Effects Of Anger And How To Deal With It: Explained

Are you easily angry, irritated, humiliated, or often taking things personally?

Anger issues are common in society and are caused by various factors, including stress, abuse, and poor living conditions. The effects of anger permeate all areas of life, including our schools, homes, and workplaces, and can give rise to hostility, violence, and abuse in society. It affects individuals in physiological and mental ways and cultures through a sense of alienation, creating rifts in existing communities. Yet it’s ignored despite causing much harm, maybe because we do not understand its full extent.

You’ve likely heard that anger is wrong and that you shouldn’t be angry as it increases conflict and hostility. You must’ve also felt a wave of guilt wash over you after acting out in anger many times. But have you ever wondered what exactly anger is?

Anger is simply an emotion. It is your mind’s emotional message to the environment and events surrounding you. It makes you aware of your feelings about a situation and enables you to act.

There are positive and negative side effects of anger, but the bottom line is that it depends on how you use it, like anything else. 

effects of anger
Effects of Anger And How You Can Deal With Them Explained

Positive Effects of Anger on Mental Health

1. Motivates Change

Anger shows discontent towards a particular event or situation and acts as a motivation to change the situation. There are two ways we can act on this. You can either change the outlook toward your case or the problem itself if you can do so.

2. Brings awareness

As we said before, anger is a feedback mechanism that brings awareness to you. However, as you will soon see, this awareness can be biased or flawed. That is why having an understanding of your emotional reactions is vital.

3. Protects from Danger

Anger triggers a fight or flight response, leading to:-
– nervous excitability,
– increased blood pressure,
– higher body temperature, and
– direction of blood away from the gut toward the muscles.
It prepares the body for efforts and makes the mind clearer and more focused. Other emotions which can inspire similar reactions in us include fear and anxiety.

Negative Side Effects of Anger on Mental Health

How we deal with and view anger is based on how our parents and society raised us. Despite the positive effects of anger, it is simply not a positive emotion. And most people do not like conflict or negative emotions showing up in their daily lives. It can harm your reputation and lead you to face difficulties in social and economic aspects.

According to BetterHealth, the prolonged effects of anger include headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, and skin problems. It is also correlated to depression and heart disease. People who often get angry are also prone to heart attacks and strokes.

When you feel anger, do not act immediately. Stay with the emotion, try to breathe, be more mindful, think about your actions and what the consequences of anger will lead to, and make your decision with a clear head. This is easier said than done, as you lose control and awareness when you become angry. But if you try, you can identify your emotions and stop yourself before making any misstep.

Effects of Anger in the Workplace

Anger is a natural emotion, and it is okay to feel anger. However, how you express anger holds a significant meaning for your prospects when working for an organization. It is considered unprofessional to show aggression in the workplace. It is best to talk directly and be assertive rather than emotional.

Effects of anger on family, friends, and loved ones

Anger can hurt your loved ones more than you in the long run. It discourages communication and creates a rift between you and your family. It also makes it harder for someone to be friends with you or even make friends if you frequently get angry. 

Unhealthy Approaches And The Effects Of Anger

There are basically two unhealthy approaches to anger – repression and aggression. Repression means trying to avoid or suppress your anger. People usually repress their anger as they may think anger is a “bad” thing. But repression can affect your health and well-being negatively and end up aggravating the negative effects of anger. Hence, it is not the better choice.

Aggression is a destructive response to a negative situation. It happens when you are displeased and frustrated. You burst out all the anger you had been holding within. Aggression has more apparent reactions compared to its counterpart. The effects of anger expressed aggressively convert a manageable problem into a graver issue.

However, healthy defense mechanisms and ways to manage anger also exist. You can be mindful of the situation, take deep breaths, count to ten, and practice techniques that make you focus on your senses to control your anger. Following are some basic approaches to help you deal with the effects of anger.

How to Deal With the effects of anger on Mental Health?

