What do you believe about anger?

Anger as a volcano

Some imagine anger to be like a volcano. Unexpressed negative emotions will act like lava and accumulate pressure if not allowed to flow. Anger will build inside of you until it explodes and destroys everything important to you. If this sounds absolutely true to you, would you say your best (or only) current anger management technique is “venting” your negative emotions when they come up to avoid those huge blowouts? And if so, would you say it has become a problem?


exercising anger

Anger as a muscle

You may have also considered that anger can be like a muscle. The more you get angry, the easier it is for your body and mind to move to that state. The neuronal pathways in your brain will strengthen with repeated use. “What fires together, wires together,” and “Use it or lose it” come to mind (no pun intended). If this is also true about anger, then it would mean that the more you get angry, the easier it to become angry? But it can’t be just that, because we have experienced that feeling of building anger and the feeling of it being released.


Which view of anger is correct?

In my work as an anger management therapist I found that people who are able to balance these two ideas of anger tend to live with more control over their lives. They find internal ways to release their anger while still retaining the ability to express it when appropriate and in a way that does not escalate the situation or cause harm to themselves or those around them.