What is Anger?
Anger is one of our primary emotions characterized by intense feelings of antagonism towards someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. It is a harsh negative feeling that is associated with hostile thoughts and maladaptive behaviors.
Though anger is a powerful and common emotion for us, it is not very healthy for our system. Chronic anger has been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems. In addition, anger can be linked to problems such as crime, emotional and physical abuse, and other violent behaviors.
Where does Anger come from?
Anger can have many common triggers. However, different people have different situations from where such an emotion might come up.
Losing your patience, feeling as if your opinion or efforts aren’t appreciated, injustice, stress, family and financial problems are some common situations from which anger can arise.
Other causes of anger include memories of traumatic or enraging events and worrying about personal problems.
You also have unique anger triggers, based on what you were taught to expect from yourself, others and the world around you.
Symptoms of Anger-
Anger feels different for everyone. Some may express it in a healthy way while some may not. Here are some common physiological symptoms of Anger that people experience:
- a churning feeling in your stomach
- tightness in your chest
- clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth
- an increased and rapid heartbeat
- legs go weak
- tense muscles
- you feel hot
- face becomes red
- you have an urge to go to the toilet
- sweating, especially your palms
- a pounding head
- shaking or trembling
What do anger outbursts look like?
Anger outbursts often involve repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.
Anger can manifest itself in a number of different ways. Not all anger is expressed in the same way. Anger and aggression can be either outward, inward, or passive.
- Outward. This involves expressing your anger and aggression in obvious ways. It can include behavior such as shouting, cursing, throwing or breaking things, or being verbally or physically abusive toward others.
- Inward. This type of anger is directed at yourself. It involves negative self-talk, denying yourself things that make you happy or even basic needs, such as food. Self-harm and isolating yourself from people are other ways anger can be directed inward.
- Passive. This involves using subtle and indirect ways to express your anger. Examples of this passive aggressive behavior include giving someone the silent treatment, sulking, being sarcastic, and making snide remarks.
Anger Management Techniques-
If you believe your anger is out of control and is affecting your daily life in a negative way, it might be helpful for you to consider these techniques to manage your anger.
#1 Behavior Therapy-
CBT is often a common technique to manage anger effectively. This technique can help you understand your triggers for anger, develop and practice coping skills, and think, feel, and behave differently in response to anger, so you are calmer and more in control.
#2 Relaxation Techniques-
Relaxation techniques can help you stay calm when feelings of anger start coming up. There are different relaxation methods you can try such as breathing, visual imagery, etc.
Such techniques can be momentarily very helpful to alleviate symptoms of anger.
#3 Support Groups-
Support groups are an effective way of dealing with feelings of anger. Here, there are other people also who are going through similar issues and hence you know you are not the only one trying to deal with this.
Joining a support group will make you feel heard and talk about what you might be feeling to those who are in the same place as you.
#4 Self-Help Strategies-
There are many small strategies that you can practice yourself to manage anger.
Things such as challenging your thoughts, checking in with yourself when you feel angry, taking a walk to clear your mind can be helpful in reducing feelings of anger.
Anger is thus an intense emotion which ranges from different levels of severity for each person. If you feel your anger is out of proportion and you are unable to manage it, it is best to seek professional help to manage it from an early stage itself.