How can anger be positive?

Betty Davis, LPC, NCC
Betty Davis, LPC, NCC on behalf of MDLIVE
Mental Health

Anger is a human emotion that can vary from mild irritation to intense and uncontrolled rage. In simplest terms, anger is a sign that something is wrong for us and that we need to do something about it. Anger is a natural, adaptive response when we feel threatened by someone or by something. It’s an empowering feeling that allows us to fight or defend ourselves when we are attacked. Therefore, we need our anger for our survival. It also helps us set up boundaries and can be a positive thrust toward getting our needs met (if we know what our needs are). Just because you get angry does not necessarily mean you have a problem. Anger is, after all, part of the natural response that helps us to protect ourselves and others. Here are some examples of when anger is helpful and healthy.

Positive Aspects of Anger

  • It gives us the courage to defend ourselves or those we love
  • It motivates us to improve the world by inspiring social action and justice
  • It confirms our individuality, especially when we are children
  • It warns others not to take advantage of us
  • It is a powerful survival tool
  • It is a response to pain (physical and psychological)
  • It is a source of energy
  • Can mobilize you to take action
  • Can motivate you to improve
  • Can empower you when you are feeling powerless, helpless, scared, or victimized
  • Can serve as an alarm clock, signaling you that something is wrong


Continue Learning about Anger Management

Zen and the Art of Injury Prevention
Zen and the Art of Injury Prevention
Don't tackle a tough physical task if you're seeing red. Research suggests that being angry may increase a person's risk of injury nearly seven-fold....
Read More
How are anger control problems diagnosed?
How are anger control problems diagnosed? A professional may look at your family to determine if you...
More Answers
What are the benefits to anger control?
What are the benefits to anger control? Controlling your anger will help you feel more in control an...
More Answers
What are the physical effects of anger?
When we get angry, our body responds. Learn more from our experts about the physical effects of ange...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.