Why do you feel angry?

Anger is a normal healthy emotion if we are able to control it, it’s a way of releasing pent up emotions and frustrations and it’s also a natural reaction to being deceived, attacked or unfairly treated.  Whilst it’s generally seen to be a negative emotion it can have a positive result on occasion.  It can help us to recognise problems and situations that are affecting us negatively, motivating us to make changes.  It can also help us to stay safe when we are faced with a dangerous situation as part of the bodies fight or flight reaction by giving us a burst of energy.

Anger can become a problem if it becomes our only way of expressing ourselves or leads to destructive behaviours.  Whilst some people can become aggressive or violent when they are angry, others hide it and can take it out on themselves, or they can be passive aggressive.

Causes of anger

Anger can have many causes it can be from childhood experiences or upbringing, past or current circumstances, a symptom of a mental health condition, it can even be linked to certain personality traits.  Whatever the cause it can be difficult for both the person who has anger issues and the people around them, and it can be difficult to overcome without help. 

Physical Symptoms

·      Rapid heartbeat

·      Tense muscles

·      Feeling hot

·      Stomach churning

·      Tightness in the chest

·      Feeling like your head is pounding

·      Dizziness

·      Trembling or shaking

·      Sweating or sweaty palms

·      Feeling weak in the legs

·      An urgent need to use the toilet

Psychological Symptoms

Anger can cause you to feel a range of different emotions and learning to recognise these can help you to control your anger, these can include

·     Feeling like a red mist has engulfed you

·     Being really irritable

·      Feelings of guilt

·      Feeling humiliated

·      Resentment towards other people or situations

·      Feeling tense or unable to relax

Behavioural Changes

Being angry causes changes to your normal behaviour such as:

·      Shouting

·      Starting a fight

·      Throwing or breaking things

·      Sulking or ignoring people

·     Self-harming

Related conditions

If you do not learn to control your anger it can often result in you developing associated conditions such as:

·      Low mood

·      Anxiety

·      Depression

·      Low self-esteem


Recognising when you start to feel angry and taking steps to calm yourself like counting to ten before you react or learning calming breathing techniques can prove helpful.  Exercising will help with reducing stress levels and help you to feel more relaxed.  The internet can provide help with information on support groups and self help guides that you might find beneficial.

Professional Help

You should see your doctor if you are finding your anger is having a negative affect on your life, they can rule out any underlying medical cause and then refer you for therapy.  Anger management in small groups or on a one to one basis can be beneficial and can include counselling, psychotherapy or CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) all of which can help you to manage your anger.  Your anger could also be a symptom of other mental health conditions such as depression, borderline personality disorder, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) or IED (intermittent explosive disorder) and therapy can help you deal with all of these conditions.  Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free Information click above link.

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