Anger can be an intense emotion and how we experience it is different for everyone. However, you might have a range of physical symptoms when you feel angry, such as: 

  • Your heart beats faster than usual
  • You feel increased tension in your body
  • Your chest feels tight
  • Your feel hot or might start sweating

You may also notice some emotional responses such as: feeling irritable, frustration, anxiety, stress and guilt. When you’re angry, you might think certain thoughts or be aware that your behaviour changes, for example, your speech becomes very quiet or very loud. It’s helpful to notice how you feel, think and behave, as this can help with recognising the early signs of anger and identify if it is a problem.

Sometimes our anger helps us to get what we want and makes us feel powerful. However, it can make other people feel scared, stressed or upset. This can make our relationships with other people difficult and may leave us feeling isolated. If your anger is negatively affecting those who are close to you, it may be that you need some help to control it or some support with communicating your needs differently.

Communication and anger

We all have different styles of communicating with other people. Talking about our thoughts and feelings in an assertive way, but still showing respect for others, can help us to control our anger and avoid conflict with others. An assertive communication style is clear and direct rather than passive or aggressive. The Centre for Clinical Interventions website has a useful workbook to help us communicate more assertively.