Anger is an automatic reaction to a perception of injustice and is designed to energize people to take action and correct the wrong. For instance, if your neighbor stole your car stereo, you would become angry and the anger would cause you to want to confront your neighbor and seek justice. Most people are somewhat passive to mildly assertive and anger pushes them up the spectrum to become more assertive in handling problems. Anger gets a bad reputation when people behave in aggressive ways such as assaulting others. So long as anger can be controlled and channeled in productive ways, it is actually a constructive emotion. Managed poorly, it becomes destructive.
Common Anger Management Issues
Anger, like most emotions, is activated in the emotional center of the brain; the limbic system. The emotion then triggers a reaction of physiological and biological changes. The brain triggers the release of certain chemicals into the body such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and other hormones. Most people are familiar with this process and know it as “fight or flight”. In the case of anger, it is our fight response. Our blood pressure and heart rate rise, energy levels increase, and people may experience some of the following internal or external symptoms: shallow rapid breathing, clenched fists or jaw, flushing or a hot sensation, tensing of muscles, tightness in the chest, trembling, dry mouth, or lightheadedness to name a few. For some people, anger is secondary to issues with depression or anxiety and they might consult a physician about medicinal treatments for those conditions such as Anti-depressants or Anti-anxiety medications. Most people seek the assistance of psychologists or counselors who help people learn to reduce the intensity of the anger reaction, control some of the physiological reaction, learn to regulate emotions, and ultimately learn to change thoughts and beliefs that are likely at the source of the anger.