The Difference Between Stress and Anger

Stress and anger seem the same, but the causative factors and the symptoms make these conditions different. However, there is no denying that stress and anger have a strong correlation, so the terminologies are often used interchangeably.

Stress and anger are both regarded as critical conditions required for an individual’s proper mental and physical functioning. Even though we often think of these conditions in a similar context, it is vital to highlight the differences between stress and anger. Identifying the causes and management approaches also depends on accurate identification. This is why we emphasize the contrast between stress and anger.

Let’s find out the difference between stress and anger so you can understand the cases and work on practical solutions for these problems.

What is Stress?

Stress is our reaction to the conditions where we feel threatened or pressured. If we feel we cannot manage any situation, our body exhibits stress as a fight or flight response. Individuals can feel stressed when burdened with responsibilities they cannot handle. Stress can also be a response to injustice, discrimination, emotional trauma, and physical injury. 

What is Anger?

If something has been done wrong or you are experiencing rage towards someone else, a thin emotion is known as anger. Anger is a normal body that can help individuals find solutions to problems or express negative emotions. But just like any other emotion, random and persistent anger episodes cause significant physical and mental health problems and make your action seem violent.

Comparison of Causes Between Stress and Anger

Causes of anger and stress are similar, but there are some noticeable differences.

Stress is caused due to traumatic experiences such as overwhelming responsibilities, experiencing abuse, facing changes, worry, uncontrollable outcomes, financial issues, and emotional trauma.

Anger is the reaction to stress and other related causes such as lack of appreciation, relationship problems, work issues, abuse, violence, traffic, and financial matters. When these issues seem uncontrollable, an individual can get angry about them.

The causes of anger and stress depend on various contributing factors, some of which are listed below.

Person’s Perception to Understand Things

An individual’s perception is influenced by experience and general attitude toward a stressful event. For example, financial issues can cause financial stress among some individuals while others are unaffected by it. The same is the case with anger which is triggered easily in some individuals.

Past experience in life can shape your understanding of things and your reaction to them. Unfortunately, some incidents are so traumatic that you cannot remove their influence from your mind, so the situations become more difficult for you to deal with.

Personality Traits

Just like understanding, your personality is also shaped by the incidents or situations you have been through. For example, angry and stressed individuals have a higher share of past trauma due to harsh reactions to a problem. Therefore, if personality traits cause stress and anger, therapy can be a perfect solution as it can help to revisit the past experience and heal.


Habits and your general attitude can also be the cause of anger and stress. People with laid-back attitudes remain unfazed by stressful situations as opposed to stressed individuals. Stressful habits and attitudes can be changed by reconditioning the brain with the help of a medical professional such as a psychiatrist or behavior therapist.

4 Strategic Ways to Deal With Stress

Stress can be difficult to treat. Therefore, the first step toward effective treatment is identifying the underlying trigger factors. After this identification, you can utilize these tips and tricks to deal with stress:

  1. Take care of yourself
  2. Avoid drugs and alcohol
  3. Share your problem with others
  4. Enroll into online management course

1 – Take care of yourself

Prioritizing yourself and taking care of your body and mental health is crucial to dealing with stress. You have to take time out for yourself and so anything you want. Read a book, watch a show, practice yoga, visit the spa, and just sleep – whatever you do, think about how important you are and why your body deserves some me time.

2 – Avoid drugs and alcohol

Alcohol and drugs are stressors and can ruin the normal functioning of your body. As the body of stressed individuals is already in the fight or flight stage, alcohol and drugs can enhance that response triggering associated stress factors such as anxiety that can lead to panic attacks.

3 – Share your problem with others

You don’t have to be alone with your problem. Sharing your problems with others can help in releasing your frustration. Always ask for help, and you will realize that you are not alone. Plan a meetup with your friends and discuss your issues, maybe they can help you out too!

4 – Enroll into online management course

With the advancement of technology, psychiatrists found a new approach to treating patients without the nuisance of a hospital visit. Stress management courses can help you connect with a healthcare provider, discuss your issues, and resolve the underlying issues causing stress.

6 Strategic Ways to Deal with Anger

Treatment strategies of anger are different from stress as they are more focused on doing something to fix the anger issues. Here are some tested strategies that can help you deal with anger:

  1. Practice breathing exercises
  2. Follow a healthy diet plan
  3. Practice muscle relaxation
  4. Controlling the triggers
  5. Seek professional health
  6. Enroll into anger management course

1 – Practice breathing exercises

Breathing exercises such as belly breathing can help in relaxing the body and mind. When you inhale deeply, you are signaling to your brain to stop thinking about everything and just focus on breathing in and out. When things seem out of control, take a ten-minute break, find a place, and breathe deeply and you can observe your anger depleting.

2 – Follow a healthy diet plan

You are what you eat, which is the main reason to add healthy food options to your diet. Avoiding processed food and adding natural substitutes can improve your digestive health. Add vegetables and fresh fruits to your diet and increase water intake so your body can heal naturally.

3 – Practice muscle relaxation

As anger can trigger your body’s fight and flight response, your muscle stiffens, leading to sore muscles and muscle pain. Therefore, it is important to relax the muscle and you can follow various approaches to relax the muscles of the jaw, forehead, leg, arms, buttock, feet, head, and shoulder. Feeling the stiff muscles, holding them for 15 seconds, and then releasing them is one of the most effective muscle relaxation techniques.

4 – Controlling the triggers

Just like stress, it is essential to identify the trigger that can cause negative feelings or anger. The best approach to control anger is to limit your exposure to these triggers. For instance, work stress can cause anger in some individuals, and you can avoid this trigger by moving to a different team or switching your job as nothing is more important than your health.

5 – Seek professional health

When you realize that your symptoms seem uncontrollable and you cannot manage your condition, it is time to seek professional help. Some diseases such as depression, bipolar disorder, or ulcers are also associated with anger, so you need proper medical treatment to resolve these issues.

6 – Enroll into anger management course

If you have many episodes of angry outbursts regularly, it is time to solve this problem. Individuals can try self-help strategies, but support is also accessible. Enrolling in online anger management courses is one of the most common ways to deal with explosive rage. Specialists offer anger management classes on keeping your emotions and anger in check by teaching you how to cope with anger.

 Multiple anger management courses are accessible, and the material may be completed in a 4-hour, 12-hour, or 52-hour anger mastery online session. You may choose the best route for you based on the severity of your symptoms and the level of help you require.


Stress and anger go hand in hand as one condition can lead to another, ruining your mental and physical health. These conditions can be managed, but you must focus on the differences between stress and anger first and then religiously follow the treatment strategy. Online training and courses related to anger and stress management can help you identify the trigger factors and work on the solutions.

If you are still unable to deal with the issues related to stress and anger, remember you don’t have to deal with these issues alone. You can always visit a health facility if the condition worsens and ask for medical attention.

Stress and anger can ruin your relationship with your loved one and compromise your social standing, so it is essential to fix these issues immediately.

Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC

Dr. Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC specializes in anger management, family conflict resolution, marital and premarital conflict resolution. His extensive knowledge in the field of anger management may enable you to use his tested methods to deal with your anger issues.


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