1. Change the way you think

What causes you to become angry isn’t the situation itself but what you feel about it. Your feelings may often be influenced by bias or things you assumed earlier. Changing your thoughts can ease your anger, making you happier and more prosperous. Accept your feelings of being angry as natural, and do not feed into a loop of anger by getting mad about not being angry. Validate yourself, but do not deceive yourself. Self-validation is a technique from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy(DBT) that involves observing your feeling without bias. 

2. The SToC (Stop, Think of Consequences) technique

The SToC technique is an effective method to control your anger.
-The first step is to stop when you’re feeling angry.
-Then take a deep breath or drink some water.
-Think of the consequences or effects of anger on your mental health rather than expressing this anger impulsively.
-If you feel it’s not the right thing to do, rethink your approach.
-Finally, find a healthy way to put forth your emotions.

3. Practice mindfulness

Like the SToC technique, mindfulness gives you a pause and makes you aware of the situation and your feelings. It has numerous benefits, such as increased kindness, empathy, emotional intelligence, and honesty. Mindfulness practice is intrinsically valuable and worth pursuing.

4. Develop a self-care routine

You can also use the energy from anger for socially constructive purposes by practicing activities like art, exercise, journaling, and many more. You can do this by using a psychological defense mechanism called sublimation. Sublimation is using the power of your “negative” emotions to create something new. Taking baths, napping, or setting up a self-care routine to relax or take breaks can make you much less prone to anger.

5. Think Strategically and Long-term

Developing a long-term thinking habit can benefit you across different aspects of life, including anger management. As your actions become more thought out, you’re less likely to act out in anger. You’re also better able to practice creative visualization ahead in the future and set better goals for yourself. This leads to greater self-satisfaction.

6. Communicate your Feelings

In work and life, most conflicts occur due to a lack of or unclear communication. It would help if you let your partner know your expectations and what you’re willing to put up with upfront. A transparent exchange helps set clear boundaries and defines your relationship. 
You can also learn conflict resolution techniques and how to create win-win situations. Managing conflict is a vital skill that can help you both at home and in the workplace.

7. Negative Bias

Having a negative bias means focusing more on the negative aspects of your experience than the positive ones. It’s a significant cause and one of the consequences of anger among people of all age groups.

You can remove a negative bias by building a positive attitude or an optimistic outlook. Some ways to develop a positive attitude include:-

-Understanding that a positive attitude doesn’t mean ignoring the negative parts of your experience or being shortsighted.

-Knowing your limits and the limits of what you control. You should know when to keep going and when to take a day off.

-Analyzing your thoughts and giving yourself credit where due.

8. Watch how you spend your time

How you spend your time has a profound impact on how satisfied you are, your self-esteem, and the way your life will turn out to be. Improving the quality of your daily experiences can help you better navigate the effects of anger.
We all have a day like this: we come back home from work, pick up our smartphones to relax a bit, and before we know it’s midnight, and we’ve missed out on talking to our loved ones, finishing our pending work, and starting that personal project we’ve been planning for months.

The ways to overcome predicaments like this are:-

A. Discover your values

Values serve as guideposts and make you more aware of what you want and don’t. Living by your values makes you happy and can lead to natural growth.

B. Track Your Time

You can do a simple exercise and write down everything you do in a journal for a week. Review what you’ve done at the end of the week, and you’ll soon realize where your time goes. Then you will automatically avoid the habits and triggers which drain your time and energy.

C. Have fun

Anger often comes from frustration about situations you don’t like but can’t necessarily change. But you can go out of your way to plan fun activities that refresh and make you feel alive. This activity will open the door to new opportunities, introducing variety and thrill in your life.


The effects of anger can be positive or negative. It is beneficial in the short run but can cause significant health threats in the long run. These long-term threats include insomnia, abdominal problems, depression, and heart disease. You can manage your anger using the SToC technique, developing mindfulness, thinking strategically, building an optimistic outlook, and communicating your feelings with loved ones.

Like any critical task, managing the effects of anger on mental health doesn’t come naturally to anyone. And getting used to these helpful techniques in a day is impossible. One important thing you can do is not be discouraged and continue pursuing better mental health. Setting smaller achievable goals and focusing on one task at a time will lead to slow but steady improvement. Here is a list of ten short-term mental health goals to easily implement.

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