Anger is in the spotlight. Road rage went up by 41 percent early this year; “air rage” is being described as an epidemic. And social media users are discovering something called multidimensional anger through a test making the rounds on Tiktok.
Most people think it’s a bad thing to get riled up at someone or some event because rage carries a negative meaning. But when you use rage as a tool to manage threatening and unjust situations, the antagonism you feel may be a positive force in your life. Conversely, lose control of that emotion and expect a negative effect on the state of your mental health, among others.
What Happens When You Have Anger Issues?
Anger issues happen when the powerful emotion affects your personal life and health condition in negative ways. The strong and normal human reaction then becomes a destructive force that may aggravate a volatile relationship and develop cardiovascular diseases.
In some cases, anger explodes into violent actions that come with irreversible consequences.
- For example, a motorist bottling up his rage reacts fiercely against another motorist who cuts them off by ramming their vehicle into that person’s car.
- Another example is when a kid who has been bullied for years turns up at school with a gun to retaliate against those who have terrified them.
In both instances, the results are catastrophic for the angry person and the object of their anger.
When you don’t know how to deal with anger issues, your health suffers at different degrees. The severity of the impact will depend on the intensity of the anger and how you manifest the emotion.
According to research from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, people who hid their anger are more likely to get bronchitis and heart attacks. Men and women who reacted to an unjust attack by withholding their rage also die earlier than those who expressed their anger.
What are Signs of Anger Issues?
As explained in the multidimensional anger concept, anger isn’t demonstrated in just one way. Turns out, some people may harbor a hostile perspective of the world without demonstrating antagonistic behavior. Others may get angry frequently, but by a narrow set of situations.
How do you know you’re having trouble with anger? You could take an anger issues test, or observe yourself for the following signs:
- You feel angry all the time
- Your anger seems to get out of control
- Even the smallest issues rile you up
- You find yourself doing or saying things you later regret
- Your anger is beginning to affect your relationships
- You’re becoming verbally and physically abusive
As indicated in the multidimensional anger test that’s been on TikTok, anger can be internal and external.
When you demonstrate your anger through physical or verbal means. Maybe you yell, break or hurl things, disrupt an event or act out.
When you internalize your anger through dark, negative thoughts. You may engage in negative self-talk and isolate yourself from people.
When you indirectly express your anger or displeasure at someone in a passive-aggressive way. Your behavior may include sulking, being sarcastic and giving people with silent treatment.
When signs of anger issues become physical and violent, you must get help before the hostility hurts other people.
How to Deal with Anger Issues
It’s not easy to control an emotion as powerful as anger, especially when you’re in the thick of it. So it takes practice, and a set of techniques practical enough to apply in heated moments.
Use the 3-9-6 breathing technique
Picture yourself being calm
Go for a walk or run
Think About It
Take a moment before speaking
Read the other person’s body language
Identify the cause of your anger
Express Anger Constructively
Be assertive, not confrontational
Talk about your concern clearly
Direct efforts to a resolution
When you feel none of the above is doable, take a step back. Sometimes it helps to delay a response because you just need time to compose yourself. If you want to master the three techniques indicated here, you need “tools.”
Tools to Control Your Temper
Being calm and thinking logically about a seemingly irrational situation can only be done when you have the right tools.
- Follow stress reduction techniques, like yoga, meditation or painting
- Learn to set boundaries at home and at work
- Focus on areas of your life you can control
- Set realistic expectations for yourself and others
- Invest in your health by exercising more
- Lean in to humor
Finally, master life’s challenges by adopting different perspectives to a heated situation. When you look at someone or something in a different way, you inevitably develop a solutions-oriented approach to anger.
Multidimensional Anger and Your Overall Health
Anger is not a bad thing when you control it. With the right techniques, you avoid the cardiovascular diseases, anxiety and other health issues related to anger issues. And you may even be able to turn it into a positive force in your life, allowing you to resolve matters.