February 1, 2023
Lion Roaring

I want to talk a little bit about a big, scary word: ANGER.

Would you believe me if I told you anger is a perfectly healthy emotion? As part of what makes us healthy and whole, anger plays a special role. (See what I did there?) Anger masks other emotions that we typically struggle to process.

Let me tell you a story where anger impacted my life. I got home from work one day, and there were dirty dishes piled up on the counter. When I saw them, I became angry.  Rewind a bit further when I was driving home from work, a car cut me off and I got angry. I mean, come on, I was already going 5mph over the speed limit! Their road rage was totally unnecessary. Rewind again, I’m at work and my boss pushed two projects with upcoming deadlines on me. I felt OVERWHELMED.

Smartphone with large anger emoji on the screen.My anger was directly linked to feeling overwhelmed. My emotion of being overwhelmed then spilled out into anger. Something wasn’t right. My boss had unreasonable expectations for me. Upon identifying the underlying emotion for my anger, I was able to talk to my boss to find a more reasonable timeline and help with the projects. If I had ignored that anger and not challenged myself to find the underlying cause, it might have led to frustration or resentment.

When I look at my connection to the community and my own health and wholeness, anger can be a huge obstacle if I choose not to examine the source and most likely underlying emotion. We can use anger for either good or bad in our lives.  For example, anger used poorly, in some cases, can lead to physical altercations, which may result in being arrested, thus totally cutting me off my connection to the community. Anger used for a good purpose might look like challenging myself to go to the gym and work out. I like to ask myself this question: are my actions helping to heal or hurt my mind and spirit?

Frustrated woman holding her face in her hands.I played soccer for 20+ years, even through college. I started most games and played through but noticed other players who never left the bench. During practice, coach would yell at these players the most and criticize their playing abilities. (Which is a little odd given the fact that the players made the team, but I digress). They may have identified the underlying emotion of their anger mask to be feelings of inadequacy. The way I look at this situation, their anger could be used to fuel extra practice or used poorly to simply quit the team or soccer entirely.

When we take off the mask of anger, we may find a wealth of nuanced feelings underneath. Learning to manage those emotions safely and in a healthy way is what allowed me to grow as a person. What are the kids saying these days?  “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself!”

Don’t let anger wreck your mind, body, and spirit.  Start challenging your anger today by seeking healthy ways to manage or channel it.


Written By: Jessa Scott, MSE, LPC

You can learn more about Jessa’s expertise and passion points by clicking HERE.