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Feeling Angry

We all feel angry sometimes. Most of the time, we can deal with feelings of anger or irritability quickly. We may resolve the situation or look at the problem from a different perspective. However, anger can cause problems in our lives and the lives of those around us. Learn more about recognizing problem anger and taking action.

What is anger?

Anger is an emotion that tells us when something may be wrong. For example, we may feel angry when something is beyond our control or feels unfair, when we can’t reach a goal, or when someone is hurt or threatened. We can also feel angry when we are under too much stress. Anger can involve a wide range of feelings. We may be a little annoyed over a minor incident, like being stuck in traffic or missing our bus. More serious problems, like getting hurt or seeing someone else get hurt, may cause strong feelings like rage. Sometimes, we just feel angry for no reason.

Anger may be a problem for you when it’s:

What can I do about it?

Anger is a normal reaction to some situations. Anger can also be helpful when it matches the situation and motivates people to take action or work towards a goal. However, anger that’s dealt with in unhealthy ways can create problems and affect your well-being. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to deal with your anger.

Immediate strategies

These strategies won’t solve the problem. Instead, they can help put you back in control so you can find a productive way to deal with the problem. They may also be useful if you find yourself saying or doing things in anger that you regret later.

Short-term strategies

When you are calmer, these are strategies to help you look at your feelings around a particular situation. They don’t take a lot of time, but they can make a big difference.

Longer-term solutions

These strategies take more time and effort, but they can help you cope with anger as it comes up in many different situations. The goal is to change the way you react to anger so it doesn’t cause problems in the first place.

Anger and irritability can sometimes be signs of depression or anxiety. If anger continues to cause problems or you notice that anger occurs with other symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor or mental health professional.

Do you need more help?

Contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area. Find your local CMHA here.

Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.