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Anger Management -Strategies

Updated on April 16, 2015

Anger Management Therapy

Anger management is a common therapy for those who have difficulty controlling their anger. When you are angry, besides having a strong emotional response, there is also a physical response, which includes an increased heart rate and blood pressure, plus the adrenal glands secrete increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol. Anger will trigger the “fight or flight” syndrome. The emotions that trigger this response are fear, excitement and anxiety. The brain shunts blood towards the muscles in preparation for physical exertion, plus the mind is sharp and focused.

The feelings of anger may differ from person to person, particularly between women and men. Women report anger builds slowly through the body, while men report anger as a fire or flood raging within them.

Angry Couple

source familyfoundation
source familyfoundation

Health Problems due to Unmanaged Anger

If you are living with on managed anger over a long period of time your body will begin to have some long-term health problems.

These problems will include:

  • Headache
  • Digestion problems
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Migraines
  • Low back pain
  • Skin problems, such as eczema
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Shortened life expectancy

Angry Woman

source Wikipedia
source Wikipedia

Physical Expressions of Anger

In a study of 13,000 people the individuals with the highest level of anger had twice the risk of coronary artery disease and three times the risk of heart attack as compared to people with the lowest levels of anger. There are scientists that think anger is more dangerous than smoking or obesity as a factor that contributes to early death.

Facial expressions, body language, physiological responses and at times aggression are the external expressions of anger. When you look at an angry person you usually see eyes that are wide open, often they are pointing their finger and their mouth is open because they're usually talking loudly or even yelling. Most psychologists consider anger as a natural and mature emotion experienced by virtually everyone, which has some functional value for survival. The problems start when someone has uncontrolled anger.

Inappropriate Expression of Anger

Many people do not know how to express their anger appropriately, so they have exploding rages, which may lead to violence or physical abuse. Some people who fly into rages have low self-esteem and use anger to manipulate and to feel powerful. Angry people often blow misunderstandings and minor grievances out of proportion. They will often act out in relationships with loved ones or at work, rather than work to resolve the problem. Therefore, angry people often alienate themselves from others, sometimes even their own families.

Other people feel anger is an inappropriate or a bad emotion and they choose to suppress it. The problem here is the anger often turns into depression and anxiety. Sometimes their anger is used against innocent parties, such as pets or children.

Religions Perspective on Anger

Interestingly enough various religions each have something different to say about anger.

  • In Catholicism anger is considered one of the seven deadly sins.
  • Christians tend to think of anger as a sin, but in the Bible they are taught God is a always a forgiving God.
  • Hinduism equates anger with sorrow as a form of unrequited desire.
  • In Buddhism anger is defined as" being unable to bear the object, or the intention to cause harm to the object." The Buddha himself stated "The angry person is ugly and sleeps poorly."
  • In Islam, anger is attributed to profits and believers and will Muhammad’s enemies.
  • In Judaism anger is a negative trait as in the book of Genesis, Jacob condemned the anger that had arisen in his sons Simon and Levi.
  • Many religions attribute anger frequently to God or gods.

Methods of Reducing Anger

Counseling for long-term anger management is available in a group setting or with a therapist. If you are determined to change your reactions to frustrations and stop reacting with anger, there are a few other things you can do that might be helpful.

They include:

  • Keeping a diary of angry outbursts, which you can look at when you're calm and try to understand how and why you got so mad.
  • Try some relaxation techniques, such as the yoga or meditation.
  • Exercise regularly as this will help release some of your tension.
  • Seriously consider assertiveness training to learn techniques of conflict resolution.
  • Admit when you are angry, as this is the first step in dealing with the anger constructively.

Numerous research studies have proven that exercise can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels. The reasons are twofold: exercise burns up stress chemicals plus it also boosts production of mood regulating newer neurotransmitters in the brain which include endorphins and catecholamines.

Anger Management - Eliminate Anger, Don't Just Control It

Teaching Children to Express Anger

Children always learn by the example set by the parents. Expressing anger appropriately is a learned behavior. If your child has difficulty controlling their strong feelings, there are few things you can do as appearance, including:

  • Lead by example.
  • Teach your children that anger is natural and should be expressed in a healthy way.
  • Always treat your children's feelings with respect.
  • Work with your children to learn practical problem solving skills.
  • Always encourage open and honest communication in the home.
  • Allow your children to express anger in appropriate ways.
  • Explaining the difference to your children between aggression and anger.
  • If your children are not expressing anger appropriately there needs to be some punishment or consequence.
  • It is important to teach your children ways to calm and soothe themselves.

Child Anger - Problems And Solutions

In Summary

If you determine that you have a problem with anger or if you're living with someone that has an anger problem it is important to get some help in order to stay healthy and have any type of healthy relationship.

Anger certainly inhibits the development and maintenance of any intimate relationship, and divorce is often the end result. Extreme anger is particularly destructive when it occurs in front of your child. Many children that have difficulty dealing with anger; they often become bullies, which makes them feel like they are in control.

Seeking help is the wise thing to do to preserve relationships and to stay healthy on a physical level as well. Life is too short to spend it being angry!

© 2011 Pamela Oglesby


Submit a Comment

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Eiddwen, You are too kind. I certainly appreciate your comments.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

    Another great hub Pamela,you are indeed a great writer and here's to many more hubs to share on here.

    Here's to very many more to share.

    Take care and have a great day.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Bethany, I'm glad the hub is useful for you and I appreciate your comments.

