Feelings of anger can range from mild annoyance to full-fledged rage. It’s totally normal to feel angry sometimes, but it’s important to manage it in a positive way.
Health Impacts of Anger
Uncontrolled anger can be dangerous. It can lead to physical aggression, such as damaging property, violence toward another person, or being a hazard to yourself. Besides bloody knuckles, excessive anger has also been shown to raise blood pressure and cause heart attacks.
Research shows that anger is also associated with increased risk of strokes, weakened immune systems, increased anxiety levels, insomnia, and depression.
When you get angry, your brain releases chemicals to give your heart the boost it needs to get you through a stressful situation. Too much of these chemicals can cause your metabolism to slow down, blood sugar imbalance, and a decrease in bone density.
What to Look For
Anger is often caused by how we think and react to situations. Experiencing some or all of the following emotions regularly is a sign that you might need to take steps to positively control your anger:
- Loss of control over small issues
- Low frustration tolerance
- Violent impulses
- Jealousy and resentfulness
- Dominating behavior
- Inability to face reality
Tips for Controlling Anger
Ready to get your anger under control? Start by considering these anger management tips:
- Cool down. Take some quiet time to let your anger cool down. You cannot solve problems when you are worked up.
- Focus on breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, taking deep, slow breaths. Calm breathing can change your mood faster than you’d think.
- Use imagery. Focus on picturing a relaxing memory, place, or object.
- Get some exercise. Physical activity can help reduce the stress that leads to anger and release endorphins to help you feel calmer and happier. That’s a win – win!
- Seek help. Talk to your Medical Readiness NCO or medical health professional if your anger seems out of control.
Each state or territory has Chaplains and Psychological Health Coordinators available 24/7 that are trained to help you manage life’s challenges.