Where does Anger come from?

Commonly anger is closely related to frustration – things don’t always turn out the way you want and others don’t always behave the way you think they should. Anger is usually associated with other negative emotions or is a response to them. You may be feeling frightened, worried, disappointed, embarrassed or frustrated, but may show these sorts of feelings as anger. Anger is commonly a result of poor communication or misunderstanding between people.

Common triggers to anger:

  • Hurt
  • Financial problems
  • Tiredness
  • Grief
  • Being physically or mentally unwell
  • Pain
  • Frustration
  • Fear
  • Injustice
  • Disappointment
  • Hunger
  • Sadness
  • Sexual frustration
  • Stress

Can Anger Make You Ill?

The hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released when angry, the same hormones released when we encounter stress.

These hormones affect our blood pressure, pulse, body temperature and breathing rate, sometimes to potentially unsafe levels. The reason for this is to give you an instant boost of energy and power and is often referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. This means that your body and mind prepare for a fight or for running away from unsafe situations.

However, if you get angry often and you cannot manage your anger effectively you can become ill, just as stress that is left untreated may make you ill. Our bodies are not designed to handle high levels of adrenaline and cortisol over long periods or on a very regular basis.

Some of the health challenges that may occur as a result of being angry often or for long periods of time can include:

  • Aches and pains, mainly in the back and head.
  • High blood pressure, which can, in severe cases, lead to stroke or a heart attack.
  • Skin ailments.
  • Lower threshold for pain.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Problems with digestion.
  • Impaired immune system.

 

Anger can also lead to psychological challenges such as:

  • Substance abuse.
  • Lower self-confidence.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Self-harm.