“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
How do you know when you are really ANGRY?
- Blood pressure rises
- Heart beats faster
- Breathing gets faster
- Other signs may include headaches, tension, and upset stomach.
- Feeling out of control.
- Feeling enraged
- Feeling helpless
- Feeling frustration
- Acts of aggression
- Increased smoking/drinking
- Impulse control problems
- Social isolation as a way of coping.
Can Anger be a good thing?
It depends. Sometimes anger, like other strong emotions, can motivate us to make changes in ourselves, and our environment.
When does anger become a problem?
Anger, becomes a problem when it is felt too intensely, too frequently or when it is expressed inappropriately.
What are some of the consequences of being too angry?
Excessive or intense anger can place a significant strain on your body and result in physical conditions such as:
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Increased risk for heart attack/heart disease/stroke
- Diminished immune response
- Decreased digestion/Increased gas and stomach pain
When a person feels angry much of the time, they can begin to develop a negative view of the world that is likely to affect their interactions with friends, family, co-workers, etc. People who are angry a great deal of the time, tend to feel pessimistic, out of control, enraged, and helpless; they can often feel like victims of society. People often turn to or increase destructive behaviors or habits to in order to cope with anger. Some of these may include:
- Drinking Alcohol
- Risk taking
- Social isolation
These behaviors can have bad consequences, not only for the person engaging in them, but also the people around him/her.
What can I do about my anger problem?
1. Read self-help books, such as “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers”, “The Anger Trap”, “Taking Charge of Anger”, and “The Dance of Anger”.
2. Try this exercise: a.Identify the things that trigger your anger
3. Keep a journal of situations that have triggered your anger and the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that surround the incident.
4. Develop a plan to deal with anger that you can implement in your everyday life. Decide what you are going to do when you get angry.
5. Take responsibility: Acknowledge your anger and own it with the people who are affected by it. Admit that you have a problem and work on it.
6. Ask for support and check-in with someone who is willing to help you and give you feedback on how you are doing at controlling your anger.
7. Learn Relaxation techniques and practice them as much as possible. If you wait until your angry to practice, it will probably be too difficulty. Some examples are diaphragmatic breathing, cue controlled relaxation). These techniques reduce physical arousal. You’ll need that when you feel angry.
8. Learn Assertiveness/communication training–being able to say and ask for what you want in a win-win style will help you feel more in control and less likely to blow up.
Want to find out how severe your anger problem based on a standardized test? Take the Anger Quiz here.
tion techniques (e.g. diaphragmatic breathing, cue