Why Do We Get Angry?

The one thing that all of us can relate to is anger. Whether it be the toddler you babysit on weekends or the old grandpa that lives two blocks from your house, everyone has their temper tantrums from time to time. 

Anger is a natural response that not all of us have learned to control. Toddlers throw a hissy fit when they don’t get their way. Kids scream at the top of their voices when we don’t buy them whatever they ask. Teenagers going through puberty tend to have unpredictable mood swings. Adults face tension at work when their subordinates do not submit their assignments and projects on time. Phew… The list goes on. The one thing that we can say for sure is that age does not define anger. 

Anger is often called a secondary emotion. We often express anger to conceal our genuine and vulnerable feelings. When we feel hurt, embarrassed, scared, humiliated, attacked, frustrated, rejected, trapped, or sad, we try to project it as anger. Physical, psychological, personal problems and environmental conditions are some of the causes that trigger anger in us.

Anger is a normal emotion, which is considered neither positive nor negative. It can be a fleeting irritation or a full-blown fury. Venting your feelings can be positive as long as you do not hurt yourself or others around you. 

Anger does have some benefits. By acting as a substitute emotion, it temporarily provides us with a distraction from painful feelings. It empowers us with power and cold conscience to prove others wrong, which is not otherwise present. It prevents us from being doormats to others and letting them walk all over us. 

A person walking by you bumps into you accidentally and apologises for the same. If you feel mildly annoyed, it is expected and totally fine. But on the other hand, if you start throwing a stream of expletives at him, it becomes a problem. Fuming whenever someone makes of you or seething when someone cuts you off in traffic are some signs that indicate you need to deal with your anger positively.

Despite having its plus points, anger has considerable downsides that far outweigh the former. If you are a healthy teenager or a twenty-something young adult, just wait until you turn into your 40s. Anger causes various health problems, such as headache, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and whatnots, as you grow older. Adding on to that, you develop detrimental psychological effects too.

If you find yourself getting angry over small and insignificant things, worry not. There are many strategies to manage your anger and transform it into something productive.

  • Whenever you feel your anger brimming to the surface, walk away. It gives you time to analyse the situation and decide how you want to react. 
  • Take some deep breaths and count to ten in your mind. Move around and stretch your muscles to release the pent-up energy.
  • Use your senses to calm down. Try listening to your favourite songs and dancing to their beats. 

A few moments of expressing your anger could turn into a lifetime of regret. Hey now, I’m not saying that you should become Buddha. It is sometimes wise to think before you react.