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Anger

Anger is an automatic response to any type of pain. Our mind goes into a frenzy of thoughts. The negative assumptions, assessments, or evaluations we make about the situation will result in this blood-boiling emotion. Whether it’s getting hit by someone or being insulted, you will get mad. And we can all agree. No one wants to feel like this:
What did you just say to me?!
What did you just say to me?!

What is normal? 

We all experience anger. Not every situation will leave us happy. We all feel an array of emotions from feeling down to having the urge to punch walls. The main concern here is anger and when it becomes a problem. A lot of students struggle with anger. It can ruin relationships. It can lead to violence. It causes more bad than good. Angry should not be a word used to describe a person's personality, ever
What is not normal?
During a time when all of us struggle with balancing family, friends, and school, it is not surprising for someone to become irritable. However, feeling highly irritable almost everyday is a warning sign that reads: "There is a problem here."
The most general symptoms that indicate underlying anger issues are:
1) Feeling angry often. (It gets harder to count the number of times you have been angry during the week)
2) Feeling angry for extended period of time. (Imagine: My mom did not let me go out tonight, so I will be passive aggressive with her all week)
3) Getting angry over little things, frequently. (Going into a fury whenever someone interrupts you)
4) Your anger controls the majority of your thoughts and actions
5) You use anger to control others
6) Your anger is intense and often leaves you fatigued, blurry eyed, etc
7) You become physically or verbally abusive
(Source)

What leads to anger?

A lot of things lead to anger, but the underlying trigger is our thoughts. These thoughts include:

Feeling Threatened Frustration                 Knock-On Effect                 Assigning Blame

    Feeling Inadequate      Not Getting What You Want


Our thoughts may not be as simplistic as these, but often are built upon these simple triggers. It's also completely natural to think this way at times. Letting these thoughts control emotions daily is where the problem begins.


How to diagnose Anger

Diagnosing an emotional problem is not the same as diagnosing a biological illness. If you have diabetes, then you have diabetes and you cannot deny it. But this is not true in the case of anger. Often times others point out anger management problems a person might have. It's rare for us to get angry alone. Usually our anger is in the presence of others. If friends and family point out an individuals anger issues, he/she may not agree. This is why the first and most important step in diagnosing any problems you may have with controlling anger is recognizing that a problem exists. No one will be able to manage anger issues or learn new coping techniques if he/she denies suffering from it. You need to be willing to seek help in order to improve your life. Anger can become debilitating and lead to trouble in all facets of life.



Anger Self Assessment




Fear and Grief: The role they play

There are theories that state that fear is the initial cause of anger. This article explains the relationship between fear and anger. The main point it makes is that in some situations your brain will think of the worst possible scenario, breeding fear. This fear may lead to anger, but can be prevented.
The Relationship Between Fear and Anger

This article goes further into the issue and outlines 4 types of fear:
  • The fear of your love being rejected or taken away.
  • The fear of being powerless, helpless or unsafe which would leave you vulnerable.
  • The fear of losing control of oneself or control over others.
  • The fear of not being seen as valuable, worthy, or necessary.
According to the piece, when one's ego bursts, it leads to anger. This is a normal reaction, but depending on how often and how intense one's anger is, it can become a major issue.


How to cope: Anger management techniques

Here are several pages that outline different anger management strategies. The most important thing to realize is that you have to be willing to try these methods for them to be effective.

Some important things to keep in mind:
  • Write down all known triggers- What gets you angry? Are they internal or external factors? What gets you the most angry? The least?
  • Ask yourself: Why is this important? Why do I want to manage my emotions? How has anger negatively affected my life thus far?
  • Think about the most important people in your life. Do you often get angry at them and then feel guilty afterwards. Imagine how being able to control out burst will strengthen the relationships you hold dear.
Resources
12 Calm Down and Get a Grip Anger Management Techniques
How Can I Deal With My Anger
Anger Management for Teens
Anger Management Games: Just for Kids?
Top Tips for Anger Management-YouTube
Psych Resources: Anger Management

You will go from being like this and this 














To being like:
Yeah. I knew I could do it.



Looking at things more technically, our brain's Limbic System is the control panel for our emotional responses, including anger.
  

How Anger Works

If doctors were to monitor the brain activity of an angry person, the cerebral cortex (the area responsible for thinking and other higher mental processes) and limbic system would be highlighted. Within the limbic system, a structure called the amygdala exists (the part of the brain responsible for anger). So when the brain is taking in information from every day experiences, the data passes through the amygdala always. Sometimes if the experience is strong enough to trigger a large emotional response it will stay in the limbic system and not make its way to the cerebral cortex. Then it happens. Hormones rush through the body, causing pain and we go into a frenzy of rage. We don't think about consequences or if it is logical to get angry over whatever happened. The process is too quick to control. It's like going over the handle bars. It should take 20 minutes tops to cool down, if not sooner.

Great Source-More in Depth: How Does Anger Happen in the Brain