Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. These feelings are can stem from a real or perceived threat that affects a person’s normal functioning. Normally, anxiety is good and can benefit you by making you alert and helping you anticipate a threat, but when it is affecting your sleep cycles, thinking pattern, and relationships, you may have to look into the problem.1
Fear can be about a threat that exists, but anxiety makes people worry about the things that may not even be a threat, so much that it affects their daily activities. People with anxiety show symptoms like insomnia, avoidance behavior, hyperventilation, heavy sweating, inability to think clearly, and lack of focus.
Anxiety and anger are known to go hand in hand. Anxiety can manifest as anger. When a person is unable to get what he wants or feels that he has no control, he or she responds with anger. Many times, after the anger outbursts, they are unable to even explain the reason for it. 2
Anger From Anxiety: Causes And Management
Causes Of Anger From Anxiety
Anger is a symptom of anxiety but anger can also lead to anxiety. Usually, people are unable to understand what causes it and the inability to take control of their anger can make them worry.
- Activation Of Fight/Flight Response: People with anxiety experience fear, that activates the fight or flight response. This natural response either makes the person go away from the situation or fight. While most of the people choose to escape the situation, some feel the need to fight. This leads to anger from anxiety.
- Irritability: Irritability is one of the main symptoms of anxiety. As anxiety disrupts the normal functioning, including sleep cycles, emotions, and food intake, people with anxiety are usually upset and irritated. When they are exposed to a trigger, they respond with anger.
- Feeling Of No Power: Anxiety stems from the fear and worry of not being able to control a situation or an outcome. People with anxiety are worried about what can happen but are unable to control it, making them angry. To make things worse, people with anxiety usually assume or expect a negative outcome.3
Ways To Control Anger From Anxiety
While anxiety can lead to anger, it is important to address both the things.
- Writing Down Your Thoughts: Expressing thoughts in the right and a less harmful way can help in resolving the situation. When you feel angry, write down your thoughts. This prevents anger from piling on and will make you feel better.
- Flight Instead Of Fight: Anger due to anxiety can react with the fight response. Going away from the situation immediately will prevent the anger outbursts.
- Relax: Breathing and meditation will help you manage your anger and relax. After you relax, try to reflect on your thought and find an alternative to react to the thing that is making you angry. Unless you relax, you cannot analyze the situation.
- Taking Control: Anxiety can make you feel that you don’t have control over things. Uncertainty can also have the same effect. Give yourself time, and think. Know that although you cannot control a situation, you can control the way you feel about it.
Note: Anxiety can be treated but using the right coping mechanisms for anger can help you deal with the situation in a better way.