Overcome Anger: 5 Common Causes & Solutions

Updated March 3, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team
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Anger might be a normal emotion that everyone experiences at some point. It could be a major problem if it becomes intense, frequent, and uncontrolled; it might cause problems in your relationships, work, health, and well-being. But if you are able to understand the underlying causes and triggers of anger, it might help you to manage it effectively. Whether it is from stress, unmet expectations, feelings of injustice, childhood trauma, or substance abuse and mental health issues, some strategies and solutions might help you to overcome anger and avoid conflicts.

Are You Struggling To Manage Your Anger And Need Help?

What is Anger, and How Does it Affect Us?

Anger might be a natural emotion that most people experience, but it could have harmful effects when it becomes overwhelming and uncontrollable. Anger might be typically characterized by annoyance, frustration, or rage in response to a perceived threat or injustice. Physical changes, such as increased heart rate, sweating, and tense muscles, often accompany it. Anger may be a normal and healthy emotion when expressed appropriately, but it could also become problematic when it causes disruptions in your relationships, work, or daily activities. Therefore, it might be best to understand anger and learn ways to manage it effectively. Doing so may prevent conflicts, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.

What Sets Off Your Anger?

Both internal and external factors might start the feeling of anger. Some common causes may include the following:

  • Stress and fatigue

  • Unmet expectations

  • Disappointments

  • Feeling threatened

  • Experiencing injustice

  • Childhood trauma

  • Past experiences

  • Substance abuse

  • Mental health issues

By recognizing and managing your triggers, you might prevent or reduce the intensity of your anger.

The Five Common Causes Of Anger And How To Fix It

Stress And Fatigue

Stressful events, such as work pressure, financial problems, or relationship issues, could cause anger and frustration. Also, lack of sleep or physical exhaustion might make you more irritable and prone to anger.


Practice self-care by getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating a healthy diet.

Try to identify the sources of stress in your life and find ways to manage them effectively, such as time management, prioritizing tasks, or seeking support from family and friends. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to reduce stress and calm your mind.

Unmet Expectations And Disappointments

Unrealistic expectations and disappointment might lead to anger when things don't go as planned. For example, you may feel angry when someone fails to keep a promise or when you don't get the results you were hoping for.


Set realistic expectations for yourself and others, and try to avoid making assumptions without clear communication. Practice gratitude and focus on what you do have rather than what you lack. It might be best to learn how to manage disappointment healthily by expressing your feelings, finding alternative solutions, or accepting the situation.

Feeling Threatened Or Injustice

Feeling threatened or experiencing injustice might trigger anger as a defense mechanism. For example, you may feel angry when someone disagrees with your opinion or face discrimination or prejudice.


Identify and challenge irrational thoughts and beliefs that contribute to feeling threatened.

Try to practice assertiveness and learn to communicate your needs and boundaries clearly and respectfully. Work on resolving conflicts peacefully and seek mediation or therapy if needed.

Childhood Trauma And Past Experiences

Childhood experiences and traumatic events might affect your emotions and behaviors in adulthood. For example, you may have learned to express anger to cope with abuse, neglect, or abandonment.


Try to seek therapy to address and heal from past traumatic experiences. Practice mindfulness and self-awareness to understand your emotions and triggers. Develop healthy coping skills like journaling, exercising, or talking to a trusted friend.

Substance Abuse And Mental Health Issues

Substance abuse and mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or personality disorders, might cause anger and impulsivity. For example, you may feel angry or irritable when under the influence of drugs or alcohol or experiencing mood swings or irrational thoughts.


Seek professional help for substance abuse and mental health issues, such as therapy, counseling, or medication. Practice self-compassion and learn to manage negative thoughts and feelings positively. Try to avoid substance abuse and engage in activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as art, music, or nature.

Anger might be a complex emotion that could have many causes and triggers. The key to overcoming anger might be understanding and managing it healthily and effectively. By recognizing the sources of anger, practicing self-care, and seeking professional help, you might learn to control your emotions and avoid conflicts.

How Does Anger Impact Your Lives?

Having anger issues might have a major impact on your life; here are just a few things that may happen.

  • Physical Effects of Anger: has been linked to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones, which could lead to long-term health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Additionally, chronic anger could weaken the immune system and increase the risk of physical illnesses.

  • Psychological Effects of Anger: When anger is not managed correctly, it could lead to feelings of frustration, irritability, and stress. In extreme cases, anger could escalate into depression and anxiety, affecting an individual's overall well-being.

  • Effects on Relationships: Anger could strain relationships, leading to conflicts and misunderstandings with friends, family, and coworkers. When anger may not be expressed healthily, it could also lead to feelings of resentment, mistrust, and hurt.

  • Effects on the Workplace: Outbursts at work could damage your reputation and relationships with coworkers and even result in disciplinary action. It could also increase stress levels, reduce productivity, and negatively impact your job performance.

How To Control Your Anger?

Various effective anger management techniques might help you to control your anger and prevent conflicts. But it may also be best to understand that controlling anger is likely a process, and it might take time to see the results.

Here Are Some Additional Techniques That Might Help You To Manage Your Anger:

Identify triggers: Try to identify what might start your anger and make a conscious effort to avoid or manage these triggers.

Communicate effectively: When faced with a frustrating situation, try to communicate your feelings calmly and assertively instead of letting anger get the best of you.

Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and avoid self-criticism. Self-compassion might help you to manage your emotions more effectively.

Exercise: Regular physical activity could help to release tension and stress, common anger triggers.

Use humor: Humor might be a great way to diffuse a tense situation and help you to manage your anger more positively.

Are You Struggling To Manage Your Anger And Need Help?

Benefits Of Online Therapy

It might be difficult for anyone to handle and manage anger, especially for troublesome issues. If your anger appears out of control or makes you do things you regret, you might be harming the people around you. This is when it might be best to get anger management therapy. By expressing your anger through a support system like Online Therapy, you might be able to identify the precise emotions you are experiencing and the factors driving your rage in a certain circumstance. Through Online therapy, you might be able to optimally embark on a journey towards the appropriate processes of handling anger and its associated factors. The processes might include knowing yourself better, discovering your unique traits, and how you might appropriately handle anger according to your capacities and personality. 

Effectiveness Of Online Therapy

Therapy has been shown to be highly effective in helping people deal with anger. Numerous studies and research have demonstrated the positive outcomes of therapy for anger management. For example, one research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that therapy, specifically cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), might significantly reduce anger and aggression in individuals with anger problems. These studies highlight the effectiveness of therapy in helping people overcome anger and manage their emotions more healthily.

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While it may be challenging to manage your anger, it could be effectively controlled with the right tools and support. Seeking professional help, such as online therapy, might help you to manage your anger more effectively. You might be able to gain insight into the sources of your anger and find ways to deal with it healthily and positively. Self-care practices, such as relaxation and mindfulness, could also be beneficial. With these tools, you might learn to control your emotions and reactions more healthily to your anger.

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