Anger: Definition, How We Express It, Management Tips & More

We all experience anger, short-term or prolonged, as a reaction to something or someone. Though it is a normal human emotion, if left unchecked, anger can lead to many problems. They can affect your work, study, relationships, leading to a remarkable decline in the quality of your life. 

Luckily, by understanding important details about anger, you can easily manage it and lead a better life.

This article explores the concept of anger in-depth. We tell you what anger is, how people express it, why some experience more intense anger, and why it is important to manage it. 

Moreover, we provide the strategies for keeping anger in check and reveal some healthy ways of expressing this emotion. Importantly, we tell you how online therapy can help you cope with your anger. Let’s start!

What Is Anger?

It is an emotion that manifests as a subtle irritation or full-blown rage and fury. Anger is accompanied by various physical and biological signs, pretty much like any other human emotion. 

Some of the tell-tale signs of anger include an elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and heightened production of hormones such as adrenaline. 

What causes anger? Both external and internal issues can lead to anger. A person or event can make you angry, and other personal problems can also anger you. Your memories of unpleasant past events or traumas can also push you to anger. 

How Do We Express Anger?

Aggression is our natural and spontaneous way of expressing anger. Anger triggers aggressive feelings and actions to deal with the threat you are facing. This way, it enables you to fight any stressors and safeguard yourself from troubling situations. Considering these things, it is safe to conclude that anger is “useful” to some extent.

But even with that said, you cannot always react aggressively to every situation, person, or thing. There is a need to cap the extent to which our anger can take us.

Why Do Some People Get Angrier Than Others?

Some people indeed feel more intense anger than others. At the same time, while some people might not display their anger immediately, they show their emotion by exhibiting chronic irritability and grumpiness.

Some people do not react aggressively. They might simply withdraw themselves. You can find them sulking or even physically unwell.

Besides our unique reactions to feeling anger, there are various factors. These include:

  • Genetic predispositions: Studies show that some people are born with high irritability and are quick to anger.
  • Sociocultural influence: Our societies teach us that anger is a negative emotion. This makes it hard for us to learn how to express it well.
  • Family issues: Research has proven that people from dysfunctional families tend to be quicker to get angry.

Why Should We Manage Anger?

If you have anger management issues, it is best to learn how to keep your feelings in check. Failure to do this can lead to negative effects such as developing severe aggression and withdrawal. These things can impact your well-being in the long term, reducing the quality of your life significantly. 

While you might have heard that letting it all out works, this is not a great way to manage your anger. This tendency will often aggravate rage and aggressiveness. It does nothing in helping you address the underlying issue. 

The best way to manage your anxiety and anger is to determine the reasons behind it first. Then, identify strategies that can help you keep these triggers from sending you to a tipping point. 

H2: How to Deal with Anger: Strategies for Keeping Anger at Bay

Several self-help ways can help you to keep anger at bay and from impacting your life negatively. These strategies entail adjusting your thoughts and actions. The idea here is that your feelings, thoughts, and actions are all interconnected. 

How you think and behave will escalate or help you control your emotions. If you want to fight anger, you can start by changing what you are thinking or doing. 

That said, below are some excellent strategies for keeping anger in check. 

Relaxation

Easy-to-do relaxation tips can help you stay ahead of your anger, enabling you to calm down whenever you are overwhelmed. Deep breathing and looking at relaxing images are excellent examples of some practical and effective relaxation techniques. 

Some other things to try are:

  • Slowly say a calm word or phrase such as “relax” or “you are in control.” Repeat it while regulating your breathing.
  • Perform easy exercises that relax your muscles and your mind.

Try Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive restructuring, known as CR, identifies and helps challenge maladaptive/irrational thoughts or beliefs. Mental health professionals use this technique to help people with mental problems like depression, stress, PTSD, anxiety, addictions, phobias, etc.

CR can also help with anger management by changing the way you reason. At a moment of anger, you likely experience thoughts and feelings in a much more magnified or over-generalized way. 

With cognitive restructuring, you replace these exaggerated thoughts with logical ones. Logic in itself quells anger because the more you think and justify the anger, the more it seems unreasonable. 

Understand that anger won’t solve anything and, in some instances, it may worsen situations. The next time anger consumes you, try the following tips:

  • Note down your natural responses/thoughts/reactions 
  • Find objective proof for and against the automatic thinking
  • Get a balanced view of the events 

Face and Solve Your Problem

Sometimes, anger is brought about by a particular challenge or issue in daily life. In this case, relaxation and other methods aren’t enough to help you know how to control anger. 

You have to face your problem and find a way to handle it. Come up with a plan for tackling your situation and give your best efforts to solving it. 

Remember, some challenges are difficult and can’t be solved immediately. So, don’t blame or condemn yourself when your first step isn’t successful. 

Practice More Efficient Communication

Anger, if not controlled, can lead you to jump and act on a flawed judgment. These actions can embarrass you, worsen relationships with others, and lead to regrets. 

Instead, when you are fuming with anger, try to take a moment and think about your next action. By holding off the first thoughts that come to mind and listening, you can express yourself more carefully.

Better communication can also be a solution when you don’t know how to deal with anger in a relationship. Rather than respond by fighting back when criticized by a person, try to listen, analyze what they have said, and respond calmly. 

Cool Down Your Temper with Humor

Humor can be effective in controlling your fury before you take it out on someone. It can help brighten your mood, work over differences, see your problems from another point of view, and achieve calmness quicker. 

When you begin to feel anger rising within you, switch to some lighthearted humor. That way, you can express what you want to say to a person without hurting them or triggering their negative reactions.

Whenever you’re upset and want to name-call someone, take a moment to imagine the phrase literally in your mind. Just seeing how ridiculous it is can help ease the tension and respond more calmly. 

Remember, humor isn’t about brushing off your problems. But it can help you handle issues more rationally.

Switch to a Different Surrounding

Changing scenery is one of the most effective anger management techniques. In some cases, the surrounding environment can make you feel trapped and helpless, which can, in turn, increase your negative feelings. 

So, if you are struggling with frequent outbursts, give yourself some time off your current environment, responsibilities, and challenges.

If you can’t get a day or weekend off your regular schedule regularly, try mini-breaks. That is short periods within your day when you have alone-quiet time. 

How to Vent Out Your Anger Healthily

Getting angry is natural. However, to express your anger, ensure that it comes out healthily and positively. 

Here are some tips to help you communicate your anger without affecting your relationships:

  • Dwell on the present situation/problem only
  • Be fair and don’t undermine the other person
  • Be open to forgiveness to resolve the problem
  • Take a step back if it becomes too heated
  • If a consensus is not possible, agree to disagree and let it go

Getting Help Through Anger Management Therapy

Anger can bring about new problems in your life and especially strain your relationships. If you get angry often and struggle to control it, you may need a mental health professional to support you. 

Therapy can help you identify the source of your anger and how to manage your emotions and behavior when angry. You could try Calmerry — this platform provides convenient access to mental health professionals. There, you can get online therapy for anger management issues or other emotional problems you struggle with.

Takeaway

Anger can take over your whole self, dictating your behavior, attitudes, and emotions if you allow it. While it can be caused by mental health disorders, it can also cause other psychological problems. 

Following the above-listed tips and talking to an e-therapist about your emotions and their causes can help you manage and overcome anger. Start living a fulfilling life today!

Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has been working in healthcare since 2017. She mainly treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, grief, identity, relationship, and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience is focused on individual and group counseling.
Follow Kate here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-skurat-5348381b9/