All the Rage (Anger)

align=”left”>Anger doesn’t have to be a bad thing ” learn how to control it and you can make that negative a positive.

Getting angry doesn’t just cause problems at work, at home or at the traffic lights, it can also be damaging to your health.

Flying off the Handle

Anger is a very strong emotion that can be hard to control if you don’t know how. And if you can’t control your anger it can lead to some very ugly things ” arguments, physical violence, vandalism, substance abuse and self-harm are just the tip of the iceberg.

Some people have little control over their anger and tend to “explode” in fiery rages. This kind of anger can lead to violence or abuse, which in turn can lead to isolation from friends and family.

Other people repress their anger ” they hold it in because they see it as a “bad” emotion. But bottling up your anger can lead to problems like depression, and it can also lead to one almighty explosion.

However, there are ways to control anger. If you manage your anger and channel it in the right direction, it can really motivate you to make constructive changes in your life.

How it Works

Anger triggers your body’s instinctive fight or flight mechanism ” an inbuilt response that is also triggered by fear and anxiety. When you get mad, your adrenal glands release a big rush of stress hormones, including adrenaline ” a hormone that elevates heart and respiration rates. Your brain forces blood away from your stomach and towards your muscles in preparation for any physical activity you might need to be ready for. Your heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase, your body temperature rises and your skin sweats. Your mind is sharp and focused ” ready for whatever comes next.

Bad Blood

If you get angry often, the constant flood of stress hormones and the changes these cause to your body functions can start to harm different parts of the body. Some of the health problems that can occur through unmanaged anger include:

  • Headache
  • Digestion problems
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin problems
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Be in Control

You can’t change yourself overnight, but if you learn new ways to deal with or express your anger, you can control it. Here are some tips:

  • If you feel out of control, or feel like you’re going to lose control, walk away from the situation temporarily, until you’ve calmed down.
  • Accept the fact that anger is a normal human emotion, and not something to be ashamed of or to bottle up inside.
  • Try to pinpoint the exact situations that make you mad, and think about the reasons for this. You could maybe consider keeping an anger diary, to help you identify problem areas.
  • Once you’ve identified the reasons, try to come up with some different ways to manage those situations.
  • Get physical! Go for a run or a swim, or play a game of footy with some mates. This will help you to burn off all those stress chemicals.
  • People who are stressed out get angry more often. Regular exercise can boost your mood and alleviate stress.
  • Learn relaxation techniques, like meditation or yoga. This will help you feel calmer.
  • If you’re really concerned, see a counsellor, or maybe enrol in an anger management or conflict resolution course.

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