How Are Anxiety And Anger Connected?
Updated February 12, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown
We live in a day and age where it's very easy to undergo both anxiety and anger for various reasons. Believe it or not, these two emotions do share certain parallels and they have more in common than many people might initially suspect.
Anxiety deals with internal unease about an event which has either recently transpired, currently underway or has yet to happen. There are many circumstances which can cause or trigger anxiety. Likewise, anger is a reactionary emotional response which occurs when someone feels hurt, threatened, or otherwise displeased. As you can see, anxiety and anger are like close cousins, although they are rarely discussed as such.
Understanding The Connection Between Anxiety And Anger
The connection between anxiety and anger lies in each person's humanity and the various causes which trigger these emotions. However, in order to truly understand the links, it's important to comprehend anxiety and anger as singular emotions. Only then can the connection between these two feelings be explored and thoroughly understood.
Anxiety occurs when an individual feels tense, worried or concerned about past, present or future events. More often than not, feelings of anxiety are accompanied by various tells, such as heightened sensitivity, concentration difficulties, increased heart rate, and more. It's not difficult for someone to know when they are feeling internally anxious. Depending upon how well they can hide various signs, it may not be difficult for others around them to sense anxiety either.
There are many circumstances and situations which can prompt anxiety. In many cases, people feel anxious right before taking a test, giving a big speech, or going to a job interview. In and of itself, anxiety is not an inherently toxic emotion; although when it interferes with a person's ability to successfully function, this is when issues can arise. Sometimes, extreme, intense episodes of anxiety may indicate mental health issues; this is commonly seen when people suffer from anxiety disorders.
Human beings experience anger when they are exposed to situations or individuals which cause them to feel threatened, hurt, or antagonized. Many people are good at masking anger, but the more intense it becomes, the harder it can be to manage. Regular signs of anger can include pacing, facial tension, raised tone of voice, etc. Similar to anxiety, it's not hard for someone to tell when they're feeling angry, seeing as there are a plethora of internal cues which manifest prior to external signs.
In today's world, there are countless scenarios which can elicit anger. A person may experience feelings of anger if they are cheated on in a relationship, rejected for a promotion, or caught in traffic while on their way to an important destination. Anger is not bad, in and of itself, but a lot of people run into trouble when they lack the ability to control their anger. People who suffer from anger issues and subsequently lash out at others can find themselves in serious trouble.
Anxiety and anger are both emotions which are brought about in response to negative or challenging people or experiences. It's not irregular for people to become angry when they are anxious. It's also not irregular to experience anxiety as a result of actions which occurred or words which were said during anger. Sometimes people even become angry because of how powerless they feel during anxiety; experiencing anxiety and anger at the same time is not uncommon either. It happens more often than most people realize.
Stress is another common link between anxiety and anger. Think about it: when someone is anxious, they have concerns about events or situations. This is a form of stress because this state of mind is generated by tension and unease. Anxiety has a tendency to linger like a dark cloud…and so does anger.
Anger, like anxiety, manifests when someone feels displeased about the situations or events which they're exposed to. In many cases, symptoms of anger are more aggressive than those of anxiety. While an anxious person may withdraw from others or experience various physical ailments which are troubling, signs of anger are often the inverse of this. Lashing out, experiencing an increased heart rate, and even being more confrontational or aggressive than usual are dead ringers of anger.
The Propensity For Destruction
Another connection between anxiety and anger is the propensity for destruction. The truth of the matter is that while these emotions are okay in moderation, when taken to extremes, they can be incredibly destructive, both to self and to others around him. The extremes of anxiety and anger have been seen time and time again in society and they never really ends well. There are various examples of this in media and other areas.
An individual suffering from extreme anxiety will suffer in various areas of life if they lack the proper professional care and support systems. Extreme anxiety often causes issues with maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships, workplace stress, financial issues and so much more. People who suffer from chronic anxiety or anxiety disorders are strongly urged to get the necessary professional care from a doctor and/or counselor/therapist. It can truly make a difference and even save a person's life in certain cases.
The same dynamic applies to anger. To date, there are so many people who have had their lives changed forever because of something they did in a fit of rage or anger. Taken to extremes, anger can involve fighting, lashing out at the wrong people or even committing heinous crimes, such as murder. A person who lacks the ability to control their anger is an immense danger both to themselves and others around them. Sometimes, the inability to properly manage anger can be indicative of a more deep-seated issue. Individuals who struggle with anger management are therefore advised to meet with a mental health specialist who can be of help to them.
How To Manage Anxiety And Anger
The good news about both anxiety and anger is that they can be controlled and moderated when people are willing to take the proper steps. Another parallel between these emotions is that there are generally triggers which they're associated with. Each person has different triggers which cause them to feel anxious or angry, but these emotions don't just come out of nowhere. This, however, is actually good news for individuals who are looking for ways to manage anxiety and anger.
Limit Exposure to Triggers
As previously stated, everyone has certain things which generate feelings of anxiety or anger. It could be a certain person, an environment or a lifestyle situation. Now, it may not be feasible to avoid each and every individual or scenario which elicits anxiety or anger; however, exposure to these triggers can certainly be limited. Depending on your situation, enstating these limitations may not be the easiest thing in the world, but it can certainly be done. Change is good and sometimes we have to make hard choices for the sake of improving our quality of life and general mental health.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
The group of people who you choose to surround yourself with makes such a significant difference. Did you know that you are the average of the five individuals who you most frequently associate with? Choose wisely. The people whose company you keep can uplift and inspire you or drain and stress you out. Nobody is perfect and even the best individuals make mistakes, but you should be mindful of how you feel when you're around your inner circle. If you're constantly feeling anxious or angry around certain people, that's a sign that it may be time to get a new circle.
Take Time for Yourself
Sometimes anxiety and anger manifest when you fail to pause and take time for yourself. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the craziness and business of everyday life. There's nothing wrong with fulfilling your responsibilities, but your emotional and mental health comes first. If you're worn out and exhausted, then you're not going to be able to excel in areas of importance. This is why taking time for yourself matters so much and can prevent negative occurrences of anxiety or anger.
A Final Word
We live in a crazy world and, truth be told, there is an abundance of causes for feeling anxious and angry. Sometimes, it can be easy to identify these causes and other times it's not that simple. This is where having outside help and support from others makes a huge difference.
Believe it or not, having a therapist in your corner can be very significant, regardless of whether you're wrestling with anxiety, anger, or another matter entirely. The truth of the matter is that everyone goes through tough times in life, but these tough times don't have to define us. What defines us is our ability to get up, keep pushing forward and never giving up, no matter how trying or dire things may seem at one particular point in time.
Nobody can make the decision for you, but when it's all said and done, help will always be available to those who are willing to ask for you. No matter who you are, where you are, or what your situation is, you can contact BetterHelp at anytime simply by clicking here.
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