Do you find yourself losing your temper easily lately? Being aware of your anger is already a good first step in managing it. The next step is to figure out what triggers your anger. It is often a product of other emotions, especially those that make us more vulnerable.

Anger can be due to frustration and helplessness; we get angry in situations where we feel powerless, such as when we have a loved one who is gravely ill or even when we find ourselves in an everyday annoyance like traffic or a long queue. It can also be a manifestation of hurt and pain, like when we feel misunderstood or rejected. Another cause for frequent feelings of anger might be some ongoing life stress. Could it be that you have taken on too much at work or are juggling too many responsibilities?

In every emotional situation, even the most highly charged ones, there exists a split-second interval for deciding how we will act on our feelings. You can choose to take a timeout to calm down or you can just go ahead and let your fiery feelings loose. As such, awareness of your emotions is crucial to controlling how you will behave.

To help you explore the reasons behind your angry feelings, here are a few questions to mull over:

Boboy Alianan and Vange Alianan-Bautista are siblings who finished their post-graduate studies at the Ateneo de Manila University and are practicing clinical psychology at PsychConsult, Inc.

Need more help controlling your anger? Get more tips by reading these articles:

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(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Good Family section as "Bakit ka galit?" in July 2010; adapted for use in Female Network)

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