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Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

– Buddha


Anger refers to a feeling of annoyance, vexation, or hostility that sprouts due to some apparent provocation. Anger is actually one of the elemental feelings that a human being experiences. According to Psychology Today, “Anger is one of the basic human emotions, as elemental as happiness, sadness, anxiety, or disgust.”

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Further,” Anger too easily or frequently mobilized can undermine relationships or damage physical health in the long term. Prolonged release of the stress hormones that accompany anger can destroy neurons in areas of the brain associated with judgment and short-term memory, and weaken the immune system.”

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Anger can obviously have series of serious ramifications. Uncontrolled outbursts can affect the overall well being of an individual seriously, including physically, mentally and socially.

Anger can be a serious character flaw on part an individual, reflecting upon a person’s personality.

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Anger may be chronic or fleeting. People with chronic anger obviously require thorough medical intervention but people who suffer anger outbursts in bouts also need proper consultation and treatment to overcome it.

Although, anger is an elemental emotion and very common in people, frequent and severe outbursts or chronic anger symptoms are obvious causes for concern.

Anger has various ramifications and effects on the body.

Health Effects of Anger

System/ FunctionResponse of the bodyLong term effects
Circulatory systemIncreases constriction rate and outputHardening of arteries, elevated blood pressure, heart damage
Digestive systemDecreases digestionUlcers and cancer
Endocrine systemRelease of norepinephrine, cortisol and adrenalineDamage to liver, kidneys, adrenal glands
Immune systemsuppressedLower protection from cancer and infections
EnergyIncreased release of glucose/ fat into the bloodDamage to artery walls, liver and kidneys
Nervous systemChanges in focus, attention Anxiety, depression

Causes of Anger

Anger can be triggered due to different causes in different individuals. Usually a series of internal and external factors play out together to cause an anger outburst. Provocations lead to angry thoughts and angry actions which burst forth in a fierce manner of ‘rage’.

Some common provocative triggers are:

Internal or External events (triggering):

Some events bring forth a huge outpour of anger. Such events are associated with some sort of trigger that provokes a person’s mind.

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These events could be simple everyday events and people in your life. You could be angry at a co- worker or miss a flight or a traffic jam can bring your blood to boil. These might even seem unreasonable or petty to other people but are a huge bottleneck towards your social well being.

Incomplete Goals:

Since humans have different and numerous goals, and desires and work in different capacities to fulfil them, prevention or incomplete attaining of goals can be a significant external trigger for some people. The anger and loathing borne of incomplete goals and desires could last a very very long period of time and can dampen an individual’s future accomplishments.

Past Hurts and Guilts:

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Overthinking over past heartaches and mistakes can be an active trigger for anxiety as well as anger. Traumatic events leave behind indelible scars that have to be tended throughout life. Anger, in such cases, is a means of expressing what breaks one on the inside.

Demands and Expectations:

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Unreasonable or sometimes even reasonable expectations leave our brain in a jumbled mess. Dealing with burdens of expectation can be hard. Sometimes, meeting even the everyday demands and expectations that are required of us leave us simmering, this may lead to an outburst.

Physical and Mental attacks:

Physical and mental derogatory jibes may one of the most common trigger for anger, Getting angry in face of such a situation, for once, is perhaps even justified. Humans are beings of sentiments, anger is one of the most pronounced sentiment. Undue hate or disrespect may lead to seething anger.

Anger Management

It is extremely important to seek professional help for uncontrolled anger. According to Mayo Clinic anger management involves:

1. Think before you speak

2. Once you’re calm, express your anger

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3. Get some exercise

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4. Take a timeout

5. Identify possible solutions

6. Stick with ‘I’ statements

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7. Don’t hold a grudge

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8. Use humor to release tension

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9. Practice relaxation skills

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10. Know when to seek help