Why Do I Get Mad So Easily Over Nothing?

Updated December 28, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Anger is a normal, healthy emotion that can help us feel more motivated, safer, and even more creative. When anger is excessive, misplaced, or repressed, though, it can create tension in our lives and impact our mental and physical health. If you find that you frequently or readily experience anger, it can help to know how and why it’s arising. Below, we’re going to discuss common sources of anger and how to express your emotions in a healthy way. 

We Don’t Always Know How To Navigate Emotions Like Anger

The Upside Of Anger

Anger can prompt us to care for our loved ones, commit altruistic acts, and take steps to become better people. It can highlight areas of our lives that need attention and open a window to our passions. Anger often motivates us and helps us perform under pressure. It can also keep us safe when we’re presented with dangerous situations. When expressed in a healthy manner, anger is often a positive presence when it comes to relationships, careers, health, and other facets of your life.  

When Anger Becomes A Concern

While anger can be a positive emotion, frequent unhealthy expressions of anger can negatively impact several different aspects of your life, including your career, relationships, and health. You may find that anger is affecting your life if it’s leading to mental and physical health concerns like anxiety, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure. Anger can also cause interpersonal conflict, particularly when it becomes misplaced or repressed. 

Frequently displaying anger instead of another emotion is just one way it can cause problems in your life. You may also have trouble controlling your anger when it arises, leading to feelings of shame. Excess anger can cause us to lash out at others and even direct our feelings inward, creating tension and impacting our mental well-being. Below, we’re going to discuss how these potentially problematic expressions of anger can develop. If you can discover why you get mad so easily, you may be able to heal from the root cause of your emotions and move forward with healthier ways of expressing yourself.

Identifying The Source Of Anger

Knowing how anger can arise may provide you with insight into how to address it.

Often, anger follows another emotion, such as sadness, stress, or embarrassment. For example, you may be experiencing the anger stage of grief, or you could be feeling stress related to work. We often repress emotions we’re uncomfortable experiencing and instead express them through anger. While this is normal, if you’re replacing other emotions with anger frequently, consider finding ways to process the original feelings. If you’re going through the stages of grief, for example, consider working with a professional to process your emotions. If you’re experiencing stress at work, think about how you can lighten your load or improve your work-life balance. 

Additionally, anger is a prominent symptom of certain mental health conditions, including intermittent explosive disorder, bipolar disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. You may also experience irritability or frustration if you live with depression or anxiety. Learning more about your psyche—by doing research or talking to a therapist—can help you determine if a mental health condition could be the root cause of your anger.

There could also be issues in your relationships that are creating tension in your life. Conflict with a partner, relative, or co-worker could cause you to feel angry more often, especially if you feel as though you’re letting someone down or being treated unfairly. For example, your boss may be withholding a promotion that you feel you deserve, or your partner may be upset with you for something that you don’t think was your fault. If this is the case, consider having a conversation about your concerns with the other person or talk them through with an unbiased third party. 

Even when we understand the source of our emotions and have an idea of how to address them, we can still experience problematic, uncontrollable anger. The following anger management techniques can help you prevent anger from negatively affecting your life. 

How To Manage Anger

Expressing anger in a healthy way can make a drastic difference in your life. If you’re looking to manage your anger more successfully, there are a number of techniques you can utilize. 

Mindfulness

Research shows that mindfulness can be an effective method of coping with anger. Mindfulness is the practice of staying present and bringing awareness to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. This can provide a calming effect, in addition to helping you identify your anger as it arises. 

To practice mindfulness, focus your attention on the present moment while breathing deeply. Take note of the physical sensations you’re experiencing, the thoughts going through your head, your emotions, and your environment. Are you feeling happy, sad, or angry? As you become more mindful of your thoughts and emotions, you may have an easier time identifying their source.

Breathing Exercises

Often, when we experience anger or tension, our breathing becomes more rapid. This can have a compounding effect, causing us to become more stressed. To combat this, consider utilizing deep breathing exercises. One deep breathing technique is box breathing, during which you breathe in for a four-count, hold your breath for a four-count, breathe out for a four-count, and hold your breath again for a four-count. You can repeat this process as many times as you need. Deep breathing is especially useful because it can be practiced wherever you are. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation helps ease tension in the body, which could calm you down when you’re feeling angry. During the process, you essentially create tension in a muscle group or specific muscle, release that tension, then repeat the process in another area of your body. You usually do this by working your way up from your toes or down from your head. For example, you can start by tensing the muscles in your forehead, then relaxing them. Repeat that process with the other muscles in your head and work your way down to your neck, shoulders, arms, etc.

Exercise

Physical activity can relieve tension and boost your mood, which may help you reduce or avoid anger. Exercise has proven mental health benefits, which means it can be especially useful if you experience anger related to stress, depression, or an anxiety disorder. It can also help you manage anger as it arises. While you may not want to engage in strenuous exercise while you’re upset, going for a walk can help you take your mind off the anger and provide you with a sense of calmness.  

Journaling

Writing can be another useful outlet for your emotions. Not only can you let your feelings out, but you may also discover certain triggers or sources of your anger. When you experience anger, consider taking the time to write down how you’re feeling, what led to those feelings, and how they manifested. The act of journaling can help you feel calmer in the moment and provide you with an instructive log of your emotions. 

Online Therapy With BetterHelp

Feeling angry often can impact your physical health, mental health, and self-esteem. If you’re ready to address feelings of anger, consider reaching out to a qualified mental health professional through BetterHelp. With BetterHelp, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in therapy remotely, through video calls, voice calls, or in-app messaging. 

You won’t have to deal with situations that could prompt anger like commuting to an office or sitting in a waiting room. Additionally, you can reach out to your mental health professional outside of sessions. If you’re noticing feelings of frustration or tension in a certain situation, you can send your therapist a message, and they can respond and provide you with insight when they are able. The licensed therapists at BetterHelp can give you valuable support and help you manage anger and related mental health concerns. 

The Efficacy Of Online Therapy

Research shows that online therapy can help decrease anger that is excessive or expressed in a potentially unhealthy way. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cognitive Behaviour Therapy looked at the efficacy of online therapy when helping individuals control problematic anger. Researchers found that treatment significantly reduced levels of anger in participants after a period of four weeks, indicating that even short-term online therapy can produce benefits when it comes to anger management. 

Read below for reviews of therapists from those who have sought help for similar concerns. 

We Don’t Always Know How To Navigate Emotions Like Anger

Therapist Reviews

"Steve is amazing and does a good job at making this seem like less of a counseling session and more of a conversation between friends. He helped me talk through my anger issues and road rage and gave me lots of problem-solving tools. I highly recommend him!"

"Regina helped me pinpoint where my anger issue stemmed from in the very first session, and has been helping me become more self aware of my warning triggers. Very insightful and helpful!"

Takeaway

Anger is a complex emotion, but one that can be positive when expressed in a healthy way. Once you recognize its source and take steps to reduce it, you may find that you aren’t experiencing unhealthy anger as often. If you’d like help understanding and managing your emotions, consider reaching out to a licensed therapist online. With the right guidance, you can work through your anger and live a happy, healthy, and productive life.

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