Community & Business

10 November, 2023

The Mental Health Minute

ANGER, a commonly experienced emotion, varies from mild irritation to intense rage. It encompasses feelings of frustration, hostility, agitation, and even aggression.

The Mental Health Minute - feature photo

While experiencing anger is normal and can be productive for expressing negative emotions or problem-solving, it’s the way we express it that often leads to issues.

Problem anger is characterised by its frequent occurrence, intensity, and prolonged duration. It engages a person’s thoughts, emotions, physical responses, and behaviours. These thoughts can be irrational or exaggerated, often involving blaming the other person or seeking revenge. 

Emotional responses are closely tied to these thoughts, ranging from mild annoyance to extreme fury.

Anger activates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, muscle tension, sweating, and rapid breathing. It also involves chemicals that affect mood, sleep, appetite, learning, and memory, influencing various aspects of life.

Uncontrolled anger can manifest as aggression and violence, creating difficulties in relationships, contributing to family violence, workplace bullying, road rage, assault and substance abuse.

Expressions of anger can become a habit. Recognising risk factors, like traumatic memories or genetic predisposition, is crucial. Family and cultural influences can normalise angry responses to stress, while rigid worldviews and inflexible standards can escalate anger. 

Sometimes, anger can be a symptom of other mental health disorders and should be evaluated accordingly.

This is why anger management is important. Rather than trying to suppress the anger, we need to learn how to manage anger in a way that acknowledges the feeling while not harming anyone else.

Dealing with anger in a healthy way is a key part of life.

There are several techniques to manage anger effectively. First, identifying anger symptoms and triggers is key. 

It’s essential to recognise when anger is escalating and in need of a coping mechanism before it becomes uncontrollable. Various coping mechanisms are available and individuals should find what works best for them. 

These techniques include taking timeouts to step away from situations, counting to 10 to regain composure, controlled breathing to calm the body’s physical response and using positive self-talk to prevent escalation.

Reframing the situation by looking at it from a different perspective can help reduce anger, as can distraction methods like listening to music or going for a walk to defuse anger.

To reduce overall anger levels, engage in relaxation exercises, physical activity and regularly take short breaks for quiet time. Identifying and avoiding anger triggers, enhancing communication skills, and developing healthy coping mechanisms are key strategies.

For individuals struggling with intense anger, there are various therapeutic interventions available through psychological support. Anger doesn’t have to control your life; with the right coping mechanisms and support, you can effectively manage and reduce anger's impact on your well-being.

The information provided is from Better Together Community Support. This advice may not suit your personal situation and therefore cannot substitute real psychological advice please consult a professional if this has raised issues for you.


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