What is anger?
Anger is an emotion that ranges from slight irritation to intense rage. Uncontrolled anger can lead to problems in daily living causing strains on the body and on your relationships. People get angry when they feel threatened, wronged, or powerless. Some people act impulsively, aggressively, or violently when they are angry.
When is anger a problem?
Anger can become a routine, familiar, and predictable response to a variety of situations. When anger is displayed frequently and aggressively, it can become a maladaptive habit. A habit, by definition, means performing behaviors automatically, over and over again, without thinking. The frequent and aggressive expression of anger can be viewed as a maladaptive habit because it results in negative consequences.
Intense and frequent anger strains the body, potentially causing these health problems:
- High blood pressure
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- Muscle and joint pain
- Dental problems (from jaw clenching and teeth grinding)
- High cholesterol
- Weakened immune system
- Stomach and digestive system problems
- Early death
To learn more about what causes anger and how to manage it:
- Anger, Aggression, and Assertiveness
- Anger Triggers
- Anger Cues
- Self-Talk and Anger
- The Anger Meter
- Anger Management Tools
Reilly PM, Shopshire MS, Durazzo TC, and Campbell TA. Anger Management for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Clients: Participant Workbook. DHHS Pub. No. (SMA) 02-3662. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2002.
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