Help ! I get angry so fast- I cannot handle it!

Why do I get angry so easily? Am I the only one who experiences anger so frequently?

Anger is a common emotion that most of of us experience. However the intensity and frequency of anger varies from person to person based on various factors such as how they view the situation or tigger,what beliefs they hold about the situtation (for example, “life should always be fair to me and I must have always have my way!”)

So, a combination of these factors such as a low tolerance to frustrations and unhelpful beliefs are likely to determine how frequently and intensely anger is experienced. Of course, the objective magnitude of the issue plays a role too.

I experience a lot of physical symptoms when I am angry, like tight muscles, headaches, why does this happen and what can I do about it?

Anger, like anxiety, is an emotion that occurs due to the activation of our autonomic nervous system, in particular the sympathetic nervous system. This results in increased blood pressure, heart rate, tightening of muscles, all in preparation, either to fight the threat or source of anger or to get away from it. This is the reason why the body autmomatically experiences changes that are in preparation for this.

By learnimg to relax oneself and reducing this physiological arousal, one can bring down these experiences as well.

What will help me reduce getting anger? I am afraid I may lose control!

The anger response begins very early on, when the trigger/ the event that starts off the emotion is encountered. The beginning of any anger-situation is when we evaluate or appraise the situation as threatening or offensive. While we can use various methods like taking a walk, moving away from the trigger or the so- called source, relax our muscles etc. it would be important to change or alter our view of these trgiggers to reduce the experience of anger.

I have heard that some techniques like relaxation or even counting upto 10, help in reducing anger. Is this true? How does it work?

Relaxation methods help in increasing the parasympathetic nervous system activity and bring about a relaxation response, in place of a stress or arousal response.

Relaxation methods are helpful in brining about a reduction in anger, especially the physiologcal arousal aspects of anger.

Many different methods of relaxation can be used, such as deep muscle, deep breathing, shavasana, meditation, music or imagery. Remember to choose the one suits you the best!

Counting upto ten, drinking water, taking a walk may work temporarily. Remember if you are already in the middle of an outburst it may not work. These methods work best when they are applied right at the beginning when you recognize the early signs of anger.

Is it wrong to express anger?

Anger has its function/utility. It helps us to be in tune twith what may not be going right and motivates us to work towards correcting such things/issues.

It is the frequent experience of intense anger or chronic bottling up of anger or uncontrolled expression of anger ( losing control over anger) that may carry negative consequences on one’s health and one’s relationships. So, one needs to develop skills that help in deciding and using the best method to handle anger in a given situation and this could include constructive expression of anger.