthy Way

Anger definitely has its upsides. The important thing is to check in with and release your anger in a healthy manner on a regular basis.

Shoving your feelings away to fester can lead to a build up of anger, which leads to prolonged irritability, road rage, and other explosive behaviors. Always consult a professional if you have a history of struggling with your anger.

When you confront your anger early on, perhaps through a calm discussion or some journaling, it can be the kickstart you need to grow and freely express yourself. Yes, it can be an uncomfortable emotion to come to terms with, but getting a little angry can be an incredibly useful thing.

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Images via Getty

88 comments

sandra m
sandra m2 months ago

I get angry and I don't hold it in. my blood pressure is perfect and always has been.

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Val P
Val P2 months ago

Interesting

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berny p
berny p2 months ago

No excuses for road rage!

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Val P
Val P2 months ago

interesting

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Mely Lu
Mely Lu2 months ago

Tyfs

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Anne G
Anne G3 months ago

Thanks.

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