How Anger Affects Your Life and How to Deal With it

How often do you find yourself getting angry about something? Is it just now and then or is it more like a constant status? The reason behind your anger is always justified or you think it is?

What is Anger?

Anger is a normal and in fact healthy human emotion. As an emotion anger exists to let us be aware of a threatening, an unjust or an upsetting situation. Anger should not be considered as either negative or positive emotion.

Getting angry when someone mistreats you or when something unjust takes place in front of your eyes is normal and healthy.

However, it is the frequency we experience anger, along with the way each one of us uses to express this anger that could turn it into something negative and harmful for ourselves or others.

angry man yelling while hitting his fist on table

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There is this common belief that anger should always be expressed. Some people think that it is their right to express anger in any way they like because in their mind their anger is justified.

There are people who might believe that expressing anger with shouting, breaking things or even by hitting others shows their power and rage and eventually will inspire respect to others.

The actual opposite is correct, meaning that expressing anger in such ways has a negative outcome for you and others. There is a negative impact on how others feel about you and also on how your judgement is affected.

Identify what is Causing Your Anger

I usually get angry when I understand that someone else does not listen to my opinion, suggestion or point of view and tend to ignore me or not take me seriously. I get angry when there is a long line in front of me in the supermarket or when I am stuck in a traffic jam.

cars stuck in traffic jam in city road

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Sometimes when I am really tired or stressed I might find it really easy to get angry over nothing. I think this stands for most people.

It is really important to identify where the anger comes from because most of the time losing your temper or acting in rage has nothing to do with other people’s behavior and words or with external circumstances. It is our fault that we do not manage to stay cool and keep ourselves under control.

Look For Possible Solutions

Understanding what makes me angry in my case means that I can change my daily routine, choosing another route or different time to avoid traffic jams in peak hours. It could mean that I decide to take advantage and enjoy my time stucked in traffic through listening to some audio book, learning a foreign language or just listening to music and singing along.

When it comes to supermarkets I could choose a supermarket with less people or try to shop online.

When it comes to specific people that make me angry I could choose to take some time to discuss with them in a calm way the impact their reactions have on me. They might also have their issues and use this kind of behavior as a defense mechanism. Well, if this does not work I could choose to share less with them or avoid seeing them that often.

If none of the above are enough I could look for and practice some anger management techniques or seek professional help and advice.

man and woman having a fight, both looking angry

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The reason why we should all look for solutions is because anger as an emotion will not be able to fix anything. As a matter of fact feeling angry and expressing it in a bad way usually will only make things worse.  

Is Anger Your Enemy or a Friend?

In case you are witnessing a human or an animal rights violation and you get angry about it, expressing your anger and using it to change the situation in front of you, means that you use your anger to take action for a good reason.

When you are in an abusive relationship and get angry with what you are going through, anger will help you to take action and get out of it. Same stands for any toxic friendship, getting angry with the friend who mistreats you or makes you feel bad about yourself will give you the courage to step out of this friendship.

In all the cases above anger is your friend because it gives you the courage and strength you need to change an unhealthy situation.

woman screaming to express her anger

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However, when your anger makes your loved ones suffer and feel distress it means that your anger is harmful for your relationships. If you find yourself regretting things that you have said or done while being angry this is also a sign that your anger is working against you. These are cases where your anger is your enemy and you should take some action in order to control it.

Identify Anger Warning Signs

Have you ever noticed your body’s physical reactions when you get angry? I don’t mean when you have already started expressing that anger in some way, but those few moments before you act.

Speaking for myself, when I start getting angry I am feeling an intense pain in my head and I am feeling like my head is burning. I start breathing faster and deeper. Other signs might be a faster heartbeat and clenched fists.

When these signs appear and you are able to identify them, you could do something about it to prevent yourself from words or actions that you might regret later. It is important to be able to understand how you feel each moment because it helps to identify any warning signs.

“Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”

Leo Buscaglia

Anger Effects

Human Relationships

Anger expression in unhealthy ways could be harmful for every human relationship. It could leave physical and mental scars to the people around us who we love most. It could destroy love relationships, friendships or work relationships.

Physical Health

If anger is something we experience regularly it is possible to give us heart related problems, high blood pressure, weak immune system, diabetes and insomnia.

Mental Health

Feeling anger all the time does not allow people to feel joy in life. Anger could also cause stress, depression and other mental health issues.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Mark Twain

Conclusion

When we come to the point to realize that our anger is a problem for us and the people around us we are not helpless. There are several anger management techniques that could be used to calm the rage, and even if these don’t work, professional help from an expert could be taken.

Truth is that we all have more control over anger than what we might think we have. There are always alternatives in the ways we can express our emotions, without hurting other people’s feelings, damaging things or creating problems to our own physical and mental health.

“The best fighter is never angry.”

Lao Tzu

Helpful links

Additional information about anger as well as anger management techniques and strategies could be found at the following links:

https://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/how-to-control-anger#1

https://www.verywellmind.com/anger-management-strategies-4178870

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/anger-management.htm