Has there ever been a time in your life when you got angry and ended up hurting someone you care about? In the aftermath of feeling mad, it’s often easy to spot and pinpoint the damage you’ve done. There are visible, tangible signs: tears on the face of your partner, a heavy silence hanging in the air after a loud shouting match.
But anger issues can also cause problems in your life that perhaps aren’t so easy to spot right away. Unfortunately, there’s a whole laundry list of ways that anger can have a negative effect on your life and on the lives of those around you.
Do you ever feel like your anger might be getting out of control? Do you have trouble calming down when you get angry? How do you express these feelings? If anger is a common emotion in your life, chances are you’re causing undue harm to yourself and others.
Your anger affects you
Do you ever feel really angry and unable to let something go? Do you feel like you’re continually on the brink, or on edge? When your anger lasts for extended periods of time, it becomes more difficult to cope with little aggravations in your life and it becomes harder to de-stress.
This can affect every day activities, like work and extracurriculars. It can be hard to focus on tasks or accomplish projects, and can make people not want to work alongside you. Anger also causes feelings like guilt, remorse and shame (especially if you generally act out in ways that you later regret.)
If you’re angry and constantly stressed because of this, it’s also likely that you’ll feel unable to let loose and have fun — which is important for your mental wellbeing.
Excessive anger also puts your physical wellbeing at risk. In the short term, anger can cause headaches, migraines, chest pains, aches and more. Over the long term, anger issues can further complicate pre-existing health conditions. It can also put you at risk for hypertension, high blood pressure, depression, and cardiovascular issues.
While this all may sound like a television PSA for a new drug with “possible side effects,” the impact that your anger issues can have on your life are real and far-reaching.
Your anger affects those around you
You know the saying “laughter is contagious?” The same holds true for other emotions. Your anger can affect not only you, but the people in your life as well. It casts a negative feeling on those around you.
At the very least, your anger can cause people to feel put off, upset, intimidated, afraid, or a handful of other unpleasant emotions. You’re also running the risk of pushing loved ones out of your life for good.
Do you lash out at your partner when you’re angry? Whether this is emotional, physical or both, it can have an extremely negative effect on your partner’s wellbeing. Solving conflict with anger, yelling and violence also sets an unhealthy precedent in a relationship, ignoring the need for open, trusting communication.
If you’re taking out your anger on your partner, give us a call at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233). You can speak confidentially with a non-judgmental advocate about these behaviors and discuss steps for getting help.
If you feel like your anger might be getting the best of you, becoming aware of this is the first step toward making a change.
Psychology Today has a lot of helpful articles about anger.