What is anger?

Anger is a normal emotion which everyone experiences. We often feel angry when life seems unfair, or we feel frustrated by how others are acting towards us. Anger is a natural response to feeling threatened and can trigger a fight or flight response which is necessary to our survival

Getting angry can have a positive impact, for example, it can inspire us to change things for the better or to stand up for what we believe is right. However, uncontrolled anger can have a negative impact on our health, our lives and our relationships with others. 

There are some helpful visual aids which can help us to understand anger better, such as the Iceberg image, initially developed by The Gottman Institute. The iceberg illustrates anger as the emotion that we see on the surface but there may be lots of other thoughts and feelings underneath. Anger can be a reaction to, and distraction from, other feelings such as guilt, sadness, powerlessness, anxiety and isolation.