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Madison Healthstyle

R U OK with your anger?

R U OK

Written by Dr Dean Ghosn (Chiro)

What is anger?

Anger is a normal and powerful emotion, common to every person.  There is a tremendous variation of expression from simple irritation to extreme madness and rage. Anger is caused by both internal matters (personal issues such as relationship difficulties or problems at work), or by external matters such as arguing with another person or disturbing events such as the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 or travelling restrictions. The problem of ‘road rage’ is another classic example of uncontrolled anger, which may include both internal and external events. It is worthwhile asking yourself ‘R U OK?’

Some people easily get angry more than others, in which they could have antisocial personality disorders or angry dispositions that can be explained by hereditary or cultural factors.

What are the effects of anger on your health?

Repetitive episodes of uncontrolled anger can affect health in many ways—physically, emotionally and socially. The body’s response of releasing high levels of stress hormones and substances like adrenaline can cause unhealthy consequences, such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches including migraine, high blood pressure, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and even fatal heart attacks and stroke. On the other hand, there is a decrease of relaxing Serotonin which leads to being easily irritated, easily be in pain, increase aggressive behaviour and lead to depression.

If the anger gets the good of you, then you should stop, focus on your lifestyle and do something to get out of this situation. 

What are the recognised warning signs of anger?

Usually some people recognise the signs before they start to feel angry. Some of the warning signs are:

Rapidly pounding heart (Tachycardia), shaking, sweating, tight chest gritting teeth, raising the voice, mood swings, become defensive, being criticising, and being argumentative.

Anger can be suppressed and then converted or redirected. Many people who are normally well controlled become uncontrolled with excessive alcohol, so it is vital for these people to avoid alcohol or limit their alcohol intake.

What should you do to control your anger?

People prone to anger should look at themselves’ and try to work out why they feel angry, what triggers affect them and what methods should be considered to help them get out of this situation.

-Keep a diary to write down about outbursts, precipitating events or incidents, reactions, feelings, bad aspects, positive aspects or outcomes.

– Ask yourself ‘R U OK?’ and really listen to your internal answer.

-if you suspect that you have an anger problem, you should consider to seek help from a person you can trust, such as your practitioner, a psychologist or a counsellor as these professionals are trained in techniques of anger management, including relaxation techniques, problem solving, and cognitive behavioural therapy.

What are the helpful ways to explicit/ manage anger at home?

Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion — but it’s important to deal with it in a positive way. However, when It becomes uncontrollable this could affect your health and your relationships.

There are several helpful ways to consider to manage anger at home.

  • go for a long walk or run
  • sit quietly in a park or other pleasant place
  • go to the Cinema (if applicable)
  • share any problem with someone you trust
  • listen to your favourite music
  • play your favourite sport or learn a new sport
  • go swimming or surfing regularly
  • take a long bath, spa or sauna
  • take up a gym membership, yoga, tai chi or similar activity
  • Practice relaxation skills, meditate.
  • Use humour to release tension.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Know when to seek help

Helpful tips

  • Avoid arguments.
  • Avoid situations that tend to provoke anger.
  • You cannot afford to get violent.
  • Learn to express your anger safely.
  • Learn relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
  • Avoid alcohol or other substances that may affect you.

References:

https://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/anger-management/art-20045434

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/anger-how-it-affects-people