Is Anger a Choice or Not?

Have you ever seen signs that say, “Choose Happiness” or “Choose Love“? They appear to be all over the place these days. But, it makes you wonder if it’s that simple. And, if you can choose happiness, does it imply that you can also choose anger?

Anger is a choice or not?

The question is all about the concept of controlling your emotions and how you can change your reaction to a trigger but is it actually true?

Being angry is unpleasant and can be pretty damaging to your relationships. All of us would instead choose happiness and love. But unfortunately, it is not that simple. So let’s find out if anger is really a choice or if controlling your anger issues is a myth!

What’s the Purpose behind this Anger?

We’ve all experienced anger. Anger is a natural and reasonable emotion that arises in response to injustices, hurts, threats, or danger.

From an evolutionary standpoint, anger has served to keep humans safe by instilling a sensitivity to danger. When you become upset, adrenaline is released, you become concentrated, and you are ready to do whatever it takes to protect yourself or your property.

Anger can also aid in ensuring the safety of others. For example, watching children abused, taken advantage of, or unable to protect themselves might incite us to help or try to protect them.

Understand When your Anger is Appropriate

Anger is a natural and healthy feeling that is neither good nor evil. Like any other emotion, it provides a message informing you that a situation is distressing, unfair, or dangerous. However, if your first reaction to anger is to erupt, that message is never transmitted. So, while it’s natural to feel furious if you are mistreated, anger can become a problem when you display it in a way that affects yourself or others.

You may believe that expressing your anger is beneficial, that others around you are too sensitive, that your anger is legitimate, or that you need to display your anger to gain respect. However, the fact is that anger is far more likely to have a negative influence on how others see you, impair your judgment, and obstruct your achievement.

Aspects of Anger that you can make choices about

Consider your aims. What are you hoping to achieve by venting your anger to others? Are you attempting to harm them in the same manner that you imagine they have hurt you? If this is the case, it might feed into a toxic pattern of broken relationships.

Addressing your anger, on the other hand, might be beneficial if your objective is to fix the situation so that you can create trust and harmony with the other person. See my blog on Conflict Resolution for further information on how to deal with conflict.

Explore what’s really behind your Anger

Have you ever gotten into a fight about something insignificant? Significant conflicts are frequently started by trivial matters, such as a forgotten dish or being ten minutes late. However, there is generally a more substantial issue at work.

If your frustration and anger are increasing quickly, ask yourself, “What am I really furious about?” Identifying the root of your irritation can allow you to articulate your anger more effectively, take positive action, and work toward a solution.

Identify your triggers

Various triggers can act as a cause of anger. Stressful circumstances do not justify anger, but knowing how they impact you may help you take control of your surroundings and avoid unneeded annoyance. Examine your daily routine and try to discover activities, times of day, people, locations, or situations that make you irritated or furious.

There are various types of anger such as pent-up, overwhelmed, workplace, repressed, and explosive anger. Identifying the type of anger you are facing, can help you prepare an effective anger control plan by targeting the triggers.

Maybe you get into a fight every time you go out for drinks with a specific set of pals. Perhaps you are frustrated by the traffic on your daily commute. When you’ve identified your triggers, consider how you might avoid them or interpret circumstances differently so they don’t boil your blood.

5 Ways to Cool Down your Anger Quickly

You can cope with your anger before it spirals out of control if you know how to spot the warning signals that your temper is building and anticipate your triggers. Several strategies can help you calm down and control your anger.

Here are some of the practical techniques that can help you cool down:

  • Concentrate on the bodily sensations of anger.
  • Take a stroll to redirect your attention to something nice.
  • Take some slow, deep breaths.
  • Tension points can be stretched or massaged.
  • To give yourself a break, count to 10.

Pro-tip: Anger management programs or online anger management classes can help identify the trigger and provide effective techniques to control anger.


Learning to control your anger is one of the most important decisions you can make for yourself and others you care about. Poorly handled anger has destroyed relationships and even jobs.

Is it possible to choose anger? Unfortunately, no. We all have emotions, and they are triggered by the situations in which we find ourselves. But, when it comes to anger, do you have any options? Without a doubt. And the decisions you make in response to your anger may have the greatest influence on your life.

Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC

Dr. Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC specializes in anger management, family conflict resolution, marital and premarital conflict resolution. His extensive knowledge in the field of anger management may enable you to use his tested methods to deal with your anger issues.


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