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What Are the Signs of Anger?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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The signs of anger are both physical and emotional. Some of the most common physical signs of anger are a heated or hot feeling in the facial area, dry mouth and heavy breathing. Trembling arms and shaking hands are also common signs of anger inadvertently displayed by the human body. Some of the emotional reactions to anger are thoughts of violence, jumbled thinking and muffled hearing. Other anger signs are the feeling of hairs standing up on the back of the neck, the tightening of the muscles in the arms and chest and the avoidance of looking the person responsible for the anger directly in the eyes.

Anger is nature's mechanism to prepare a body for violence and to come out victoriously when involved in a physical fight. When a person is angered, hormones such as testosterone and adrenaline are geared to increase production in the body. Signs of anger are often intended to allow the mind to recognize when the body is ready for combat. Once the mind recognizes that the muscles are tightened and the breathing has deepened and increased to supply additional oxygen to the muscles, the body is primed and ready to fight.

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Some signs of anger can be found in the use of profanity. Much like the anger in an animal will bring forth a growl or snarl, the anger in a human will often be evident through the use of a profane word or series of words intended to show the level of anger being felt. Vocal signs of anger can also be seen when a normally easygoing person begins to use vulgar names to describe someone. Such actions as calling someone a filthy name or using profanity to speak with an adversary are often signs of anger. This language is another method of the individual's psyche preparing the body for battle.

Other signs that anger is present or could be in the immediate future are feelings of bad will towards others, and the imagination of harmful or destructive happenings that will impact specific people. By imagining that tragedy is about to befall another person, the mind is able to generate the required anger to initiate the destructive behavior towards the individual to make it so. Many individuals, speaking after a violent outburst, report imagining very violent acts being carried out on those in the vicinity prior to the actual outburst occurring.

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croydon
Post 3

@bythewell - It's definitely possible for people to learn how to deal with anger in a healthy way. My father was infamous for his unpredictable outbursts when I was young, but as he grew older and had to face the consequences of them, he got much better at channeling them.

I remember once we were at a theme park and an employee was rude to me and my dad went into a rant at the guy (to get him to apologize) that left me terrified he was going to be in a bad mood all day (like usual) but afterwards he was fine. He basically used the anger to get results, rather than to make himself feel better.

bythewell
Post 2

@clintflint - I think it's important to distinguish between the emotion of anger and the things that cause it, because one might not be good for you, but neither is the other. If you are in a stressful situation you shouldn't just continue to exist in it because you feel like you can't get angry. Figure out another way to overcome it (or deliberately get angry, rather than just having an uncontrolled outburst).

Constant anger that isn't expressed or dealt with in another way is probably worse for you physically than having outbursts, even if neither of those is ideal. Being angry is a form of stress and if it's constant than you are going to be poisoned by the chemicals your brain releases to cope. Consistent stress is a killer because your body isn't made to cope with it in the long term, only in short bursts.

clintflint
Post 1

I had family members with anger problems and I've had to deal with anger myself so I've always been interested in what the best way to deal with it might be. I've had friends who recommend that you never hold back when you're angry, because that will just build it up inside you until it becomes worse, but in fact research seems to indicate that the opposite is true.

Allowing yourself to have angry outbursts just trains your brain to have them more often, because they feel good while they are happening, even if the aftermath isn't so good.

If you restrain yourself when you're angry, eventually you get into the habit of doing that and you gain control over your anger.

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