Anger is an emotion. Like all emotions it involves thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical sensations.
Anger involves the same kinds of physical sensations as anxiety, although they are not necessarily experienced the same way.
Anger, like anxiety, involves a reaction to something stressful, and an evaluation, often automatically or unconsciously, that the situation is threatening in some way. Anger is the ‘fight’ version of the fight or flight response.
There is a difference between anger and aggression. Anger is a reaction to something and at times may even be expressed in a positive way. Aggression, on the other hand, is a negative and destructive response to anger that often causes harm.
Anger may also impact on a person’s health. The concept of a Type A and Type B personality originally referred to people who were ‘high stress’ vs relaxed types and came from evidence that Type A personalities had more cardiac problems. However, it turns out that it is high stress people who experience ongoing anger are the people at risk of cardiac problems.
The anger can be managed by changing our behaviour and thinking, and by successfully dealing with stress. At times it may also require assertive behaviour and communication.
It is important to remember that anger is a normal human reaction and sometimes it may be quite reasonable to get angry about something – as long as the anger is kept at low or moderate levels of intensity. Anger becomes a problem when it becomes too frequent, is too intense, lasts too long and/or leads to aggression.