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Is Uncontrolled Anger Putting Your Mental Health at Risk?

Uncontrolled anger, Uncontrolled Anger Affects Your Mental Health, manage your anger

Anger itself is not inherently problematic. It is a normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. In some cases, anger is a healthy response that motivates you to address important issues, set boundaries, and protect yourself or others from harm. However, uncontrolled anger hurts both your physical and mental well-being

At Eagle View Behavioral Health, we encourage our clients to find constructive ways to express and manage their anger. The programs at our Bettendorf, Iowa, treatment facility help individuals with many different types of mental health disorders work on developing strategies to navigate their anger in a way that best supports their overall well-being.

4 Key Ways Uncontrolled Anger Affects Your Mental Health

When anger is allowed to fester, it can lead to increased emotional distress, strained relationships, impaired judgment, and a negative outlook—all of which can make it more difficult to manage life with a mental health disorder. 

  1. Increased Emotional Distress

Anger triggers a physiological response, releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. In the short term, this can lead to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and muscle tension. These symptoms can lead to feelings of frustration, resentment, and helplessness. Over time, unresolved anger can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

  1. Strained Relationships With Loved Ones

Expressing anger inappropriately can strain your relationships with friends and family. Harsh words and actions driven by anger may lead to misunderstandings, physical acts of aggression, and the breakdown of meaningful connections with the people you care about most. Over time, this can contribute to feelings of social isolation and loneliness.

  1. Impaired Judgment

When you’re mad, it’s hard to think clearly. In the heat of the moment, you may make choices you later regret. Poor decision-making driven by anger can negatively impact all aspects of your life. For example, if you lose your temper and quit your job, the resulting strain on your finances may make your mental health struggles even more difficult to manage. 

  1. Negative Overall Outlook on Life

Chronic anger can contribute to a pessimistic and negative outlook on life. If you’re frequently angry, you may start to develop a skewed perception of the world—interpreting ordinary situations through a lens of hostility and resentment. This negative mindset can impact your overall life satisfaction and hinder your attempts at personal growth.

Learning How to Keep Your Anger in Check

Have you ever noticed that some people never seem to get flustered when faced with a challenging situation, but others struggle to control their temper? Let’s look at the factors that affect a person’s ability to control their anger:

  • Past experiences. If someone grew up in an environment where anger was poorly managed or if they experienced traumatic events, this can contribute to difficulties controlling anger later in life.
  • Underlying mental health issues. Certain mental health conditions, such as impulse control disorders or mood disorders, can contribute to difficulties in managing anger. 
  • Expectations and perfectionism. Unrealistic expectations or a perfectionist mindset can contribute to frustration and anger when things don’t go as planned. 
  • Environmental factors. Stressful or triggering environments, such as a demanding workplace or challenging personal relationships, can contribute to heightened emotional responses.

The good news is that it’s never too late to work on developing coping skills to manage your anger more effectively. Here are some techniques you can try:

  • Deep breathing exercises. Engage in deep, slow breaths to activate the body’s relaxation response.
  • Mindfulness and meditation. Practice mindfulness techniques or meditation to increase awareness of emotions, detach from anger-triggering thoughts, and foster emotional regulation.
  • Time-outs and distractions. Sometimes, the best approach is to simply take a break from the situation that’s making you angry. Allow some time for your emotions to settle and engage in activities that shift your focus away from the source of frustration.
  • Stress management. Implement practices such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a balanced lifestyle to minimize your overall stress levels and make it easier to cope with anger triggers.
  • Cognitive restructuring. Challenge and reframe negative thought patterns associated with anger by questioning irrational beliefs. Over time, this can help you foster a more rational perspective on situations.
  • Anger journaling. Keep a journal to document triggers, thoughts, and emotions related to your anger. This can help you to identify patterns and gain a deeper understanding of the underlying causes.
  • Effective communication. Learn to express your anger constructively by using “I” statements to convey feelings without blaming others—facilitating healthier communication and conflict resolution.

Want to learn more about how Eagle View’s inpatient and outpatient services can help you manage your anger and support your mental well-being? Contact us today. 

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