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What is Anger?

Anger is a natural emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. It's okay to feel angry, but it's important learn how to manage and express it in a healthy way. By acknowledging and understanding your anger, you can work towards finding constructive solutions and improving your overall well-being.

Physical Effects of Anger on the Body

When an individual experiences emotions such as anger, fear, excitement, or anxiety, the body's "fight or flight" response is triggered. This response involves the release of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which the body for physical exertion. As a result, blood flow is redirected from the gut to the muscles, while heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and increase. Additionally, this response sharpens and focuses the mind.

Health Effects of Anger

Unmanaged anger harms the body by releasing stress chemicals and causing metabolic changes. It's crucial to manage anger effectively to maintain good physical and mental health.

Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:

Expressing anger in healthy ways

Suggestions on how to express your anger in healthy ways include:

  • If you feel out of control, walk away from the situation temporarily, until you cool down.

  • Recognise and accept the emotion as normal and part of life.

  • Try to pinpoint the exact reasons why you feel angry.

  • Once you have identified the problem, consider coming up with different strategies for how to remedy the situation.

  • Do something physical, such as going for a run or playing sport.

  • Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling.

Advice for Family and Friends

  • Stay calm- Dealing with a friend or family member's anger can be challenging. However, remaining calm and empathetic can help to prevent the situation from escalating.

  • Try to listen to them. If you can, allow them time to communicate their feelings without judging them. Try to listen and validate their feelings, while also setting boundaries and finding solutions together.

  • Give them space- When someone is experiencing anger, it's important to give them space to calm down and process their emotions. You can suggest taking a break or going for a walk to clear their mind. It's also important to give yourself space and not engage in the situation if it's escalating. Remember to prioritize your own well-being and safety.

  • Set boundaries- When someone is experiencing anger, it's important to set boundaries to ensure everyone's safety and well-being. This can include calmly and assertively communicating your needs and limits, removing yourself from the situation if necessary, and seeking professional help if the anger is persistent or escalating Remember to prioritize your own safety and well-being, and don't hesitate to reach out for support if needed.

  • Help them identify their triggers- Anger can be triggered by a variety of factors, including feeling threatened, frustrated, or powerless. It can also be a response to past experiences or trauma. Identifying these triggers can help individuals better manage their anger and respond in a more constructive way.

  • Encourage them to seek professional help- Encouraging someone to seek help and support from medical professionals or support groups can really help the person experiencing anger. You could support them in attending their appointments or meetings. 

  • Look after your own wellbeing- Supporting others can be challenging, so it's important to prioritize your own wellbeing. Take care of yourself by practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and seeking support when needed. Remember, you can't pour from an empty cup.

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