It is natural to feel anger in response to feeling frustrated, very irritated, or being criticised or threatened. It can also be a secondary emotion that comes after feeling scared, sad or lonely. If not well managed, however, anger may lead to actions that are unreasonable and/or irrational and threaten your health, work and personal relationships.
Anger that isn’t managed can lead to aggression and the physical, mental and emotional abuse of yourself or other people. This may include sarcastic comments, swearing, name calling, bullying or physical violence. Sometimes suppressed anger can be directed at yourself through self-injury, such as cutting yourself or banging your head against a wall.
Some people anger more easily and more intensely than the average person. They have low tolerance for frustration; they feel that they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience, or annoyance. They can't take things in their stride, and they're particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, being corrected for a minor mistake.
Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behaviour (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than speaking to them). It can also lead to a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticising 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 .
The danger to you
When angry, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and breathing rate increase. Your body has to cope with a large amount of stress hormones due to angry outbursts and it may respond by making you ill.
Some health conditions that are linked to uncontrolled or unresolved anger are: headaches, backache, high blood pressure, insomnia, skin conditions e.g. eczema, digestive disorders (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heart attack or stroke).
(Local) Dorset Mind - learn how to deal with anger in a constructive and healthy way.
NHS - self-help guide
www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp/ (select self-help guide for 'Controlling Anger')
Young Minds - how to cope with anger, resentment, etc.
Unresolved anger can weaken your immune system so that you are more likely to pick up colds, flu and infections. You will be less able to recover from operations, accidents or major illnesses if your immune system is weak. Anger also lowers your pain threshold so that you are more sensitive to pain.
Suppressed (hidden or buried) angry and frustrated feelings may lead to: anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, eating disorders, self-harm (injuring yourself), or misuse of drugs and/or alcohol.
Self-help: Exercise releases built up anger and tension as it burns up the stress hormones and boosts production of the 'good mood' hormones, including endorphins and catecholamines.
Other techniques include diaphragmatic breathing, music, massage, yoga, even a warm bath.
Also there is a useful self-help guide on the following link: http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/selfhelp/ (select self-help guide for 'Controlling Anger').
If you are unable to deal with your anger issues, speak to your GP for advice or a referral for treatment. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), talking treatments or specific anger management programmes can be very helpful.