Quite simply, the anger that you often feel comes from frustration, and if not allowed to express itself, it comes through as depression, or even violence, against yourself, others or both.

Anger varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense rage..

Like all other emotions, it's accompanied by physiological and biological changes; so when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones and adrenaline.

Anger is either caused by external and internal events, so you can be angry at a specific person (Such as a partner, co-worker, supervisor) an event (a traffic jam, a cancelled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems.

Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.

EXPRESSING ANGER. The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, although adaptive response to threats; in becoming angry, it inspires powerful, aggressive, feelings and behaviours, which allows you to fight and defend yourself when under attack.

An amount of anger is therefore necessary to your survival. But, you can't physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; as laws, and common sense places limits on how far your anger can take you.

People use a variety of approaches to show their anger:

The three main approaches are... 

1. Expressing.

2. Suppressing.

3. Calming.

(1.) Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive manner is the healthiest way to express anger. You have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive isnt about being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.

(2.) Anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your anger, stop thinking about it, and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behaviour.

The danger in this type of response is that if it isn't allowed outward expression, your anger can turn inward—on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression.

Unexpressed anger creates other problems, leading to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behaviour (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile.

People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven't learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren't likely to have many successful relationships.

(3.) Finally, you can calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behaviour, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.

CAUTION! When none of these three techniques work, that's when someone—or something—is going to get hurt.

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© Male Survivors Trust 2014