  • profile image

    Bethany Culpepper 6 years ago

    There are so many nuggets in this article, it's hard to know where to begin. I love the perspectives from different religions. I'm going to print it out for when we study the different world religions. Thanks!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Hanna, I don't know about tapping, but have heard and even written a little bit about the others. Thanks for your comments.

    Audry, I appreciate you telling your experience with anger as it sure can be used to cover a more painful emotion. Thanks for your comments.

    marcoujor, I understand about nursing as I experienced those problems before I had to quit work. It does seem like more people are angry and stressed these days. Thanks for your comments.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA


    Thank you for writing about this subject which is permeating our society. I see it in my classroom discussions, which center around so many stressors that nurses have to endure from angry management, angry co-workers, angry doctors, angry patients (not enough staff). It's a wonder the poor nurses don't crack up from the overload, only to go home to the kids, the husband on unemployment, on and on... anyway, this is wonderful food for thought!

    Voted UP & UA-- have a peaceful night, mar.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

    Unfortunately, I seem to use anger to fight off other feelings (sometimes) like depression - that is my little self-analysis there. I think anger if it is directed APPROPRIATELY is a worthwhile emotion but as you very well point out, oftentimes it isn't and that is a tragedy. It is also self-destructive to keep letting anger get the better of you.

    Great job and good points on anger management - thankfully I only get "mildly" angry these days and usually for a good reason - it spurs me on to take action rather than stay stuck in a rut!

  • HealthyHanna profile image

    HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

    Have you ever heard these methods to help release emotions? Tapping, Essential Oils, or Energy Healing? Kindof interesting.

    Anger is certainly something that we need to admit to and address.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    suejanet, It would be good if those that need anger management seek it. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. Thanks for your comments.

  • suejanet profile image

    suejanet 6 years ago

    I have met so many who really need anger management. I hope it helps.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    always exploring, Keeping anger inside does ring Take on her body and it is important to learn how to deal with anger effectively. Meditation is a great way to keep calm on an even keel as you wrote. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

    This is really, really an important Hub. Anger reeks havoc on the body, and the worst aspect, it doesn't help. The problem is still present after the blood pressure soars. We're all human and slip sometimes. After seeing Tina Turner's life-story in the movie, ' What's love got to do with it?' I learned that meditation calms and keeps you on a more even keel. Thank you

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Frog Prince, I humbly apologize for my error. I was using Dragon Naturally Speak and didn't double check what it typed, however, I can't stop laughing! Maybe I will get a chance to pinch you some day just to be sure. :-)) I will try to treat you with more respect in the future.

    Blissfulwriter, I think that is so true as the more you dwell on something negative the more it grows. Meditation is very useful in this situation and I appreciate your comments.

    Cardisa, Lucky you, as not everyone lives with a man that's easy-going. One thing I loved when I visited Jamaica was everyone seems pretty easy going and so friendly. Thanks so much for your comments.

    Happyboomernurse, I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub and is very much appreciate your comments.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Great hub addressing a problem that is very pervasive in our society. I particularly like the fact that you have enumerated ways that an individual can develop healthy coping mechanisms, and if they are unable to do so on their own, they can seek therapy. Am rating this hub up and useful.

  • Cardisa profile image

    Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

    Thunmb up Pamela. This is very useful information, when my fiannce gets angry I'll just let him read this....just kidding, I don't think he has an anger problem, he's so easy going.

  • BlissfulWriter profile image

    BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

    Yeah, I agree angry is very detrimental. I like to practice mindfulness meditation which helps me be more aware of when the instance anger starts to appear. The earlier you are aware of your own anger, the easier it is to diffuse.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

    I'm not really a "fraud" Pamela. I'm for real. Pinch me and you'll see. LMAO

    The Frog

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Fraud Prince, I agree that anger is a normal emotion and sometimes it creates positive results which will hopefully happen at the next election. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

    Pamela - I've been through a few anger management courses here and there. Mostly they pertained to dealing with angry people. Sometimes anger is good based upon what one is angry about. The American people are getting angrier by the day about the course our nation is on. Look at the polls. That is usually a sign that they will react in a positive manner, rather than a negative one.

    Great write!

    The Frog

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Jasper, I am so glad you found this hub helpful and I hope some of the suggestions work for you. Thank you so much for your comments.

    anglnwu, I'm glad you found the hub useful in anger certainly can affect your health. I appreciate your comments.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 6 years ago

    It's scary how anger can affect the health of the body and you have a long list to show. Useful hub with good suggestions on how to deal with anger. Rated up.

  • profile image

    jasper420 6 years ago

    very usefull info well thought out and nicley put togeather very helpful tips i myslef have trouble with anger and am going to try the dairy thing sounds intresting thanks this hub will most likely make a differnce in someones life the kind of matterail i like to read

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    drbj, I appreciate your comments as always.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

    Thank you, Pamela, for this excellent explanation of anger and anger therapy. Your last line says it all: "Life is much too short to spend it by being angry." I heartily agree. Voted up.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    kimberlyrics, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • profile image

    kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

    Pamela, another great hub, bravo girl

    thank you for sharing


  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Steph, I have seen that so often that I thought it would be a good topic. Thanks for your comments.

  • Steph Harris profile image

    Steph Harris 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

    A very useful hub Pamela, far too many people either suppress their anger and make themselves feel ill through doing so, or they release their anger in very inappropriate ways. This is such a very, very useful hub.