What is Anger?

Anger is one of our primary emotions, characterized by intense feelings of antagonism towards someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. It is a harsh negative feeling that is associated with hostile thoughts and maladaptive behaviours. 

Though anger is a powerful and common emotion for us, it is not very healthy for our system. Chronic anger has been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems. In addition, anger can be linked to problems such as crime, emotional and physical abuse, and other violent behaviours. In this article, we’ll look at how anger impacts our bodies while also looking at anger management techniques

Understanding The Physiology Of Anger

The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in our brain, plays a crucial role in our experiences of all emotions, including anger. The amygdala is essentially responsible for emotional processing. When we encounter a situation that causes anger, the amygdala triggers the release of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones prepare the body for a “fight or flight” response by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. Adrenaline also causes other bodily reactions, such as faster and louder speech, shifts in facial expression, shaking hands and legs, tense muscles, and dilated pupils. All this energy is aimed at the trigger, as our brain tries to protect our body. This is how we experience a fit of anger

Apart from that. the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and rational thinking, may become impaired during intense anger. This can lead to impulsive reactions and difficulty processing information effectively.

What do anger outbursts look like?

Anger outbursts often involve repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, or violent behaviour in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.

Anger can manifest itself in several different ways. Not all anger is expressed in the same way. Anger and aggression can be either outward, inward, or passive.

  • Outward. This involves expressing your anger and aggression in obvious ways. It can include behaviours such as shouting, cursing, throwing or breaking things, or being verbally or physically abusive toward others.
  • Inward. This type of anger is directed at yourself. It involves negative self-talk, denying yourself things that make you happy or even basic needs, such as food. Self-harm and isolating yourself from people are other ways anger can be directed inward.
  • Passive. This involves using subtle and indirect ways to express your anger. Examples of this passive-aggressive behaviour include giving someone the silent treatment, sulking, being sarcastic, and making snide remarks.

Anger Management Techniques-

If you believe your anger is out of control and is negatively affecting your daily life, it might be helpful for you to consider these techniques to manage your anger.

#1  Behavior Therapy-

CBT is often a common technique to manage anger effectively. This technique can help you understand your triggers for anger, develop and practice coping skills, and think, feel, and behave differently in response to anger, so you are calmer and more in control.

#2  Relaxation Techniques-

Relaxation techniques can help you stay calm when feelings of anger start coming up. There are different relaxation methods you can try, such as breathing, visual imagery, etc. 

Such techniques can be very helpful in alleviating the symptoms of anger.

#3  Support Groups-

Support groups are an effective way of dealing with feelings of anger. Here, other people are also going through similar issues, so you know you are not the only one trying to deal with this.

Joining a support group will make you feel heard and encourage you to talk about what you might be feeling with those who are in the same place as you. 

#4  Self-Help Strategies-

There are many small strategies that you can practice to manage anger. 

Things such as challenging your thoughts, checking in with yourself when you feel angry, and taking a walk to clear your mind can help reduce feelings of anger. 

Anger is thus an intense emotion that ranges from different levels of severity for each person. If you feel your anger is out of proportion and you are unable to manage it, it is best to seek professional help to manage it from an early stage. 



Sakshi is a Psychologist with expertise in research and writing, she can make the most complex topic sound simple! She has completed MSC in Counselling Studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Also, She loves books and music and forgets the world once earphones are plugged in.