However, if someone has anger that causes a loss of control, it can be destructive and cause problems in their life, relationships, and career.
Contents of this article:
- There are many reasons why people get angry.
- The reason why someone gets angry is called a trigger.
- Many people wonder at what stage normal anger becomes a problem that needs dealing with.
- Anger management techniques can be very useful in helping someone deal with rising anger.
Why do people get angry?
Although anger is a normal, healthy feeling, uncontrollable anger can have a detrimental affect on health and relationships.
Triggers can vary and can include events such as getting caught in traffic, being insulted by a friend, or the perception of being unfairly treated.
However, not everyone becomes angry at the same things in the same way. Many characteristics and factors interact to make a person more likely to become angry. These may include:
Personality of the person
People who have certain personality traits, such as narcissism or competitiveness, are more likely to become angry. Also, some people are naturally quicker to react and are easily angered.
On the other hand, some people are naturally more laid back and less bothered by the same triggers.
Childhood and upbringing
Children learn at a very young age how to express and deal with their anger, by observing their parents and the people around them. A child watching a parent explode or use physical expressions of anger — such as sulking or hitting a wall — is more likely to use the same behaviors or lose control of their anger.
Similarly, a child who observes their parent deal with anger calmly is more likely to do the same.
Building up of triggers
It is not always an immediate event that triggers anger; it is often the result of both psychological and biological feelings that a person is experiencing before the trigger occurs.
For example, a person who is already frustrated with a situation at work, or who is hungry or tired is more likely to get angry.
Misevaluating the situation
How a person evaluates a situation is one of the most critical factors that determine when someone gets angry. For example, if someone gets cut off in traffic, they may be frustrated, but understand that the other driver may not be familiar with the area or in a rush to get somewhere important.
Another person who gets cut off, in the same way, may get angry because they evaluate the situation differently, believing that the driver cut them off intentionally.
Complications of anger
Excessive anger can increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
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:
- heart attack
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- gastric ulcer
- bowel diseases
- slower wound healing
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.
When does anger become a problem?
There are several signs that might mean that someone needs to get help in dealing with excessive anger. The following questions may 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.
Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression
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.
Making time for relaxation and breathing exercises may help manage anger issues.
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.