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Why anger and sadness can be good for you

Updated: May 14, 2018

I often hear clients telling me that they don’t like feeling angry and want to do something about it. 

But being angry isn’t really the problem, it’s how we let the anger out that can be distressing or upsetting. 

Anger itself can be a helpful emotion, it could be telling us that something isn’t ethically or morally right and we need to do something about it.  Or it can be the result of feeling frustrated, which we can learn from.  A benefit of counselling can be to help clients express their anger in a safe and supportive environment, and it can also allow clients to investigate the source of their anger, which can often be another emotion entirely, such as frustration or sadness.  This means the client can then address the core of the problem, which can help diffuse their angry feelings.

Feeling sad isn’t enjoyable and it is something that many people avoid. 

However, sometimes feeling sad is exactly what we need to do. 

By ignoring our sadness or distress, we are in danger of bottling it up, which can result in the feelings coming out in another way, such as anger.  

This is true particularly with bereaved clients – by ignoring or avoiding feeling sad, it can make it harder to accept the death of a loved one.  Several clients have told me that they are scared to feel sad in case they then struggle to get back to normal life, but this is where a counsellor with bereavement training can help.  Feeling sad is a normal, everyday emotion, and if we can try to accept this, it can give us the time and space to recuperate and to feel stronger.


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