What is Anger?
According to the State Trait Anger Expression Index-2, an assessment scale which evaluates the intensity of a person’s anger as an emotional state at a particular time, anger is a “psychobiological emotional state consisting of feelings varying in intensity from mild irritation or annoyance to intense fury and rage, accompanied by activation of neuroendocrine processes and arousal of the autonomic nervous system“. Let’s break down this technical definition of anger.
- Anger is a psychobiological emotional state – it is a temporary feeling having to do with both the mind/body and brain.
- Anger consists of feelings varying in intensity from mild irritation or annoyance (let’s rate that a 1) to intense fury and rage (let’s rate that a 10) – it has degrees of less intensity and more intensity.
- Anger is accompanied by activation of neuroendicrine processes – It includes the release of brain chemicals into the body to get ready for ‘fight’, ‘flight’, or ‘freeze’. These brain chemicals mostly consist of adrenaline and corisol and are often experienced in the body as stress or tension as your heart beats faster, blood flows more quickly through your body, and your muscles get tense.
- Anger includes the arousal of the autonomic nervous system – Which means that the nervous system as well as adrenaline and cortisol signal all the organs of the body to get ready to react to the perceived threat. Anger is essentially about not getting your needs met.