Anger Management

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© 2019 John DeMarco M.Ed., LPC. All rights reserved.

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What is Anger?

Anger is the emotional drive to protect ourselves form anything we perceive as a threat. It is a normal and legitimate response. Anger is a protective behavior.

The central issue behind anger is protection against being hurt—hurt emotionally as well as otherwise. Emotional hurt involves feeling disrespected, rejected, inferior, bad, worthless, and so on.

Anger mobilizes you to take action—this is because anger is energy. When you get angry, adrenalin (energy hormone) is released into your bloodstream and you get energized. You are less likely to feel pain and your strength seems to increase. For a brief period of time anger makes you feel better.

Anger is a secondary emotion—meaning some other emotion always comes first and triggers our anger response. The emotions that come first are called primary emotions. A primary emotion is any emotion that precedes anger. An important step in anger management is recognizing your primary emotions. A primary emotion is a painful hurt feeling, such as loneliness, sadness, a feeling of inadequacy, rejection, worthlessness, and fear. Anger never happens without first experiencing a primary emotion.

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