Tips for Managing Anger


What is Anger?

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary defines anger as follows: 

“An emotional reaction characterized by extreme displeasure, rage, indignation, or hostility. It is considered to be of pathologic origin when such a response does not realistically reflect a person's actual circumstances. However, expressions of anger vary widely in different individuals and cultures and may be considered functional under certain controlled circumstances.”

According to the American Psychological Association, anger “can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person (Such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.”

The Effects of Anger on Your Health

There are varying degrees of the effects of frequent, intense anger on the human body.  They include: 

Elevated heart rate and blood pressure

Severe chest pains

Decrease in bone density

A weakened immune system

Acid reflux and gastric ulcers

Tension headaches, migraines, and insomnia

A reduction in metabolism and thus, weight gain

Compromised lung function

Stroke and heart attack

To read more about how stress negatively affects you, please read “What Stress Does to Your Body on . 

Anger and the Effect on Children

According to University of Notre Dame psychologist E. Mark Cummings: 

"Parents don't realize that children are sensitive to their conflicts.  But we find they are sensitive at very early ages — starting at 1 year of age, at least. Children are like emotional Geiger counters with regard to their parents' relationship. If parents really resolve things, children will know it. If they don't, children will know that, too."

You can read more here.


Is All Anger Bad?

According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Being angry isn't always a bad or negative thing. Being angry can motivate people to listen to your concerns. It can prevent others from walking all over you. It can motivate you to get involved with causes that you care about. The key is managing your anger in a healthy way.”

So the key is to control your anger. 

Resources to Help with Controlling Anger

Strategies to Keep Anger at Bay” and “Do You Need Counseling? 

Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper

Anger Management” from Villanova University

Dealing With Anger”: resources for parents on how to manage your children’s anger.

Be a Calm(er) Mom

Fighting in Front of the Kids