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How Worry and Stress Affect Anger

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 28 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
How Worry And Stress Affect Anger

Even those of us that remain very calm most of the time may find we are more susceptible to becoming angry or irritable if we are under pressure and feeling stressed or anxious.It has been well documented over the years that anxiety and anger are linked and one can affect the incidence and presence of the other very easily.

Why Do we Get Angry When We Are Stressed?

Stress is a normal part of life and something we will all experience. Sometimes in fact stress can be good for us as it makes us feel ‘alive’ and is also good for allowing our hearts and minds to work that little bit harder. It occurs as our bodies and minds tire and feel less able to cope and less productive, often as a consequence of overload or exhaustion.Stress can cause us to sleep poorly, lose our appetite, feel lethargic and de-motivated, cause us to become upset easily and lead to frustration and anger.When stress is not decreased or treated the chances of eventually becoming quite angry are fairly high. This happens as we feel less able to cope with the demands that we normally can or feel unable to fit it all in. This may mean we feel inadequate, less of a person, put upon, unable to achieve our goals and perhaps make us feel slightly detached from reality.Stress makes us less tolerant than we might normally be so the potential at becoming angry at smaller more non-important issues is a lot greater than if we weren’t under any stress.

Does Anger Then Cause More Anxiety?

It is true that anger may consequentially cause us to feel more anxiety as after losing our temper and venting our feelings, we may feel guilty. This is especially true if we have taken our anger out on someone who probably didn’t deserve it.This starts a cycle of events as we feel guilty, but our anxiety increases with worry about the situation which could potentially cause us to become angry again very quickly.

Anger Management For Reducing Stress

When you feel stress building up try and detract yourself from the scene for a few minutes, even if this means mentally switching off until you have regained you composure. Count to ten slowly and calmly whilst breathing in slowly and evenly and exhaling the same way.Imagine yourself to be away from your current environment and allow your shoulders to relax and your posture to return to normal.When you have done this and you are beginning to calm down ask yourself if whatever it is that has got you so riled is actually worth all the strain and worry for. Is the issue still going to affect you in the same way in five years time? Chances are it won’t and this technique allows you to rationalise the situation.When you are feeling calmer but know you have the face the same situation as before, address it from a different angle; if your colleagues, friends or acquaintances are part of the problem, use this opportunity to show them that you are the stronger person in the party and have got control of the situation and are not going to be tormented by the situation.Try not to take any comments or actions personally if you are otherwise sure that you are not being bullied or victimised in any way. If you believe that you are, there are approved steps you can follow in the case of employment and support organisations available for those in a domestic setting.

As stress contributes to the incidence of anger, it is important that we try and implement measures to decrease our levels of stress. This may mean changing our stress management strategies and making changes at home or work or altering our lifestyles to make us healthier and more able to cope. Often a combination of these factors is the best option.

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