Anger is a normal human reaction to feeling threatened, provoked or being treated unfairly. Anger is an intense emotion, as it changes the way that people feel, think and behave. Everyone experiences anger at times, and it’s useful for telling us when something’s not right or dangerous. However, anger becomes a problem if it leads to harm to ourselves or others.
Signs that anger is a problem
Some people know that they have a problem with anger. Other people might not be so sure. The following things might not be problematic on their own but a combination of them might indicate a problem with anger.
- Irritability – feeling generally annoyed a lot of the time
- Restlessness – not being able to sit still or relax
- Getting very angry very quickly
- Tightness in the chest
- Rapid heartbeat
- Not being able to remember the reason for feeling angry
- Deliberately being unkind or using hurtful words with people
- Thinking the worst of people or judging them harshly
- Everything feeling like a massive problem
- Constantly arguing with others
- Causing damage by breaking or throwing things
- Lashing out at other people
What can I do to help myself?
Because thoughts cause anger, challenging some thoughts can help. Taking a deep breath and thinking through the thought can allow us to decide whether we actually mean it. Relaxing can be a useful way to stop feelings of anger. Mindfulness practices can help.
It might be helpful to take some time to think of the things that cause us anger, and why this might be. Understanding emotions is key to managing them.