How Anger Affects the Brain and Body [Infographic – Part 3]

Anger is an important and sometimes necessary emotion.

But for some clients, anger can quickly escalate and become destructive once it’s been triggered.

Uncontrollable anger can often create problems in relationships both at home and in the workplace. But beyond that, it can have devastating physical consequences.

So just how and where does anger impact the body?

That’s what we’re highlighting in the infographic below. It’s the final segment in our 3-part series: How Anger Affects the Brain and Body.

You can find the first two parts here:

Part 1: How Anger Moves Through the Brain and Into the Body

Part 2: How Stress Hormones Can Change the Brain

Please feel free to make copies to share with your clients.

Click the image to enlarge

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

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

Now we’d like to hear from you. How will you use these ideas in your work? Please leave a comment.

And finally, now that your clients can see how the body and brain react once anger gets triggered, what are some strategies they might use to regain calm?

Here’s one practical skill you could share.

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18 Comments

  1. Julie T says:

    These infographics provide such a clear picture of the impact of anger on the human being and the importance of addressing excessive and inappropriate anger. Thank you.

  2. Maria says:

    Thank youu this info is so good

  3. Thank you so much for this. I am working with two client who have intense anger issues — to the point of self-harming they are so out of control. I think this cartoon approach of relaying very important information will be an effective “doorway” for us to address the issue.

  4. As a psychotherapist and mindfulness practitioner, I find this information very helpful. Thank you.

  5. Thanks. I validate anger as well as helping to decrease arousal.

  6. Mark G Stainthorp, MSW CSWA says:

    I love the resources which are available on your website. At the present time I am healing from severe injuries from auto accidents. Typically I work with foster youth, and children and families. These strategies and graphic information sheets, are excellent to use with all of my clients.
    Thank you for providing such great tools.

  7. Angela says:

    I would hope that a graphic like this would be shared within a larger context of information as to the purpose and benefits of anger and what are healthy ways to channel anger, learn what it has to teach us. I hope that people don’t just end up thinking anger is only negative and then repress it, which won’t help in the long run anyway.

  8. Thank you so much, these are lovely! They really capture the eyes!
    I will use them in my workshops and with clients.
    I’m a registered Polarity therapist and Somatic experiencing Practitioner, with BSc in psychology.

  9. sepkje lind says:

    So very grateful for your generosity of sharing with me.
    This will be included in our speaking to the ABEABC conference
    [Adult Basic Education Association of British Columbia ]

    Website://www.abeabc.ca/

    Our topic is re’ Trauma -Sensitive Schools

    Am using learning communities transform childrens’s lives,K-5
    and other studies i have taken like;
    courses from NICABM

    Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes.
    Peter A Levine ,Maggie Kline
    Practical Strategies For Working With a Client’s Feelings of Worthlessness
    Ruth Buczynski,PhD,Jack Kornfield,PhD, Joan Borysenko,PhD, and Bill O’ Hanlon,LMFT
    My great passion is that children do not go through schooling
    labeled ‘different’ than what is at the back of behaviour/learning ability.

  10. Amy Hitchcock says:

    Thanks. I will be using this print out with a group of adolescent mboys this week.

  11. Mira Carroll says:

    Thank you for these excellent materials! Shared this and Parts 1 and 2 on Facebook. Your good work is surely helping many people.

  12. Teresa Hiatt says:

    Combining anger management course from a Biblical and a clinical perspective, these visual tools break it down into bite-size doses for clients young and old. Thank you.

  13. I use Stephen Stosny’s HEALS technique which teaches self-compassion, and self-compassion generalizes to others. He developed it in a maximum security prison, used it with batterers, who were 87% violence free after a year by victim report, and wrote Treating Attachment Abuse, A Compassionate Approach.
    I have used HEALS on anger, guilt, shame, and most other painful emotions.

  14. Barbs says:

    These are really useful visually as well as thoughtfully written out. Thank you

  15. Kenneth Rietema says:

    clear, enjoyable learning material. will use it in Critical Incident Stress Management Training with Peers. thanks for passing that on.

  16. Tom says:

    As a hypnotherapist, I find these illustrations are exactly what I need to explain the impact of anger (and other negative emotions) on the brain and body in a simple but comprehensive way. When people understand what is going, by itself, I find that it lowers the negative impact of the stressor and also makes
    therpy more acceptable. Fantastic!

    Kind regards…Tom

  17. Dear Ruth,

    I am a certified NVC rainer and mediator who worked with Marshall Rosenberg until he died three years ago. I printed out Part 3 of your Anger protocol. I would love to see the first two parts.

    As I train as much, if not more!, in French as in English, I would be willing to translate the Anger documents into French for free. I am, however, completely unable to do the formatting.

    Let me know how you react to my proposal.

    Best wishes,

    Godfrey

  18. Tamara says:

    Fantastic info, thanks a lot!
    I would really like to use this in an upcoming presentation on how to calm the stress response and “negative” emotions if I may.
    Is this possible?
    Will I have to credit your work other than what is already in the graphic itself?

    Thank you very much in advance!

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