Why Anxiety Can Turn Into Anger

February 7, 2023
Anxiety and anger
Anxiety Treatment
Why Anxiety Can Turn Into Anger

People all over the world have a lot to deal with daily. We all experience personal challenges in our social, professional, and family lives. Recent global events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing economic strains have only put more pressure on us. Humans are designed to react to stressful situations, and certain universal emotions help us deal with them. Anxiety and anger are two emotions that can be classified in this category.

In this piece, we’ll explore these two universal qualities of human experiences, highlighting their effects, possible connections, and the best coping mechanisms we can employ for their effective management. Let’s dive right in.

Do you have trouble controlling your emotions and notice excessive worrying? Get your symptoms examined by a mental health professional.

Understanding Anger and Anxiety

Anger and anxiety are natural emotions we all feel at some time or another. While the two cannot be directly linked, there is a lot of debate and discussion among people in the medical industry trying to answer the question, ‘Can anxiety cause anger?’

To answer this question, we must first understand what we mean when we refer to these two emotions. Anxiety is a defense mechanism triggered when one feels threatened or stressed by a person or situation. Experiencing stress triggers the ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ response, which releases cortisol and adrenaline into our bloodstream. Anxiety symptoms include an increased heart rate, sweating, panic, and the inability to communicate effectively.

If the situation is not resolved quickly, this state of constant tension is what we refer to as anxiety. Extended periods of anxiety lead to frustration, often the precursor to anger and aggression. Anger often manifests itself as anxiety in its early stages.

When a person transitions from anxiety to anger, they will often clench their fists, and start yelling, which possibly leads to a physically aggressive outburst. Violence is a sign of both conditions since many consider overreacting a sign of anxiety.

The Link Between Anxiety and Anger

When we allow ourselves to live in a state of anxiety, our ability to deal with the day-to-day stresses and challenges makes us prone to anger. This is why it’s vital that we deal with anxiety early or prevent it entirely if we wish to avoid its harmful effects on our lives.

The close correlation between anger and anxiety prompts many people to place them in the same category. Depression is often included in this group, as continued, unresolved stress, anxiety, and anger often lead to depressive states. They will often result in insomnia, catastrophic thinking (feelings of doom and gloom), and feelings of powerlessness regarding their situation.

Anger and anxiety

How to Cope With Anxiety and Anger

Anxiety, anger, and depression are typically grouped in the same basket of mental disorders. It is not only because their origins share many similarities but because their remedies are largely similar as well. Here’s a quick rundown of practical methods you can use to deal with and prevent these three unfortunate conditions.

Get in Tune With Your Senses

It’s important to be grounded in your environment and be fully aware of the situations you find yourself in. Whenever you feel yourself becoming anxious, it can be helpful to actively take notice of the sights, smells, sounds, and spaces around you.

The aim of doing this is to help you ‘get outside your own head’, and realize that whatever issues you’re facing might not be as threatening as it first appears.

Anxiety can manifest itself through different symptoms. Get help online to live a stress-free life.

Work on Your Communication Skills

Nobody enjoys feeling anxious or angry. In fact, uncontrolled anger and anxiety often make us feel ashamed, which is why they lead us into depressive spirals all too often. Effectively communicating what you’re thinking and feeling with someone you trust is always a great first step toward overcoming these negative emotions.

Participate in Activities to Distract Yourself

There are many ways we can try and take our minds off situations or people that are causing our anxiety and anger. Simply stepping away from the immediate situation and playing a game on your phone, reading a book, or participating in any activity you enjoy can be a great way to alleviate negative emotions and replace them with positive ones.

Begin Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to monitoring your emotional state at all times. When you remain aware of how you feel, you will be in a better position to control your feelings. Meditation is a core practice implemented in this approach.

When you first feel anxious and angry, you should take a step back, give yourself some space, and allow yourself to cool down to a calm state. With regular practice, you’ll find yourself much less prone to negative emotions.

Anxiety symptoms

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the only notable difference separating anxiety and anger are that anxiety comprises an anticipatory element, while anger entails a reactive component. Anxious people feel unprepared, while angry people feel wronged.

Whichever the case may be, the remedies to both emotional states are essentially the same. Anger, depression, anxiety, and irritability are all conditions we can overcome with personal effort, so there’s no cause to fear them. If you need help in learning to control your emotions, or if anxiety makes your life less joyful, contact us and consult a mental health expert online.


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