Anger is an intense and powerful emotion that ranges from being mildly annoyed to utter rage. In most cases, anger is a normal and healthy feeling.
However, if someone has anger that causes a loss of control, it can be destructive and cause problems in their life, relationships, and career.
Although anger is natural, it can become a problem for some individuals. There are several signs that might mean that someone needs to get help in dealing with excessive anger. The following questions can help determine if this is the case:
- Does the anger negatively impact others?
- Does the person feel embarrassed after an outburst of anger?
- Do others comment on the anger?
- Has the person lost relationships because they are too angry?
- Is anger affecting performance or efficiency?
- Is health or quality of life suffering?
- Does the person feel like they get too angry?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions may mean that it would be beneficial for a person to seek support from a professional who can help them get control over their angry emotions. This may include therapy, support groups, or anger management techniques.
Other potential signs that someone has an anger problem include:
- Punching walls or other objects, or breaking items during an argument.
- Struggling to calm feelings of anger down.
- Having the same arguments with friends or families over and over.
- Reacting quickly and negatively to even small issues, such as a spilt drink.
- Regretting actions carried out in anger almost immediately after the event.
In a nutshell, if an individual believes that their anger is negatively impacting their lives or the lives of others, it is worth seeking help.
Anger management issues can also come alongside other emotional symptoms, including:
Even though anger is a healthy and common emotion, anger that is excessive or turns into aggression can have several adverse consequences on a person’s life.
Anger can affect health as well; it arouses the nervous system and produces hormonal and neurological changes, which can affect the entire body.
Over time, these changes can increase the risk of some serious health complications, such as:
Anger can also cause problems in a person’s life by affecting their ability to hold down a job or maintain personal friendships and relationships.
Extreme anger can even lead to legal problems if it causes someone to lash out or violently express anger.
Stress, anxiety, depression, and anger are often related. Stress and anxiety can cause anger, which can then further increase anxiety, depression, and stress. Learning ways to manage these feelings can also help to minimize anger.
There are many strategies that people can employ to help deal with stress or stressful situations including:
- writing in a journal
- calling a friend
- breathing deeply
- exercising regularly
- walking away for a few minutes
- taking a walk
Learning to identify stressful situations and deal with them productively reduces anger and lessens a person’s reaction to the triggers that might otherwise have caused an intense reaction.
Depression and anxiety are usually best managed by seeing a therapist for treatment. Medication or talk therapy is often needed to address these issues properly. Like stress, reducing depression and anxiety may minimize angry reactions.
Some basic strategies may include:
- recognizing anger before it intensifies
- counting to 10
- breathing slowly and deeply
- making time to relax
- finding a creative outlet
- talking to someone about how you feel
People struggling with anger or finding appropriate ways to deal with their anger should check in with their doctor. The doctor can provide a referral to a specialist or even recommend a local anger management program to help teach and reinforce these and other techniques.
Anger is a normal emotion, but when not expressed appropriately, it can quickly get out of control. However, many strategies are available to help deal with anger before this happens.
But, the first and most important step is to recognize that anger is a problem and actively learn to control it.