Anger is a sign that something needs to change

Anger Quote

Individuals are often looking for healthier ways to express their emotions.

For Example: Anger

That said, it’s not as simple as becoming “more calm” or “less explosive”.

The first step in transformation and lasting change is looking below the surface.

The Kübler-Ross Model provides insight:

5 Stages of Grief and Change

The goal is to discover if angry thoughts, actions, or emotions are serving a purpose.

Is anger helping or hurting?

How is anger serving you

Why Anger?

Perhaps anger allows someone to speak up, say no, set a boundary, or bond with friends.

And if this is the case, the goal of coaching is to help clients replace confrontations (for example) with more effective communication patterns.


Anger → Awareness

First: Set aside time to journal thoughts and emotions about “hot topics”. This allows for a cooling off period and a chance for self reflection and integration.


Second: Plan a mutually beneficial time to discuss anger triggers and solutions with friends and family.

This 2-step communication technique results in safe, open, and engaging conversations that move both relationships and actions forward. Win Win!

Reflection Questions

  1. What Purpose Does Anger Serve in Your Life? Gains versus Losses?
  2. Does It Strengthen or Deplete You?
  3. Does Anger Move You Further Away from Your Dreams or Closer to Your Dreams?
  4. What In Your Life Needs To Change?
  5. Do You Need More Effective Ways of Coping with Frustration and/or Loss?

Once you understand the underlying purpose anger serves in your life, you’re ready for the next stage in the change process:

Transition and Transformation

Change Quote

Psychology Resources

  1. New Conceptualizations of Anger:
  2. How Anger Affects the Body:
  3. Healthy Anger Release Techniques:
  4. Assessing Motivation To Change:

36 thoughts on “Anger is a sign that something needs to change

Add yours

  1. That is a great question-

    How does anger serve you? God gave us emotions intentionally to better grasp all that He is and all He desires for us.

    But I’ve never thought about asking how that emotion “serves” me.

    You’re right-change is a process, not an event. My impatience, however (which really doesn’t ever serve me well) pushes that process all too uncomfortably.

    This is a really great question to ponder–thank you, my friend.

  2. Powerful post, and it is true deep inner work needs to be done, to figure out anger, irritation, annoyance.

    Anger does not serve it destroys. There is no real valid place to be angry.

    Yes there are cases the the situation is so bad, that we are angered, but still anger doesn’t help resolve and make situations better.

    May be it might awaken the other, to their behaviour, but it kills a bit goodness inside you.

    1. When I talk about “how does it serve you?” I am referring to what other behaviours does it replace?

      For example: sometimes people are too meek to speak up and work, and end up getting angry at their families. In this scenario, anger is a type of projection, explained by fully by psychoanalytic theories and defence mechanisms.

      Interesting article on this:

      When you get angry (or upset) how often do you use safer ways to express your emotions (gossip, silent treatment) versus telling the person in front of you exactly how you feel?

  3. These are great questions, especially #2 because sometimes anger can motivate you to do something positive, like with the BLM movement. Other times it can cause you to be stuck, I suppose.

    1. You read my mind Dr. G! The black lives movement is a powerful example of anger for positive change versus anger for “spinning in place“. Global versus personal transformation.

      Which is why it’s important to frequently ask the question: “What is the purpose is this emotion”? Is it moving me closer or further away from my dreams. Journaling and self reflection helps differentiate.

  4. Thanks for your insights here.

    Anger is a mask for hurt usually…. in my knowledge and experience, anyway.

    I imagine that many of us are feeling a little more angry than usual given everything that is going on in the world around us.

    Sometimes it’s hard to regroup, but you are so right that change is a process and NOT an event.

    1. Anger represents so many buried emotions for people, including hurt. Which is why it’s so important to get professional support when anger begins to interrupt everyday relationships, health, and wellness.

      Sometimes we can’t see “our own why“, because we’re too close to the flame. One more reason why I studied psychology for over 10 years. The human experience is complicated, always changing, and forever compelling.

      Especially during a global health pandemic.

    1. The point of phrasing it this way:

      “What purpose does anger serve life, your life?”

      is very different from asking what triggers it.

      (which tends to be more obvious)

      This particular question ^ helps determine underlying motivators that make anger, sadness, etc resistant to change.

      As discussed in this video:

      Make Sense?

  5. It’s interesting that you suggest anger, in that it’s one of the 5 stages of the grieving process. When we face what’s happened, work through the stages, come to terms and begin to move on… things do change.

    1. This is an illuminating observation Nova! Thank you for sharing your insights. (So much so that I added in the the 5 stages into this ^ post after reading your comment.) The Kubler Ross Model is so critical right now as we move through this intense global change process. And it’s just the beginning.. Thank you again for taking the time to read and reflect. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend! Andrea

      1. It’s my pleasure! I suppose I was meant to assist here. I appreciate you and your efforts in helping others understand themselves.

