Can It Be Healthy to Get Mad?
Anger happens. But is that OK? Can it even be healthy? Learn the psychology behind getting mad why it can actually benefit you.
Anger is something we all experience. And though anger is often regarded as a negative emotion, this couldn’t be further from the truth. How we deal with, process, and react to our feelings of anger is where the issues lie—not the presence of the emotion itself. As it turns out, getting mad can be quite healthy. Below, we outline the reasoning behind why this is so.
Anger promotes survival.
The reason anger exists as an emotion is because it offered our ancestors an evolutionary advantage.1 It is an emotion that is rooted in our need to protect ourselves from enemies and threats. Because of this, it gives us the ability to remain vigilant in the face of danger and sharpens our focus. And though the dangers that exist today may differ from those experienced by our ancestors hundreds of years ago, anger still serves us in the same way—by driving us to protect ourselves.
It is an energizing emotion.
Think about the physical reaction you have when experiencing anger. Your heart rate increases and you breathe faster. Your mouth goes dry and your face gets red. You may even begin to sweat. These reactions are caused by a change in your sympathetic nervous system and digestive system and are meant to provide you with the energy you need to respond.1 And though this energy once gave our ancestors the ability to physically fight back, we have learned to regulate our emotions. This means we can channel this rush of energy into something more productive and more appropriate than resorting to physical aggression. It gives us the opportunity to find a positive outlet for what we are feeling.
It presents an opportunity to tap into our deeper selves.
The next time you get mad, try to sit with it without judgement. All too often, we get caught up assigning whether an emotion we are experiencing is right or wrong, positive or negative. Sometimes the best course of action is to not label our anger but to instead explore it. Put simply, attempt to trace your anger down to its source. Are you really upset because someone was late meeting you for lunch? Or did it perhaps trigger a deeper issue that you have with feeling unappreciated? When handled with openness and patience, anger can bring our awareness to a deeper truth.
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If you are looking to further your mental health career and excel in the field, Walden provides the environment and support you need. In Walden’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, you can gain the confidence, qualifications, and critical thinking skills vital to helping clients cope with daily life and overcome their greatest challenges. Learn from leaders in the field—including an American Counseling Association (ACA) past president, and faculty who are ACA members and active in their fields—as you explore the latest counseling theories; evidence-based research; and tools for preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental health disorders. To further define your career, you can choose from a general program or five specializations, including:
- Addiction Counseling
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Whatever you decide, Walden’s clinical mental health counseling master’s program can give you the tools you need to advance in the field and improve the mental and emotional health of others. If you are unsure of what turns your career path might take, you may wish to consider earning Walden’s MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling degree. Upon successful graduation, you will have earned two degrees from an accredited program and be able to pursue licensure or certification as both a mental health counselor and a school counselor.
At Walden, an accredited university, you can earn your degree online while you continue to work full time. That means you can better maintain a work-life balance while you advance your skill set. With online learning, there’s no need to completely rearrange your schedule or commute to campus—you can take classes at whatever time of day works best for you as you earn your master’s degree and work toward the career of your dreams.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, as well as an array of psychology and counseling degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) as a mental health counseling program under the 2001 standards. CACREP is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and CACREP accreditation is a requirement for licensure in many states.
The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for licensing exams and to meet the academic licensure requirements of many state counseling boards. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance on licensure issues, however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.