Anger is an emotion that is manifested mostly when a person is tense, agitated, or stressed. We get angry when things go wrong or not according to our liking or plan.
Anger is often perceived as a negative emotion, however, it is not negative. It is normal to feel angry in certain situations, and it is better to let out your anger than to suppress it. A certain level of anger helps to get the best out of teams.
Anger helps you to express yourself, talk about problems and recognize your behaviour. You should be self-aware of your emotions, and you learn how to deal with problems.
However, anger is not good when it leads to a fight. Often in anger, you may ruin your relationships because of the hurtful things that you might say to others during the outburst. Hence, it is important to keep your anger in check and recognize when it is not acceptable.
Anger affects your mental peace and the functioning of the brain during anger outbursts. Frequent anger outbursts have a bad impact on your health. Anger can affect your relationship with others, including family.
What is anger?
Anger is an everyday emotion. It is healthy if dealt with effectively.
Is anger bad? How much anger is fine? Does anger be used for managing a team or getting output from team members? We will try to answer these questions in the article.
Patience is a virtue. It helps in controlling anger. Understanding emotion and using it effectively for your own advantage is known to emotionally intelligent persons.
Anger as an emotion is not bad, however, it becomes a problem when you express it in a way that harms yourself or others.
To understand anger, it is necessary to learn about emotions. Emotions are categorised as primary emotions and secondary emotions for better understanding.
Primary emotions are how you react to events and situations.
Secondary emotions are reactions to your feelings.
American psychologist Dr. Robert Plutchik proposed that eight primary emotions that serve as the foundation for all others:
- anticipation. (Pollack, 2016)
A secondary emotion is an emotional response to a primary emotion. For example, if someone important to you says something hurtful to you, you feel bad and may become sad. That would be a primary sadness. If experiencing sadness for some reason might be difficult for you and you get angry. The anger then is a secondary reaction, since it is a reaction to your sadness. Therefore, anger is a secondary emotion.
The secondary emotions are the result of your interpretation of primary emotions. How you interpret your primary emotions is based on several factors.
If the primary emotion feels bad, the secondary emotion is likely to feel bad as well. If a primary emotion feels good, the secondary emotion is also likely to feel good.
Physical signs of anger
You should gain a greater awareness of personal signals. By identifying these you will be better equipped to spot danger signs and act accordingly.
My Physical Cues
- Heart beats faster
- Breathing fast
- Tight muscles
- Sweat a lot – hands/palms and underarms
- Dry mouth
- Clenched teeth
- Tense stomach
- Can’t see straight
- Shaky hands
- Tight fists
- Talking fast
- Feeling light-headed
- Feeling sick
Reading the signs can help to be aware of physical changes which happen when you are confronted with the possibility of anger.
All of these are quite natural. Being aware of them can be valuable when you need to stay in control
Angry for no reason
It looks like you or somebody else is angry without any reason. However, identifying the reason for anger is necessary to address the same. There are anger triggers which can be classified as external and internal triggers. Accordingly, causes of anger can be described as below-
External triggers – Few examples or scenarios are-
- Someone did not agree with you
- You got teased
- You made a mistake
- You got picked on
- Someone used your things
- You saw something which you didn’t like
- Someone ignored you
- Somebody insulted you etc.
Internal triggers – These are your internal thoughts of negative self talk which may trigger angry reactions.
- “I’ll show him”
- “I swear he’s doing this on purpose”
- “I can’t let her get away with this”
- “He is such a wanker”
- “This is unfair”
- Thinking of possible revenge etc.
Cause of anger issues
Even though multiple factors are responsible for anger however few of the instances or situations which may be reason for the anger are following-
- Your children or team members are not following your instructions.
- Your desires are not fulfilled due to whatever reason, and you are blaming somebody else.
- Imbalance in emotions
- If you are unable to understand the emotions of yourself and others around you, the situation may lead to an angry reaction.
- Physical pain leads to frustration that is a major cause to anger outbursts.
- The surroundings are not conducive. You are feeling bad or uncomfortable.
Tips on how to control anger
For living a positive and happy life you should not be angry too often. These are some ways to control your anger effectively.
1. Find a creative outlet
Release your negative thoughts by expressing yourself in other ways including thinking before speaking. You should be aware that anger is mostly built-up resentment that comes out in the form of an outburst. Hence, you can control it before it becomes out of control and impacts on peace of mind. You can find a creative outlet to release your anger.
You can pick up a creative hobby that will bring you peace and good thoughts.
2. Practice deep breathing
Generally, anger can be identified by physical cues before it becomes an outburst. You must practice breathing exercises. Immediately take a deep breath. Collect your composure and thought before reacting. You should practice breathing exercises often.
It helps in keeping you grounded and calm during a difficult time. You should learn to maintain a calm exposure and avoid getting into a verbal fight.
3. Watch your words before speaking
When you are angry, you mostly forget about the consequences.
You must have heard that word, once spoken, can not be taken back and by the time you realise the mistake, the damage has already been done. Therefore, it is important to remember that things said in anger are often said out of deep remorse. So, it is better to keep calm and think twice before saying anything.
When you exercise, you release happy hormones endorphins in your body which help in keeping you active, positive, and happy. It helps in reducing stress and makes you resilient to problems and bad situations.
Positive self-talk like breathing exercises helps in anger management. If you have seen Amir Khan’s film where he taps his hand on his chest and utters ‘All is well’ “All is well”, in certain situations. It is a great example of positive self-talk and controlling anger.
Mediation is one of the best aids in controlling anger and releasing stress. It helps in keeping you calm and helps in removing negative thoughts.
6. Seek help
If nothing works for you, and you feel you are unable to control your anger, it is advised to seek professional help.
Therapy may help you understand the reasons for anger. You may also speak to your close friend or family member.