Anger is another normal emotion that everyone experiences throughout their lives. It is only bad if you use it in a way that hurts yourself or others. Anger can be an excellent emotion in that it gives us focus, strength and energy. Many people join causes or become more productive in some way when they are angry. Anger comes from thoughts that things SHOULD be a certain way, and when they aren’t it’s terrible and intolerable. If you are angry because of pollution, or because some people are treated unfairly, and as a result of your anger, you join a group to clean up your town, or to provide rights to mistreated individuals, then you are using your anger for good. On the other hand, if you become angry because traffic is too slow, and spend your time raging, then your heart rate and blood pressure will go up, and you will unnecessarily damage your health. If you are frequently angry with other people because they don’t follow your (often secret) rules, then not only your health, but your relationships will be damaged.  Try changing your self-talk from “should” to “I prefer.”  For example, I prefer that traffic move faster, but it isn’t worth getting upset about. I just leave a few minutes early to avoid being late. If you feel you still need help with anger, it usually doesn’t take many counseling sessions to learn to manage your anger and feel happier with yourself and with the world.

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