  6. Long time Andrea, hope you are well All is well here so far thank God. Thank you again for sharing such an informative post. I think the Kubler Ross model is useful in different situations and I need to further reflect particularly on my recent Gambian trip and premature return home due to Covid.
    Your hair in particular looks lovely with a blonde tint in your fringe.
    Enjoy your week end:-)

    1. Margaret, if only you could see my smile! You have a keen eye for details, and a heart full of gold. Thank you for dropping by and sharing your personal experience of COVID-19. I can just imagine the range of emotional reactions you experienced during your bucket list trip to Gambia and then sudden return home. Hopefully, you’re reading this post with a cup of tea in hand, and some fresh air to restore y(our) weary pandemic soul. The UPSIDE is: we are in this together. Like never before! Your Canadian Friend, Andrea

      1. Thank you so much Andrea for your uplifting comment and for taking the time to read my comment on your post. I will revisit to see what I was prattling on about.
        Yes, my quick exit from Gambia did hold a range of emotions which I have only really caught up on. As the virus is now advancing there since lifting of state of emergency I 🙏 all my friends will be ok. Yes Andrea we are all in it together.
        I am smiling also because I am just ready to have my morning coffee (8 a.m) & hope to walk later.
        Love from your English/Irish/Gambian friend ❤️☘️🤝

  7. Anger. A topic I have explored through my childhood abuse.

    Anger is an emotion like no other, certain parts of the mind shut down when we become angry.

    Common sense and discernment leave us.

    I always say to athletes and stars, wait before you hit send on that tweet.

    We can do things that would embarrass us when calm, but we seem to enjoy revenge and making others suffer.

    Anger became a problem for me. It consumed my thoughts and time. I found that anger eliminates a chance of happiness.

    Anger replaced being vulnerable for me. Better to feel angry, that felt powerful, than vulnerable, which felt helpless

    The answer for me ways meditation.

    I built focus and awareness.

    I built a space between anger arriving and being angry.

    Actually for me, I would tell people, they pissed off my ego.

    Then I would say , I am calm.

    It is our ego who gets pissed, judgmental, hurt, and then gets angry.

    Takes a step back and see who is angry

    1. As always, your wisdom and life experience add weight to my posts.

      “I always say to athletes and stars, wait before you hit send on that tweet.”

      Amen Marty!

      Time and healing teaches us the masterful difference between reflection/response and REACTION.

      One empowers.
      The other dissolves.. just about everything when it goes on too long.

      Hope sunshine & fresh air are your constant companions, all weekend long!


  8. Good morning Dr Andrea..
    It is said it is always better to explain anger than to express it…..but still people prefer to express it…maybe using anger as a escape route cover up a shortcoming…some use it to show power ,maybe because they have the authority but are doubtful of their own capability…
    I was very short tempered but now have controlled it quite a bit… especially the yelling part…learning the art to explain to people what they do which makes generates anger in me .
    However anger does have a positive side…when a wrong incites the anger and forces you to rise and bring in the change not by violence but using the brain ..

    1. Well said.

      As you say, anger is positive when it moves society to lasting change.

      Versus anger as an escape route.

      Two important distinctions, that I appreciate!

      As always, Krish, I so appreciate your time and insights.

  9. Whenever I feel angry, that is a “sign” there is a lesson for me to learn.

    Yesterday I was treated so unkindly and disrespectful by people I deemed my friends. Forced to wear a mask while getting my hair done despite me having proof I cannot wear one and almost passing out when I did wear one, has me today asking what still within I must see and to pray for those who I know will get very ill with their continued long-term mask use.

    Born free and then to be strong armed as all of us have been, is a horrible horrible experience. Yet in order to be free of the anger that bubbles up we must SEE what the true source of our anger is. There always is something that is hiding that doesn’t want to be seen.

    Great post, Andrea!!

    *** I am NOT debating about mask use. That SHOULD be left up to the individual person like South Dakota’s Governor is allowing her state’s population to do. I know this is a hot topic and I will not argue or debate.***


    1. It is truly a emotional roller coaster of overwhelming intensity of emotions & behaviours right now. (Hence my motivation for writing this post)

      The VIRUS of the MIND
      the virus of the body

      Both deserving of equal attention and research.

      Thank you for watching the video, reading the post, and taking the time to share your experiences. Our blogging community is a very healthy way for us to share and support each other.

      Be well my friend!
      Andrea xo


  10. I’m glad you present anger as part of the grief process and bring up structured journaling. Sometimes anger is hiding other emotions. But for me, anger is my least frequent emotion, I tend to avoid it, perhaps something else for me to explore…. 🙂

  11. This is really important to me. I don’t know if it’s providence that I stumbled on it but I believe Change is something in I’ve feared for the longest time and it has held me back from reaching my potential. I strongly believe, your growth lies outside your comfort zone. Also I heard somewhere that death and change are the only constant, so why not accept it and face things head-on. See what lies on the other side. Hope this helps someone. Also, yes we take some time to figure out things bit it’s only normal, our preservation mechanism, which once with practice and open mindedness can be overcome.

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