Anger Management

Anger is a normal human emotion, but when your anger gets out of hand, it becomes destructive. When anger escalates to such an extent, it can cause problems with relationships and work.

Anger is caused by external and internal events. We tend to express anger with aggression. Our bodies have adapted anger as a response to threats. Our heart rate and blood pressure increases and the anger enables us to defend ourselves when attacked. On the other hand, not all external threats necessitate a physical defense, and anger cannot always be expressed through aggressive behaviors.

There are tests to determine a person’s anger intensity, but those with anger problems tend to see that their behaviors are out of control. Some people have a lower tolerance for frustration, meaning that they get angrier than most when confronted with even trivial annoyances. There is evidence for congenital irritability, but sociocultural factors can also cause unhealthy expressions of anger. When anger is taught to be a negative emotion, we do not learn to express it constructively.

People generally manage their anger through three approaches: expression, suppression, and calming.  Expressing anger assertively and with respect is the healthiest way to release anger. Suppression of anger occurs when it is held in and ignored. If the anger is not outwardly expressed, it can turn inward and create problems. First, suppressed anger can cause depression, high blood pressure, or hypertension. It can also lead to harmful expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behaviors, cynicism, unwarranted hostility, all of which lead to unsuccessful relationships. Calming anger includes controlling behaviors as well as controlling and calming internal responses to let angry feelings subside.

Anger can be reduced. Relaxation tools, such as deep breathing, calming imagery, or yoga can calm angry feelings. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques can help change the way you think which can reduce angry thoughts and feelings. Replacing exaggerated or pessimistic thoughts with more rational reconstructions can reduce feelings of humiliation and helplessness. You may need to change your environment if you find that there are situations that continually lead to anger. Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are very effective in reducing anger and its effects.