A number of studies have indicated that there is a clear relationship that exists between stress and anger. Stress is a phenomenon that can take us from feeling peaceful to suddenly experiencing discomfort with regard to our surroundings.
In scientific terms, stress is the response that our body gives to the demands that are placed on us on a daily basis. These demands are referred to as being "stressors." While many stressors are unavoidable, others are largely negative. For example, if you are on the way to work, and you are already running late, a stressor could be someone cutting you off on the highway. However, stressors can also be positive as well.
In addition to being negative and positive, stressors can also be either external or internal. For example, the expectations and goals that we have of ourselves can act as internal stressors, while other types of stressors may be external (such as the pressure to complete a project within a set deadline at work).
The human body has a natural response to the stressors which are placed on it, and this is referred to as being the "flight or fight" response. This response is necessary because it allows us to deal with the many stressors we have in our lives. When the fight or flight response activates, the glands, hormones, and the immune system of the body will be coordinated.
The fight or flight response can also cause anger to occur. While there is nothing wrong with anger in itself, a big problem arises when this anger is transformed into aggression. The purpose of anger management is to make sure you maintain and handle your stress response level before it reaches this point.
Fortunately, there are a number of strategies you can use to keep it under control. The first thing you will want to do is become more aware of your warning signs. You should always be observant to when you begin experiencing negative motions, as well as watching your behavior. Some of the signs you should look for are irritation, a pounding heart, or movements which are erratic.
Understanding Stressors and How They Effect You
Once you are able to identify those stressors which lead to anger and aggression, it is first necessary for you to see the situation as being a stressor. You stress response can be a response, as opposed to a reaction which is knee jerk. To understand this, imagine when you are on your way to work, and someone cuts you off on the highway, you could say to yourself that "it is not personal, the guy has a problem, and I will remain calm."
If you are being bullied by someone, you can respond to the situation by thinking that "if I react negatively to this individual, I am giving them what they want. I am not going to give them this pleasure." You could confront the person privately about it, and if they still do not stop, you can take the situation to your superior.
To control your anger, you must control stress, and the best way to handle stress is to guard yourself against it. Of course, stress is a fact of life and there is no way to completely get rid of it. For example, by managing your time better, you will avoid getting into situations where you have to rush, which causes stress.
You can also take the time to avoid dealing with people that make you stressful and angry (as much as you can), and you can set priorities in life which will give you focus and vision. If you are working at a job that is causing you abnormal amounts of stress, it may be best to consider walking away from that job in favor of another one.
Taking Care of Your Body and Health
To control stress, and by proxy anger management, it is important to make sure you are taking proper care of your body. Are you getting the proper amount of rest? Are you eating a diet which is balanced and healthy? Do you smoke excessively, or drink more alcohol than you should? If you have bad habits in these areas of life, it may explain a lot of the stress and anger you have. Develop core values and live by them, and build a strong network of people who care about and support you.