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      Anger is an essential emotion. However, we must learn to manage it. This article describes how anger affects mental health and gives tips for healing from anger and no longer experiencing the pressure cooker effect. “Whatever is started in anger ends in shame. -Benjamin Franklin

      The origins of anger

      The origins of anger

      In recent years, anger-related issues have received increased attention, and some argue that anger-related problems are on the rise. The anger-related issues we encounter in the clinic may be more prevalent in today's society for several reasons.

      Stress and pressure

      The modern lifestyle often comes with increased stress, pressure and demands, which can contribute to increased levels of frustration and anger. People may face difficulties managing work-life balance, financial pressures and societal expectations, making them more likely to experience anger-related difficulties.

      Technology and social media

      The rise of technology and social media has changed the way we communicate and interact. Online platforms can provide a breeding ground for expressing and encountering anger, as anonymity and distance can make it easier to vent frustrations and engage in hostile exchanges. This can lead to increased exposure to anger-inducing content and a greater likelihood of conflict.

      Political and social divisions

      In times of political and social polarization, anger can take a more prominent place in public discourse. Debates on sensitive subjects, ideological differences and social injustices can arouse strong emotions and fuel anger at the individual and collective level. This can contribute to a more visible expression of anger within society.

      Mental health considerations

      Anger can be associated with a variety of mental disorders, including intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and certain personality disorders. The increased recognition and awareness of mental health issues in recent years may contribute to a better understanding and identification of anger-related issues.

      It is important to note that while anger-related difficulties are more visible or discussed in contemporary society, this does not necessarily mean that anger itself is becoming more common. It may be that societal changes have made it easier to express and recognize anger-related issues. In conclusion, various societal, cultural, and individual factors may contribute to the perception of increased anger-related problems. While anger is a normal human emotion, it is essential to promote healthy ways of expressing and managing anger to ensure constructive outcomes and positive interpersonal relationships.

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      Mental health considerations

      An obstacle to life

      Anger becomes a problem when it becomes a way of engaging in life and we cannot face it. No one worries about a child who has a brief outburst of anger in a given situation, but this behavior becomes problematic when it turns into an attitude, a way of being in the world, just like some forms of depression. , just like the main character of Ludovico Ariosto's poem "The Furious Orlando". Orlando is a famous Christian paladin who falls in love with Angelica, the princess of Catai. Orlando must experience good and bad adventures, facing obstacles one after the other to follow his beloved Angélique, who, on the contrary, falls in love with the squire Medon. After all the sacrifices made, this discovery made Orlando lose his mind, and he began to blame the whole world. So, if anger is a fundamental natural feeling, what causes it to overflow to become a dominant reaction to life and a way of being?

      How do I manage my anger? Find tips for healing from anger

      The pressure cooker effect

      Anger builds up like pressure in a pressure cooker. It builds up until it reaches its saturation point. Finding no more room, it often explodes violently. This is the same solution as repressing it or putting it to sleep, and which failed. This natural feeling can also transform into its evil double, rage. Rage overwhelms the person and causes them to lose control. It eventually implodes or explodes. In both cases, anger overwhelms the person. Thus, the very attempt to contain it leads to an explosive effect.

      A different understanding

      A constructivist therapeutic approach to anger emphasizes the active role of the individual in the construction and interpretation of their anger experiences. It recognizes the influence of cognitive processes, subjective interpretations and sociocultural factors in the development of angry reactions. By exploring and challenging their cognitive frameworks and beliefs, individuals can develop a more constructive and adaptive relationship with anger. In the realm of human emotions, anger stands out as a fiery force that can trigger both positive changes and destructive consequences. From road rage to heated arguments, anger has a profound influence on our thoughts, feelings and actions. We feel anger when we feel like our needs, desires, efforts, or plans are hindered or blocked by internal (ourselves) or external (others or the world) factors. Even the most thoughtful individuals can and will become angry when faced with frustrations and disappointments. However, anger tends to be considered a socially unacceptable feeling. From a very young age, we are taught and expected to restrain and neutralize it to avoid its devastating consequences. As Aristotle reminds us in “Ethics”, “the man who does not get angry at the right time is a fool”.

