What Is Anger?
Anger experts describe the emotion as a primary, natural emotion which has evolved as a way of surviving and protecting yourself from what is considered a wrong-doing. Anger is a natural, though sometimes unwanted or irrational, emotion that everybody experiences from time to time. Anger can be described as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
Anger can also be a ‘secondary emotion’ to feeling sad, frightened, threatened or lonely. It is useful to try to understand why you (or somebody else) is feeling angry at any given time so that the root causes can be addressed and problems solved.
What Causes Anger?
A leading cause of anger is a person’s environment. Stress, financial issues, abuse, poor social or familial situations, and overwhelming requirements on your time and energy can all contribute to the formation of anger. As with disorders such as alcoholism, anger issues may be more prevalent in individuals who were raised by parents with the same disorder. Genetics and your body’s ability to deal with certain chemicals and hormones also play a role in how you deal with anger; if your brain doesn’t react normally to serotonin, you might find it more difficult to manage your emotions.
Mild anger may be brought on by feeling tired, stressed or irritated, in fact we are more likely to feel irritated if our basic human needs (food, shelter, sex, sleep, etc.) are not met or are jeopardized in some way.
We may become angry when reacting to frustration, criticism or a threat and this is not necessarily a bad or inappropriate reaction. We can also feel irritated by other people’s beliefs, opinions and actions.
What Are the Signs of an Anger Management Problem?
Losing your cool from time to time doesn’t mean you have an anger management problem. Mental health professionals look at trends in your behavior, emotional symptoms and physical symptoms to diagnose an anger disorder.
Emotional Symptoms of Anger-Related Problems
You might think the emotional symptom of anger-related problems are limited to anger, but a number of emotional states could indicate that you are failing to deal with anger in a positive and healthy fashion. Constant irritability, rage and anxiety are possible emotional symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anger-Related Problems
Anger can trigger physical changes in the body including an increased heart rate, blood pressure and levels of hormones such as adrenaline preparing us physically for ‘fight or flight’. Letting anger issues go unaddressed can put your overall health at risk. Due to these physical effects long-term anger can be detrimental to health and wellbeing. Some physical symptoms of anger-related problems include:
- Heart palpitations or tightening of the chest
- Increased blood pressure
- Pressure in the head or sinus cavities
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Anxiety
Unresolved anger issues lead to anxiety, which can have long-term effects on your life. Immediate effects of anxiety might include dizziness, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle pain, muscle tension, headaches, and problems with concentration and memory. Such symptoms can make it difficult to perform routine tasks and can add to generalized anger about life.
Long-term anxiety can pose dangerous risks to your physical and emotional states. Individuals who suffer from long bouts of anxiety can be at a greater risk for strokes. Serious memory loss, chronic sleep disorders and relationship issues can also develop.
Bible Verses Pertaining to Anger
Psalms 37:8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 29:22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.
Proverbs 14:16,17 (KJV) A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
James 1:19,20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Matthew 5:21-24 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift…” (Jesus’ words)
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Ephesians 4:26-28 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
Colossians 3:8, 12-13 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Christian Quotes About Anger
“Anger and bitterness are two noticeable signs of being focused on self and not trusting God’s sovereignty in your life. When you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who belong to Him and love Him, you can respond to trials with joy instead of anger or bitterness.” ~ John C. Boger
“Is all anger sin? No, but some of it is. Even God Himself has righteous anger against sin, injustice, rebellion and pettiness. Anger sometimes serves a useful purpose, so it isn’t necessarily always a sin. Obviously, we’re going to have adverse feelings, or God wouldn’t have needed to provide the fruit of self-control. Just being tempted to do something is not sin. It’s when you don’t resist the temptation, but do it anyway, that it becomes sin.” ~ Joyce Meyer
Other Articles You Might Want To Read
Can A Christian Be Angry and Not Sin? Read this article about Christians being angry. Do Christians have a right to be angry? Is it biblical?