How Anger Affects the Brain and Body [Infographic – Part 2]

At the first spark of anger, good judgment often goes out the window.

Many clients say and do things they later regret. They might even lose track of what they actually wanted to say during an argument.

So why is that?

Well, it has to do with cortisol – and having too much of it in the brain.

To help your clients visualize what’s going on we put this together for you (so please feel free to make a copy to share).

Click the image to enlarge

If you’d like to print a copy, just click here: Color or Print-friendly

(When you make copies to share, please be sure to include the copyright information. We put a lot of work into creating these resources for you. Thanks!)

So where does the cortisol come from? Check out this infographic.

Coming soon: How Anger Affects the Brain and Body, Part 3 – How Stress Hormones Change the Body

Now we’d like to hear from you. How could a deeper understanding of anger’s impact on the brain be useful to your clients? Please leave a comment.


Please Leave A Comment



  1. Joan says:

    It’s been known that once we fight the stress and take care of our organs , like all the fattening surrounding them, we are likely to have less of those medical issues. But there will be some admin that could cause the adrenaline to get highland and spike up. At least I know mine can easily get height , I can totally relate to what you could have been through, Janma.

  2. Janma says:

    Is there a difference between anger at one’s self and anger towards others?
    I often feel anger that I have trusted a psychologist, a doctor, a specialist, or similar to do their job or to treat me with a little respect.
    How am I supposed to react when they don’t communicate properly or well? Is it me that is supposed to ring or see them and say how come…or why did you or didn’t you do… I am still waiting for a new referral form from an opthamologist 2 years later. No report to my new GP or the referring GP. My optometrist put me on glaucoma drops and then 2 months later said I did not need them nor the very expensive visit to an opthamologist who prescribed similar drops (to replace the very painful first lot) for the same issue which isn’t real (for want of a better word). My doctor is still waiting for a report from that opthamologist…so tell me what to do because ringing and asking and even dropping into the office isn’t getting any results. YOU may blame me but when they are not responding to my GP that surely says they are being ignorant? and who suffers? just little old me…

  3. Thanks for all of the infographics!

  4. Dave Kent says:

    I think that understanding what anger does to you can be a big help in the effort to learn not to have those outbursts and be able to sense ones own sensations enabling a more reasoned response. Thank you for your continuing efforts to educate many of us who can use the help.


    Thank u for clarifying what goes on when I get overly angry,
    when I can’t even think.
    So generous to share this.

  6. Thank you for these amazing diagrams , they are excellent !

  7. Thank you. Much more client friendly than part 1

  8. hilary jenkinson says:

    Very informative and great educational tool.
    many thanks Ruth.
    If people educated themselves about affects of stress, then better choices could be made to
    for preventation or at least reduction.

  9. What brilliant resources. Thank you.

  10. Melanie Wanless says:

    This is great and will use for sure. And always give credit where credit is due! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Rena Arcaro-McPhee says:

    Love this explanation in graphics & terms the students can understand. Looking forward to part 2 & part 3.

  12. Kay W says:

    These are very helpful as simple tools to use with clients struggling to understand, not just anger, but the effect overall, of cortisol on the brain.

  13. Margaret McGuigan says:

    Excellent resource many thanks

  14. April Rubino says:

    Can you repost access to part 1 please? Excellent resource!

  15. Tina Fahmy says:

    as a manager I’m trying to cope with a staff member that repeatedly gets angry when I or others ask about progress of work. he forgets what he says and Im getting upset.

  16. Fran says:

    Thank you very much for excellent diagrams. Pictures are worth a thousand words, as the saying goes.

  17. Meryl Perrotta says:

    This is very informative and helpful. How do you lower cortisol levels?

  18. I tried to access Part I and was unsuccessful.
    I have presented on Bullying to the school district.
    A simple and straightforward way of explaining this complicated process is very useful.
    Thank you
    Catherine Parten

  19. Paige Latin says:

    This is great information for me and my family. My cortisol is through the roof and I have had an autoimmune disease of one kind or another since childhood.

  20. Nora Hafliger says:

    Thank you for this information. Having the infographic will help my client’s reduce stress and anxiety. The infographic makes it clear and understandable to why they feel out of control. It will help eliminate fear.

  21. Shameen iqbal says:

    Cool…thats me then even though I knew that from reading this is the first time of understand after 7 yrs of me reading about it many thanks

  22. Ruth says:

    I absolutely love these little sound bites of information. Really helpful and really useful and the graphics really help to explain the concept. If people can understand the reasons for their behaviour then perhaps they will be more able to forgive themselves and others more readily. Super. Thank you.

  23. Patricia says:

    Thank you. Very informative. My clients will benefit from this explanation..
    So happy to have received it.
    Thanks a millon

  24. Mary says:

    Very easy to explain to people, which helps them understand why they react this way. Thank you!

  25. alijan says:

    Thanks for sharing such a nice blog about anger which effect on brain. i am looking Free Online Notes and comes to your post and found very informative.

  26. fnaf says:

    What a great way to explain to clients about the advantages of letting go of “chronic anger”!
    Thank you!

  27. John D. Karamanos says:

    Very informative and well presented. The pictures are great and clients can understand it quite well.

    Thank you for the presentation.

  28. Nidia Aurora Gil says:

    Thank you very much!!!

    I teach MBSR and also I teach mindfulness for managing stress in the classrooms and this tool is wonderful.

    I have used mine but it’s not as beautiful and clear as yours!!!

    I do appreciate your generosity.

  29. Adam H Ridgewell says:

    Thanks for this! My clients love the pics- so easy to understand and therefore much easier to handle your inner demons, once you know the system!


  30. This is fabulous,

    I teach in the clinical practicum for MA in psychotherapy…Students loved this!!!

    With deep gratitude,

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