Anger is an emotion and everyone experiences it from time to time. Anger can be a defense mechanism that make us feel more in control and hence for many people it is a natural extension of other emotions. Anger is not unique to people. Even babies show signs, such as crying and screaming that can be interpreted as anger. Animals also exhibit and express anger. Anger can be a dangerous and difficult emotion that can make people feel uncomfortable. Expressing anger appropriately can help people achieve certain goals. Excessive anger, however, is unstable and uncontrollable and interferes with crucial goals.
The overall effects of anger are enormous and eventually it is related to violence, crime, spouse and child abuse, divorce, poor working conditions, poor physical health, emotional disorders and so on. Anger, like other emotions is accompanied by physiological and biological changes. Anger can also be associated with feelings of dependency, sadness and depression (O'Neill, 1999; Seigel & Brown, 1988).
To respond effectively to emotions such as anger in people it is important to understand and recognise the cause of the trigger or the outburst. Sharkin (1996) states that because of the improvements in the measurement of anger people have been learning more and more about the different ways anger can be experienced and expressed. This essay will present an overview of the current understanding of anger and then examine the various approaches to its management.
There are numerous theories about the nature of anger. Anger is seen as a physical experience which gives rise to feelings of displeasure or pleasure and is caused by general cognitive processes that appraise the experience (Stearns & Stearns, 1995). Here a biological and social link is established suggesting they play a major role in guiding the cognitive element of anger.