3 mins

Why is anger important?

Anger gets a bad rep. But anger is a normal, healthy emotion in a vast array of emotions (we all have). 

That’s not to say it’s always comfortable. But a lot of the discomfort we feel towards anger is because we haven’t been taught what to do with it. It’s seen as an “ugly” emotion – something we need to get rid of or suppress. 

But anger in itself is not bad – it’s a normal, healthy response to feeling wronged in some way. It only becomes bad when we harmfully impose our anger onto others.

When anger isn’t validated, it doesn’t just disappear. It festers. Very often our anger is alerting us to something that needs to be changed. 

Learning how to express our emotions in a healthy way can help us release them. The word emotion itself comes from the Latin “emotere”, literally meaning “energy in motion”. 

Emotions need to be felt and experienced – given the space to move, and eventually pass through. Of course, that’s not to say we should be going around venting our anger and frustrations onto everyone we meet…. But stuffing our anger down comes at a cost – to both ourselves and others. 

Learning how to sit and “be” with our anger can guide us towards living a life that is in line with our values.

Below we’ve listed some of anger’s valuable qualities:

Anger is there to protect us 

Anger is one of our most primitive emotions, and it is there to protect us. Anger can trigger the body’s fight or flight response, helping us to fight or flee from danger. It alerts us that something’s “up”. Anger isn’t the “bad guy” – it’s simply looking out for us.

Anger teaches us where our boundaries are

When something angers you, look inward for the underlying cause. Are you being threatened? Is something you love and care for being threatened? Are your boundaries being violated? Anger can be used as a powerful indicator for where our boundaries are, motivating us to look out for ourselves – and the people we care about – more effectively.

It indicates that something wrong has been done to us – or to someone we love. It indicates that changes need to be made. Of course, that doesn’t mean acting aggressively but it’s an instigator for growth.

Anger enables us to get our needs met

Anger can alert us to injustice, and to reach out and strive for what we deserve. It can inspire us to take up our rightful place in the world.

Anger can motivate us to enact positive change

Whilst some of the more joyful emotions tend to guide us towards the positive, anger can guide us away from the negative – which is just as important. Anger has the power to move us away from dangerous or destructive people, places or even systems or beliefs.

Humans are emotional beings. To deny that is to deny what it is to be human – and it only causes us more harm than good. Instead of suppressing anger, try mindfully leaning in to it – see what it has to say, and use it for positive change.

 

Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni

8 June 2020

"Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector."

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.


Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr. Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.


Dr. Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.


She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.