Things You Need to Know about Anger and Anger Management

Things You Need to Know about Anger and Anger Management


The Meaning of Anger

As long as human emotions have been studied, anger has been a prominent subject. Musings and accounts dating back to Aristotle indicate the vast literature available on this subject. Given this fact, a lot has been said about anger as an emotion, a feeling, a “Flight-Fight” Response, etc. Anger has been defined as an emotion that involves responses to perceived provocation1. It has both internal (personality issues, hostility, etc.) and external factors (peer influence, environmental factors, etc.) at play.

There are four major elements of anger:

Thoughts: As anger is considered a product of thinking processes that take place before the actual emotion develops. 

Feelings: Pain and fear are the best examples of feeling states that precede anger.

Behaviour: The overt expression of anger

Physiological Arousal: The biological changes triggered by anger include increased heart rate, flushed face, hormonal changes, etc.

Expression of Anger

The expression of anger involves the following ways:

A. Destructive, and unfruitful behaviours such as yelling, throwing objects, etc.

B. Suppression of anger leading to self destructive behaviours such as self-criticism, drinking, etc.

C. Positive expressions to control anger by calming oneself, and using constructive measures to deal with events.

Anger management Therapy

Anger also has essential instinctive elements that are important role for “fight or flight” like reactions. Thus, anger can be useful if:

A. It serves to protect oneself or others from potential danger

B. It is constructively oriented, and controlled.

However, anger becomes problematic if one:

A. Exhibits tendencies to harm, disparage, and insult other people

B. Uses  violent measures unnecessarily

C. Expresses anger frequently and for undue periods of time

D. Develops issues such as anxiety, depression, poor social relationships, etc.

Anger Management

As an emotion, anger is definitely manageable. Various theorists and experts have focussed on this area highlighting various strategies for effective control and management of anger. There are many other strategies other than the ones discussed here. However, the common link between them is their intended purpose of providing constructive expressions and outlet for anger. Supervision from mental health professionals is highly recommended when applying these strategies. They can be applied on a general basis as well.

Strategies focusing on thoughts:

Modifying expectations: Modification of expectations that one holds from a situation or significant others is often helpful. It helps in building self reliance and healthier relationships.

Imagery: Trying to imagine the consequences of one’s action can provide a time gap to analyse responses better, especially when it focuses on making constructive choices.

Thought stopping: Using cues and signs to switch to an alternate activity and halting an angry thought process is also beneficial.

Channelize thoughts: Constructive channelization of thoughts helps to dissipate negative emotions.

Strategies focusing on feeling:

Maintain a journal: Avoid bottling up painful feelings. Instead, express them in a daily/weekly journal. This allows a healthy outlet

Confide in significant others: Consider expressing feelings about events to close friends or confidantes. Such effective communication can help in feeling relaxed and positive.

Strategies focusing on behaviour:

Creative activities: Indulging in creative pursuits like painting, music, photography, etc is a constructive attempt to break the cycle of anger.

Improving time management skills: Often the incompletion of a task serves as a trigger for anger. Thus, working on improving such skills can help avoid unpleasant outcomes.

Practicing healthy lifestyle habits: Engaging in exercise, eating healthy, maintaining adequate sleep hours, etc provide impetus to anger management.

Strategies focusing on physiological responses:

Meditation: Known for its healing effects, meditative practices such a mantra chanting, muscle relaxation, etc., bolster constructive and positive emotions. 

Counting: Counting backwards or forwards from say 1-100 or 50-1, can serve as a distraction as well as a time bracket to calm oneself steadily.

Anger management is a fluid routine that can be adapted to various settings, and individual needs. It is important to understand underlying dynamics of negative expressions of anger and therefore therapy is recommended.  Professional guidance and online counselling for anger management have more potential for success.

Get Started With Licensed Therapist



1.Videbeck, S. (2006). Psychiatric mental health nursing. Philadelphia, PA:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

2.Novaco, R.W. (2000). Anger. In A.E. Kazdin (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychology. Wahington, D.C:American Psychological Association and Oxford University Press.

3. Bhave S., & Saini, S. (2009). Anger management. New Delhi, ND; Sage Publications

4.Faupel, A., Herrick, E., & Sharp, P. (2011). Anger management-A practical guide. Abington;OT;Routledge.

5.Spielberger, C. D. (1999). State-trait anger expression inventory. Research Edition: Professional Manual. Florida: Psychological Assessment Resources.

6.Schiraldi, G., & Kerr, M. (2002). Anger management sourcebook. New York, NY:McGraw Hill.

Type of Online Therapy Services at HopeQure

For Individuals

Discuss with a psychologist your feelings and resolve your issues.

Start Now

For Couples

Couples can connect with an expert relationship therapist.

Start Now

Someone Else

Connect with subject matter expert psychologist

Start Now


Share your emotions confidentially and discuss plans.

Start Now

Connect with an expert

  • Video Call
  • Messaging
  • Phone


$ 35

Ms.  Preeti
Ms. Preeti
Clinical Psychologist

03 years of experience

M.Phil. Clinical Psychology

I am a RCI Licenced Clinical Psychologist specialized in handling problems of mental, emotional and behavioral nature, Psychometric assessments, Psychotherapeutic interventions and rehabilitation services dedicated to serve people with mental health issues and promote well being in society.


$ 35

Ms.  Shubhangi Bhargava
Ms. Shubhangi Bhargava

06 years of experience

M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

Shubhangi is an experienced mental health professional working closely in the field of Clinical Psychology. She adopts a structured approach in dealing clients with depression, anxiety, OCD, child-parent issues, relationship issues, and oncopsychology, contributing to their self-development. With a zeal to work in the field of mental health to facilitate people in having a better life, she is a trained Hypnotherapist. Have expertise in the field of counseling, therapy, and psychological assessments. She believes in the holistic development of an individual.


$ 35

Mr.  Agam Gupta
Mr. Agam Gupta
Psychological Counsellor

07 years of experience

M.Sc. Neuropsychology

I help my clients to first get an in-depth understanding about their core psychological issues and then work with them to develop an easy & solution focused plan of action to deliver expected results. My incisive knowledge in Applied Psychology and Neuropsychology equips me to understand human behavioral problems and daily life issues stemming from various personal & social stressors and find ways to make my clients reach the state of Psychological Homeostasis ( back to balanced state).


$ 35

Ms.  Arushi Bhatnagar Nigam
Ms. Arushi Bhatnagar Nigam

06 years of experience

M.Sc. Neuropsychology

I am a neuropsychologist dedicated to working closely with individuals to help them deal with procrastination, low motivation, low self-esteem, lack of clarity, and difficulty in managing emotions using Neuropsych-backed techniques. Providing support for anxiety, stress, low moods, behavioral and relationship-related issues.