We all feel angry at times for different reasons. Anger is a very powerful emotion, a physical and mental response to a threat, attack, and disappointment. You might feel like shouting, punching the wall or even breaking things. Anger can also be a force for good and isn’t always negative. It helps us to stand up for ourselves in the face of injustice and in some cases, prompts us to make positive changes in our lives. Intense and uncontrolled anger on the other hand can be problematic, and if not dealt with in a healthy way, can affect our relationships, daily life and mental well-being.
Mismanaged anger is accompanied by a flood of stress chemicals and other metabolic changes which can have detrimental effects on health.
Some of the long-term and short-term health problems include:
- Heart Attack
- Increased anxiety
- Headaches and backaches
- High blood pressure
- Skin problems such as eczema, rashes, acne
- Gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome
Evidence suggests that people, who manage their anger in a healthy way, are more likely to have better physical and mental health, feel positive, enjoy relationships with the people around them, solve problems and achieve their goals.
Bottling up your anger isn’t good either; express your anger in a healthy way.
- If you feel out of control, develop the ability to walk away from a situation that is causing anger until you cool down.
- Pause. And think about the consequences of exploding in a rage and then choose how to respond.
- Even if you’re in the middle of an argument, it is never too late to take a deep breath and give rational thinking time to kick in.
- Identify the problem; come up with different strategies on how to remedy the situation.
Long-term Anger Management
It may take some time for you to modify the way in which you express your anger. Suggestions include:
- Learn relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga.
- Own up to your anger and try to get to the bottom of what is really bothering you.
- Exercise regularly: Studies have shown that exercise can improve your mood and reduce stress levels.
- Consider assertiveness training; learn about techniques of conflict resolution.
- Write down how you feel about your anger outburst, this can help you understand how and why you get mad.
- Eat a balanced diet and avoid abusing alcohol and drugs.
- If you are worried about your anger, see a counselor or a psychologist.