      The Bobo doll experience

      But what do we know about the psychological effects of anger? A famous experiment sheds light on this intriguing subject, revealing the complex nature of this intense emotion. Anger is an emotion that we generally give a negative connotation to, even though it is a natural human reaction and a basic feeling. In the 1960s, famous psychologist Albert Bandura conducted a groundbreaking study known as the Bobo doll experiment. This experiment aimed to understand how exposure to aggressive behavior can shape individuals' reactions, particularly in the context of anger and aggression. In this experiment, children observed adults interacting with a large inflatable doll called Bobo. In one scenario, adults exhibited aggressive behaviors toward the doll, such as punching, kicking, and verbal abuse. In another scenario, adults played with the doll calmly and without aggression.

      The results of the Bobo doll experiment are remarkable. Children who observed aggressive behavior toward the doll were more likely to imitate the behavior. They demonstrated increased physical aggression towards the doll, reflecting the actions they had witnessed. This study revealed the power of observational learning and highlighted the potential impact of anger on human behavior.

      The transformative effects of acting as if

      When Anger Starts to Offer Secondary Benefits

      Anger can become a habit that provides secondary benefits. Children can develop this habit and learn how and when to get angry. Despite this, adults continue to refrain from getting angry, often because they are afraid of it, so anger can also be used as a manipulative strategy by a child to get what they want. . It can be used to intimidate, in order to obtain secondary advantages or gains. For example, a child may throw a tantrum when things don't go his way or when he wants something at all costs. To put an end to his impossible behavior, his parents give in and grant his request, perhaps also giving him several treats to distract him. The child will perceive his tantrums as a way to get what he wants, so why not try again? When the secondary benefits outweigh the problematic aspect, the person's behavior can be said to have a function, need, or purpose, and therefore becomes more about pleasure.

      Anger as a motivator

      While anger is often associated with negative outcomes, it can also lead to positive changes. Anger can serve as motivation, pushing individuals to tackle injustices, assert their limits or fight for social causes. It can fuel determination, resilience and the will to overcome obstacles. When channeled constructively, anger can be a catalyst for personal development and societal transformation.

      The path to emotional balance

      Recognizing the psychological effects of anger is the first step toward developing healthier coping mechanisms and effectively managing this powerful emotion. Here are some strategies for managing anger

      Daily letter writing

      A helpful way to dissipate anger is to write every day, ritualizing the expression of anger. A seemingly simple but effective solution to repeat until you have overcome the anger.


      Listening to your emotions and triggers is essential to understanding and managing anger.

      Cognitive reframing

      Challenging negative thoughts and adopting more constructive perspectives can help defuse anger.

      Communication skills

      Learning effective communication techniques allows people to express their anger assertively and constructively, which promotes understanding and resolution of the problem.


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      • Harandi, TF, Taghinasab, MM and Nayeri, TD (2019). The prevalence of anger in the general population of Iran. Journal of Medicine and Life, 12(1), 31-36. doi:10.25122/jml-2019-0025
      • Kassinove, H., & Sukhodolsky, DG (Eds.). (2018). Anger Disorders: Definitions, diagnosis and treatment. Oxford University Press
      • Neimeyer, R.A. (2006). Constructivist psychotherapy: Distinctive features. Routledge.
      • Neimeyer, R.A., & Sands, D.C. (2011). Meaning reconstruction in bereavement: From principles to practice. American Psychological Association.
      • Neimeyer, R.A. (Ed.). (2019). Grief therapy techniques: Creative practices for counseling the bereaved. Routledge.
      • Novaco, R.W. (2016). Anger and Psychopathology. In International Handbook of Anger (pp. 379-395). Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42444-4_20
      • Portelli, C., Papantuono, M., Gibson, P., (2016) Winning Without Fighting. Malta University Press
      • Karaman, M.A. (2020). The relationship between anger, stress, and emotional intelligence: A Review Study. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 8(7), 16-21. doi 10.11114/jets.v8i7.4946
      • DiGiuseppe, R., & Tafrate, R.C. (Eds.). (2006). Understanding Anger Disorders. Oxford University Press.

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

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      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

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