Are you easily frustrated or irritated, and feel angry more often than you should? Anger is natural. It’s a reaction that tells us things aren’t right. But when anger is experienced in excess, it can lead to physical and mental health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, and depression. It’s important to find a healthy way to deal with your anger before it harms you or the people you love.
Many different things can cause anger. Depending on the individual, a wide variety of circumstances can trigger anger. Besides experiencing anger differently, people also express anger in various ways. Some people may “snap” or verbally lash out when they feel angry. Others hide their emotions closer to the vest.
Here are seven common reasons for anger, along with some tips on managing anger:
- Your present situation.
It’s normal to experience frustration or anger when you’re in a stressful situation. It can be especially challenging to control your emotions when dealing with prolonged anxiety and stress.
Recognize that your feelings are valid, but if your anger is negatively impacting your productivity, or it’s damaging your relationships, you need to find a healthy way to manage your anger.
- Your past.
Growing up, you may have learned unproductive or unhealthy ways to handle your anger from the caregivers. Acknowledging this is a critical first step toward responding to your anger triggers in a healthier way, such as going for a walk or run, listening to music, or writing in a journal.
Worry is one of the more common causes of anger. Whether your worries are focused on yourself or on a loved one, worrying can provoke fear and intense anger under certain circumstances.
If you think your anger may stem from worrying, consider what the source of your strong emotions may be. Examine where your worries are coming from. Ask yourself why you feel afraid, or what’s scaring you the most. It may help to write about your worries. Are there steps you could take to address them? For example, if you’re worried about a loved one taking a trip abroad, openly communicate with your partner in a gentle and honest way. Once you’ve expressed your worries, you’ll not only feel proud of yourself, but you’ll notice your angry feelings are beginning to fade.
- Perceived powerlessness.
A feeling of powerlessness is another common cause of anger. This feeling is often associated with a sense of helplessness and loss of control. If you suffer from health issues, are trapped in an abusive relationship, or just feel stuck, you may feel especially angry.
When you feel powerless, remind yourself, “I’m responsible for my life. I deserve respect just the way I am. My abilities and skills have brought me to where I am. They’re tools to help me handle the negatives of this situation in a healthy way.” If you’re frustrated about a health issue, be proactive about your condition. Learn how to live with it or treat it. If you feel as though you’re losing control over your life, consider seeking professional guidance or help on how to change things.
More than 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety. Though anger and anxiety may seem like two separate and distinct mental health issues, they’re frequently deeply intertwined. People who suffer from anxiety often experience out-of-control emotional reactions and feel overwhelmed. When facing challenges, people with anxiety often express their frustration and stress through anger.
There are positive and healthy methods for treating anxiety. Some ways to deal with anxiety healthily include seeking professional help, engaging in enjoyable activities, reducing stressors in your life, getting a pet, trying medication under the guidance of a professional, or meditation.
- Past Events
A painful or traumatic experience often has lasting effects, even if you feel as though you’ve moved on. Memories of past trauma can trigger frustration, anxiety, and even angry outbursts.
Next time you get angry about something in the past, reflect on the situation for a moment before you react. This will help you to identify the source of your anger and allow you to deal with intense emotions more appropriately.
Grief is often an overwhelming emotion. It’s usually associated with personal loss, pain, and hardship. Grief can be caused by the death of a loved one or pet, personal or professional disappointments, the loss of employment, a physical injury, and even current events.
When you feel overwhelmed by grief, it can quickly turn into anger. Grieving people often feel frustrated by the unfairness and cruelty of the world. They may be angry that the future they’d envisioned is no longer possible. They may feel upset with other people who don’t sympathize with and understand their suffering.
It’s normal to experience anger with grief. But when grieving, it’s harmful to dwell on intense anger and negative emotions. Anger can rage out of control and hinder your processes of grieving and healing. So, be gentle with yourself. Let yourself feel the grief, so you may start to heal.
When you’re angry, you may feel as if there isn’t an appropriate outlet for channeling your negative emotions and frustrations. A therapist can provide therapeutic and medical solutions to any mental disorders or anger issues you may have. Therapists can give advice assist with diagnosis, and offer treatment, such as lifestyle changes, physical exercise, information on recognizing and responding to anger triggers, medication, meditation, and ongoing therapy to help understand and control extreme emotions.