Anger is an emotion marked by antagonism towards another, or someone that you believe has done you wrong purposely. Anger can be pretty sweet. For starters, it will give you a chance to convey your emotions, or inspire you to come up with solutions to problems. Yet undue wrath will cause trouble. High blood pressure and other physical changes associated with frustration make thought straight and impair your physical and mental health challenging.
The Nature of Anger
Anger is “a mental state that ranges in severity from moderate frustration to extreme indignation and wrath,” according to a psychologist specialized in the study of anger, Charles Spielberger, Ph.D. Like other emotions, it’s accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure as well as your energy hormone, adrenaline, and noradrenaline levels go up.
Pain may be triggered by external as well as internal happenings. You may be upset at a single party (such as a coworker or supervisor) or incident (a traffic jam, a postponed flight), or your frustration may be triggered by stressing or brooding about your personal issues. Angry emotions may also cause memories of painful or enraging events.
What causes people to get angry?
There are several that frustration causes, such as losing control, feeling as if your thoughts or actions are not valued, and injustice. Certain sources of frustration include reminders of painful or enraging incidents and personal problems.
Will will have specific causes of frustration, depending on what you have been conditioned to expect from yourself, other people, and the world around you. Your past experience also reflects into your anger-reactions. For example, if you weren’t taught how to properly express indignation, your emotions might calm down and make you unhappy, or build up until you erupt in an angry outburst.
Inherited tendencies, brain chemistry or underlying medical conditions also play a role in your tendency toward angry outburst.
What’s the best way to handle anger?
When you’re angry, you can deal with your feelings through:
- This is the act of conveying your anger. Expression ranges from a reasonable, rational discussion to a violent outburst.
- This is an attempt to hold in your anger and possibly convert it into more constructive behavior. Suppressing anger, however, can cause you to turn your anger inward on yourself or express your anger through passive-aggressive behavior.
- Calming down
- This is when you control your outward behavior and your internal responses by calming yourself and letting your feelings subside.
Types Of Anger
Most people feel angry from time to time. Many may also find themselves on the receiving end of those who lash out in anger. How we handle anger (be it our own or someone else’s) can make the difference between calmness versus agitation, proactive versus reactive, and equanimity versus suffering.
(It is important to note that the four types of anger identified below are largely psychologically based. Chronic, persistent anger may also be the result of a brain injury, chemical imbalance, substance abuse, PTSD, etc.)
Justifiable anger is having a sense of moral outrage at the injustices of the world—whether it’s the destruction of the environment, oppression of human rights, cruelty towards animals, violence in the community, or an abusive relationship at home. Justifiable anger may have benefits in the short term, as its intensity can be channeled into passion and action for change. However, any type of anger over time is inherently unhealthy, as it robs us of our peace of mind and causes suffering within. Feeling angry on a regular basis for any reason only hurts oneself in the long run.
For most people, this is the most common type of anger. Annoyance anger can arise from the many frustrations of daily life: a driver cuts you off on the road, your partner said something insensitive, the kids aren’t listening, your boss is a real jerk, etc. The list can go on and on. When we focus on the negative and personalize/internalize other people’s words and actions, it’s easy to experience annoyance anger on a regular basis. Worse yet, by becoming upset and getting triggered, we unwittingly allow other people’s problems to become our own.
Aggressive anger is often used in situations where one individual attempts to exercise dominance, intimidation, manipulation, or control over another. When expressed repeatedly in relationships, aggressive anger becomes bullying, oppression, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.
This type of anger may seem powerful on the outside, but often betrays an individual’s insecurity on the inside. When we look mindfully at someone’s repeated, aggressive anger, we may recognize a deep sense of fear and inadequacy within—someone who tries to mask his or her weaknesses and flaws by attempting to control others.
Temper tantrums (sometimes intertwined with aggressive anger) can be characterized as disproportional outbursts of anger when an individual’s selfish wants and needs are not fulfilled, no matter how unreasonable and inappropriate. Temper tantrums are often directed toward those whose words and actions do not deserve such emotional fury.
This type of anger often originates in childhood (due to multiple factors) and is typically part of a young person’s developmental and maturation process. The “terrible twos” phase of childhood is a classic example. However, some individuals never outgrow their tantrums and continue to unleash them in adult life when they don’t get their way (i.e., narcissistic rage). People with chronic temper tantrums often have difficulty forming healthy and successful relationships, a struggle that persists until one seeks professional help for one’s anger issues