Find out about what causes anger to occur and what you can do about it to resolve it today if you have a problem with anger. Anger can be triggered in multiple ways by either having a bad day or viewing a normal situation as a hostile one. We can easily define anger as a phenomenon of when we feel an emotional reaction to tension or a hostile situation to ourselves. According to the American Psychological Association, anger can be a good thing. Anger allows us to express negative feelings that can motivate us to find solutions to problems, but excessive anger can cause harm to yourself in a physical and/or mental harm. Neuroscientists, who are often psychologist, today look at one region of the brain that is located in the frontal portion of the temporal lobe of the brain where the amygdala is located. The amygdala processes our instinctive ‘fight or flight’ response to fear, causes us to act, and triggers anger in dangerous situations. Other physiological and biological changes occur when someone experiences anger such as: heart rate and blood pressure increase, increased anxiety, sleeplessness (which can lead to insomnia), risk of a coronary disease, digestive irregularities, and headaches/migraines.
Anger can be caused by both internal and external events, especially by how someone perceives an event. When we talk about internal events we can look at stressors that our body is able to respond to such as: nutritional status, attitudes, thoughts, overall health and fitness, amount of sleep, and emotional well-being. For external events we look at stressors from outside that are in or out of our control: the setting of our environment, balancing career and family, pollution, noise, trauma, injury, poor work conditions, our job, relationships with others, and home environment.
When trying to manage anger when an intervention is applied, psychologists, counselors, and therapists focus on conscious and unconscious process targeting three main components of anger: expressive, suppressive, and unexpressive. According to the American Psychological Association, expressing your anger in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. In the second approach anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected in a positive or negative manner. We can use suppressed anger and convert it to a more constructive behavior. Examples of positive suppressed anger can be putting that energy into work or exercise (such as boxing, running, etc.). The negative outcome of suppressed anger is that it does not allow outward expression, therefore causing your anger to turn inward towards yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression. Unexpressive anger can lead to pathological expression of anger. Signs of this type of anger can be seen as: excessive irritability over trifles, constantly putting others down, perpetual or habitual lateness, passive-aggressive behavior, chronic depression, masking issues, and getting tired more easily than usual.
If you believe or some someone else believes that you have an anger problem, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to better manager it. We offer anger management counseling and anger management therapy face to face, online with an expert, or through online courses. If you have a problem with uncontrollable anger, and you need help and you do not want to use our services, contact us and we will guide you toward the right services for you.
What Causes Anger to Occur was written by our psychology intern, Samuel Weinkel, from the University of North Florida.