Pent-up Anger: Causes, Symptoms & How To Cope with Up?

Table of Contents:

Anger, when managed correctly, can be a beneficial emotion that encourages you to take positive steps. On the other hand, anger is a strong emotion that, if not appropriately managed, can harm you and those around you.

When anger is not expressed, it is referred to as pent-up anger, and it can result in conflict, physical abuse, serious fights, and self-harm.

Angry people are usually reacting to underlying feelings of worthlessness or frustration, which leads to negative behaviors. If their feelings explode, it is often because there appears to be no other way to release them.

Talking to a therapist, improving assertiveness skills, increasing awareness, and practicing breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques can all help you deal with pent up anger.

Causes of Pent-up Anger

Pent-up anger is typically triggered by external factors such as becoming angry at a particular individual or situation and internal factors such as thinking about any complicated problem or a painful memory.

In addition, it may arise due to learned behaviors, miscommunication, or any underlying mental health condition.

Just like any other type of anger, it is crucial to identify the factors that can cause anger issues. The following are the causes of pent up anger.

  • Internal agitation
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Sadness

Identifying the underlying cause of anger can help limit your exposure to these anger triggers and help you understand how to get rid of pent-up anger!

How Can Pent-up Anger Affect a Person?

Pent-up anger can affect your relationships and work and cause numerous physical and health problems such as depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure and often leads to a cardiac arrest:

Physical health

Anger activates the “fight or flight” response in the body. This response is also triggered by excitement, fear, and anxiety. In response to pent-up anger, the adrenal glands release the stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in huge amounts. The brain shunts away the blood from the gut toward the body muscles.

Fight and flight response causes an increase in the supply of blood to the extremities. If you have been suffering from pent up anger for a long, there are chances of the prevalence of diseases including high blood pressure, migraine, palpitations, and cardiac arrest.

Mental health

Depression, chronic stress, and anxiety can also result from pent-up anger. While anger is not considered a disorder, it is a common symptom of many psychiatric disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, trauma, and anxiety disorders, personality disorders, impulse disorders, and others.

7 Successful Strategies to Manage Pent-up Anger

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Opt for an anger management course
  4. Find social support
  5. Challenge your thoughts
  6. Change your surroundings
  7. Meditation

Learning how to release pent-up anger can help you know how to get rid of pent-up anger and develop new coping strategies for emotional pain and frustration.

The good news is that there are numerous methods for learning how to prevent pent-up anger from affecting your everyday life. Here are some strategies you can implement on your own:

1. Deep breathing

When you’re angry, you can practice breathing slowly in and out. This aids in slowing your heart rate. Deep breathing exercises also assist you in shifting your focus away from the source of your anger and toward your breathing. This simple diversion can help you get past your angry feelings without ignoring them.

2. Exercise regularly

Try walking, cycling, or aerobics. Your body produces feel-good endorphins, which help calm others and relax you. If you’re not the kind of person who can do exercise, try yoga. This can be equally effective in releasing pent-up anger.

3. Opt for an anger management class

If you have trouble controlling your anger, you should consider joining anger management classes. It is more convenient than a series of therapy sessions.

Here is a list of courses you can register for that suits you the best. You don’t need to present physically to attend these courses.

It may be time to consult a therapist if you believe you have an anger problem. But, first, discuss the problem and your emotional needs with the therapist. Talking to a knowledgeable mental health professional can significantly improve your pent-up anger issues.

4. Find social support

Coping with pent-up anger can be difficult, but you can do it by talking to a friend or loved one about your issue can also be beneficial.

Even though some individuals may be embarrassed to discuss their issues with anyone they know, others may find it highly helpful.

In addition, you may get to know that your relatives are experiencing the same problem because it can run in the family.

5. Challenge your thoughts

When dealing with anger, mental health professionals frequently employ a technique known as cognitive restructuring, which inspires you to substitute negative thoughts with rational ones.

This mental shift allows you to slow down your thinking, clarify things, and convert your demands into requests.

6. Change your surroundings

A change in surroundings can sometimes be enough to prevent anger from being suppressed.

For example, you can have the space you require to calm down and proceed forward by putting distance between you and the person or condition that is causing your anger.

While permanent separation may not be possible, a short-term break from the trigger can assist you in coping with pent-up anger.

7. Meditation

Meditation is a process of interaction between the body, mind, and behavior that can directly affect mental, emotional, social, and behavioral factors. For example, meditation improves our ability to cope with and accept negative emotions such as bottled-up anger without reacting.

Wrapping Up!

Anger is a natural emotion. It is regarded as a perfectly normal human emotion. However, if you feel angry frequently, especially about past events, you must express pent-up feelings and forget the past.

Moreover, Mastering Anger offers a variety of self-paced and online anger management classes that can be completed in 4-hour8-hour12-hour, or 52-hour, to help learn to identify and manage symptoms.

We hope this article will benefit you as we have discussed the root causes and how to release pent-up anger. Though we have discussed various self-assisting techniques, we recommend seeking professional help if the anger becomes uncontrollable.

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.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *