How Anger Affects the Brain and Body [Infographic]

Anger can be one of the most challenging emotions that we work with.

Clients are sometimes afraid of their anger. Or, maybe they consider it inappropriate to even feel this way at all.

Not only that, when anger is misdirected, it often leads to poor choices, damaged relationships, and even violence.

But anger can actually be an asset to our clients . . . as long as it’s channeled properly.

So how can we help clients express their anger more effectively?

Here’s a tool you can use to help clients understand the impact of anger on the brain and body. Click To Tweet

It begins by helping them understand how anger is triggered, and what happens in the body and brain – especially when anger is chronic or unprocessed.

So we thought it would be helpful for you to have a way to illustrate this for your clients. (And please feel free to make a copy of this to share with them.)

Click the image to enlarge

If you’d like to print a copy to share with your clients, 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!)

Now we’d like to hear from you.
How will you use this in your work with clients?
Please leave a comment below.


Please Leave A Comment



  1. Doug says:

    Are there any other articles regarding how anger/rage effects the body? Explaining sickness?

  2. Odoyo J. Bittar says:

    This is very useful information for self-management, especially for those who operate in stressful work environments.

  3. rolling sky says:

    Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article.

  4. meghala says:

    Thanks a lot for the amazing article

  5. Ravi Kulasekere PhD ND says:

    As a Naturopath I work with both the emotional and physical aspects of all my clients. Many have deep seated anger and don’t even know about it. This infographic will assist me in showing them clearly how this destructive emotion is affecting their over-all well being. Thank you

  6. Amphasis says:

    So if you learn to deal with anger and stress, we will be healthier. I think we really have to take everything easy.

  7. indira weerasinghe says:

    this is very well explain.If i explain (how you have made it very clear) to them the impact of stress on all the systems they will take it seriously .Thanks

  8. run 3 says:

    Very informative and well presented. The pictures are great and clients can understand it quite well. Thank you for the presentation.

  9. Jamie Constable says:

    I am a school chaplain and this is a great way to teach the students at my school

  10. Anthony says:

    Nice guys,

    I teach trauma and conflict management.

    This is such a neat explanation.

  11. Ashok Kumar says:

    This is very useful and help me to reduce anger and control our mind to chanelise it into positive direction.

  12. Ebee Hawkins says:

    Thanks for the work you guys put in to this.

  13. Claudia says:

    I would like to use this chart in a book that I am writing regarding grief. Please let me know if it is OK to use as long as i cite the reference. Thank you.

  14. Jessie says:

    I really enyoy this. Site

  15. Kate K. says:

    THANK YOU for this clear and concise explanation of what happens when anger hits.

    Years ago I had the amygdala and hippocampus removed from my right temporal lobe. Since then I have dealt with bouts of anger that rocket above a reasonable level for whatever situation triggered it.

    I have looked for a clear explanation of what is going on. Now I have it!!

    • Mel says:

      Glad you are feeling better. I didn’t think doctors could remove amygdala and hippo from the brain due to their location? I have heard of a hemispherectomy but not going into the center of the brain to remove those ??? I would think you would not be able to function without them.

  16. M Williams says:

    What about the anger from putative Borderline Personality Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder and, of course, Schizophrenia? Is there something here that we do not properly understand? It seems that there is no real normal personality, from reasonably balanced to psychotic. Our DNA presents everyone with unique aspects of brain chemistry and it’s response to it’s environment, psychological and physical. The problem cannot be generalised. You never know when somebody’s anger will be such that they are likely to kill you or themselves!

  17. Peter Drabbant says:

    Well done…nicely explained and user-friendly for my anger group…Great website!

  18. Julie says:

    Thia description about anger… is it descrbing the person who is angry….
    What about the person who has to recieve the anger blows either physically or emotionally. They often have to supress the anger to avoid a super huge explosions that will only produce victims.
    They in fact are suppressing their anger . Are they experiencing the same anger process described herr?

  19. Susanchen says:

    Thank you so much

  20. nne says:

    i actually need this for my self because i get very angry easily and often; so i find this peice very very helpful
    and am so happy i have this information right now, i feel really informed and empowered .

  21. Rita O Sullivan Crean says:

    Very useful

  22. Cindy Carlile says:

    Thank You!
    In looking for information and tools for a conversation I’m about to have with my adult daughter’s, I am so very pleased to have found your site and will be very pleased if I’m able to print this page.
    This one page explains so much of what has been at the root of a lifetime of issues and events!
    Thank you

  23. Shevon Peet says:

    Excellent visual tool for my Anger management client. Thanks

  24. Bob says:

    Thanks! Perfect for the 12 grade project I am doing about how th brain effects the body.

  25. Jay says:

    Thank you for your wonderful and helpful ariticles. I am studying healing and most of all, would like to help my family who have been through trauma and despair as children. So being the youngest, I have this nagging desire to do something to help them, and others.

  26. Cyndrell says:

    I will bring awareness of anger’s impact and teach the piwer to choose love.

  27. IThank yo so much for making this available to share. I really apprreciate it. I work with different community wellness groups and blend various modalities into my work inc Tai Chi bodywork, reflexology, Clinical Hypnotherapy etc. However it is fair to say that all to often in peoles search for understanding they do tend to overlook the implications and importance of internal chemistry. They do dtenf to believe that they are their thoughts. This infographic will be an invaluable aid in explaining anger to them.

    Again, thank you so much

    Kind regards

    Martin Forrest

  28. Binady says:

    Anger surely gives negative impacts on our brain. By the grace of God, we should master our anger only for pisitive cause.

  29. Sydney says:

    I will use the last page to present to my patients and ask them how they feel their own body reacts.

  30. Francis McAndrew says:

    The graphics help explain and give another level of learning. Also it always seems to work better when they have some homework to help them eplain to others what they learned

  31. Very informative and interesting article. I believe anger like all emotions is good if expressed appropriately.

  32. Joe Davis, PHD says:


  33. Maureen Wright says:

    I like the graphic. It illustrates more specifically the simple diagram I draw on the board at the beginning of all my Anger Management classes. I will be making copies and handing them out during my Stress lesson in the Anger Management curriculum.

  34. Trish Johnson says:

    I find it very productive to give my clients tools to understand the workings of their brain – it reduces a sense of shame and stigma and empowers them to work with it. Your Infographics are just brilliant – thank you!!!

  35. Dorette says:

    thank you! I find it very interesting!
    Being an estate agent, anger comes & goes!

  36. Marion houghton says:

    I will use the info for myself and increase my awareness of my own anger and then share with clients in the therapeutic moment.

  37. Joanne says:

    I will use it to talk with clients about how anger is affecting their brain and health.

  38. Debra says:

    I have been angry , depressed , and anxious most of my life and my neurologist told me I have brain damage .

  39. Denise says:

    Excellent resource. I really want to learn more about this fascinating subject! Thanks for sharing this amazing information !

  40. Dolores says:

    I denied my anger for many years( perhaps social norms).
    Became depressed – for myself, the physical effects of anger were affecting my body. Without my conscious awareness of the underlying anger.
    For me, actual anger was a good catalyst to get me moving in the right direction.

    Have others used depression to cover up old angers??

  41. Bob Cable says:

    The downloads A Quick And Simple way To Think About the Brain and How Anger Affects your Brain And Body are much appreciated. NICABM continues to produce excellent and affordable teaching and training materials. Thank you!

  42. Jacqueline says:

    Would love it if sounds true could make different versions of this, for anxiety, fear, shame and sadness. I’m not sure if the somatic response is the same. What a great teaching tool-

  43. Jacqueline says:

    This is great. Thank you. I’d be careful re which clients to show this to and probably impart bits of it verbally, and then show all once the client knows they have some control over their nervous system, a mindful way of coping, and a recognition of self. Once clients can see their emotions/anger as moving waves, with triggers, I’d use all of this incredible educational tool. I just think that before someone can ground, or find self and curiosity/compassion, some of my clients get anxious and angry due to fear of the effects of their anger (lower immune function). I also find it interesting that fear is at the bottom of list re anger, whereas I see it at the top of the list: fear, shame, sadness. Fear seems to bind with so many challenging emotions.
    Love it. Thank you!

  44. Juanita Ross says:


  45. Thank you. I appreciate knowing this causal chain of reaction and the effect on our body.

  46. Jayaraja says:

    I imagine I will use this work when I’m working with groups and one to one to help some people have a conceptual grasp of what goes on when they get angry, to help develop perspective and resilience.

  47. Jayaraja says:

    Ruth and team, I really appreciate the work you do to make a difference in the world. I find I am often inspired by the work you share and it contributes hugely to my ongoing learning.

    Thanks seems to small a word to capture my gratitude.

    hug and much love


  48. Lynd@ R says:

    Thanks that is very useful pictorial representation of what happens inside the individual when we are angry and how many aspects of the body are involved. Therapeutically, I think if this information is coupled with clear information about how the body functions to assist the individual to reduce anger and reactivity would be the most helpful. Is there a clear diagram for this also?
    thanks again
    Lynd@ from Australia.

  49. Sally Tarvid,LCSW, USA says:

    This info graphic explains, in simple language, the physical aspects of anger & stress. It will serve as a reminder to clients the importance of being aware of the effects of excessive anger & stress on the brain and body. Thank you for this helpful tool.

  50. anneka SKirrow says:

    I am currently involved in running a group for boys aged 13/14, the group is focused on recognising angry and guilty emotions and we are incorporating a number of brain based ideas into the group, this is a great resource for us.

    I also lecture part time on working therapeutically with Children as part of a Master of Social Work degree at Flinders University and will incorporate this there also!

    Anneka Skirrow

  51. sol says:

    great tool! thanks

  52. Liz Allison says:

    Thank you for this very useful tool which will be useful in my work with parents who struggle with self regulation amongst other issues. I find the resources you provide of great value and appreciate your freely sharing resources

  53. John Newbauer says:

    Very nice explanation.

  54. Justus Lewis says:

    Thanks. This will come in very useful in a course I am about to run.

  55. Suzanne Cloutier says:

    thanks.. i am offering few sessions on emotional balance (don’t like the word regulation) and this will be certainly something to add.
    Nicely done!

  56. Great diagram and clear explanation.
    I primarily work in mental health counselling with children, youth, and their parents or caregivers, and am always looking for resource materials to share and to help people.

  57. HARRIET SMITH says:

    Personal experience with most of the above….3 inflammatory states in the body created by the above ie glucose, cholesterol, psoriatic skin and arthritis, according to algo-rhythms predicts a cardiac event in 5 yrs. of not corrected. I was an RN, and crashed due to all of the above.
    it was finally discovered that I had severe and chronic sleep apnea,( O2 sats fell to %66, no stage 4, ,never a full hours’ sleep.
    My personal, professional, stress doubled along the way. Nutrition was bad, no exercise,..rarely became angry…till several yrs later, when I lost my job, my career,my passion, my financial security, our house, and nearly went bankrupt.,then I growled. The treatment for psoriasis was Toctino ( and Methotrexate) causing strong side effects. I went hypothyroid,and MRI showed no Grave’s disease. As well, I had to get Prism RX to correct eye-trauma strabismus 50 yrs ago, which worsened with recent mild concussion. ps my husband is profoundly deaf when sleeping so he did not notice or hear me. Surprisingly I did not get a cold or flu ( I kept getting the annual shots) till 2015 when I worked with numerous children, and got pneumonia.
    Nurses are in denial, but there is a push to have more compassion with emotional issues… problem is one way that depression can evolve. Nurses could use a dose of this information.

    I am still healing my immune system. Cognitive functioning could be improved, I am beginning Tai Chi next week , and go to group therapy weekly…It took far too long to diagnose this condition.

    Thank you so much for your insights, and knowledge.

    • Caroline Brennan says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Its a hard road to travel when we keep going and then are forced to stop. Our bodies keep hinting that all is not ok, but we keep going. I did anyway. I now realise that the body is so much smarter than the mind. If we listen to it, pay heed to its rumblings, and respect its need for difference in our thoughts and or lifestyles, act upon those needs, we will do ok. To ignore them is at our peril and our poor hardworking body gets the brunt of it.

  58. Thanks for the great diagram on how anger affects the body. I often describe all of this to clients and have been looking for a more specific diagram and yours it it. Well done and will use with my clients.
    Best regards,
    Nancy F Cohen, LCSW

    • HARRIET SMITH says:

      yes…Sometimes simple is better. I appreciate that, and so do people with whom I is a very complicated path.

  59. Varghese John says:

    Thankyou for the valuable information you keep providing. Keep up the good work.It gives a sense of community.
    Coming to `anger’, it is evidently clear that it has an effect on our entire system, at the physical and the nervous, emotional and organ levels. Isn’t a more holistic method of treatment needed, taking the `individual’ as a whole ?

  60. I think it’s important to stress that anger, like any emotion, has its place. Problems can arise when anger becomes compacted and compounded over the years. This happens when we block anger or it is blocked by others by shaming us for feeling angry. This happens a lot with children, particularly if children are angry with their parents. It’s often just “unacceptable” so where does the anger go if it’s unfelt and unexpressed? Into the body as symptoms.

    Women are also often shamed for being angry, it’s not “feminine” to feel anger and certainly not to express anger, the same with fear for men. But not feeling our anger and not finding healthy ways to express it is the problem, not anger itself.

  61. What a terrific study…. I so appreciated the diagram…. The visual mapping definitely helps me to connect with the embodiment of the experience of anger and to better understand the layers of responses- physiological and psychologically…
    This is definitely going in my psycho-ed repertoire.
    Many thanks

  62. Marina says:

    Thank you very much for the materials that are really helpful for my patients.
    I enjoy very much my learning with you!

  63. Thank You nicabm team ~ this graphic along with the information will be really helpful for clients to better ‘see’ the invisible of what is going on…putting them in a better place (informed) to help them be the observer of their self and others when experiencing anger..,.and thus be in a place where they can better respond.

  64. Susan says:

    I love this graphic. Thanks for sharing. Just the right amount of science.

  65. Sue Harrhy says:

    Good visual! Great information. If I have any feedback, it is that it can be a overwhelming to see all the negative impacts of stress etc, and clients can feel even more worried about their future.
    Now we need the antidote! : ) It’s important to share that there are things that change this trajectory.
    Thanks for sharing

  66. Tricia Mugridge says:

    Great illustration to use with clients

  67. Bill says:

    It was very helpful information. The concepts that are presented are easy to understand. The diagrams are helpful and informative.

  68. Isabel says:

    When I explain this to clients I usually draw it out and now I can use this instead of my sad drawings! Thanks!

  69. Janet MacDonald says:

    I like this diagram and plan to use it with my Mindfulness teaching programs, it will fir nicely with making connection between the mind and body.
    Thank you!

  70. I combine BodyTalk with psychotherapy and often work with the HPA axis in clients with PTSD and generalized anxiety. The fight/flight/freeze response can involve both anger and/or fear – either or both of which can become anxiety for the patient when they are suppressed. This infographic will be very helpful to show them what is happening. I love it when my patients want to understand their biology! And I love learning about it, too.

  71. Wolfgang Lauer says:

    Hi excellent. I am a pastor working as a volunter also as a trauma educator with often traumatized prisoners and their non-medics helpers and family members in brazilian prisons. I also work in Berlin Gêmany wirh refugees. Within the context of calming highly stresses persons your section on the neurology of anger is very relevant for those I seek to help throgh relevant information for ‘self healing’ processes. I wNt more such information.

  72. Jan Jones says:

    I work with teens and feel this resource will be so helpful in encouraging them to learn about their body and mind and how to understand and work with their own process.

  73. I am having brain issues in my frontal lobe. One says it’s not alsheimers, dementia or tumors and they will rule things out. Now my neurologist is treating me with, alsheimers medication. I got a second opinion and is sending notes to take me off that medication. My husband has Alheimers, earlier stages, but is affecting his moods. This is causing me enough stress that I was unable to do my counseling. The brain fascinates me and this chart makes so much sense to me. Hope to learn more…

  74. A great resource to share., thank you. I find that information about the brain shared with clients helps to mitigate some of the shame / guilt / blame response. This helps build trust attunement, allows for a sense of curiosity & then space to unpack the layers that may be triggering anger.

  75. Vicki says:

    Well if we are not being threatened and we don’t need the anger to protect ourselves, then it is correlated with some form of ego problems. I did not get what I deserve, feeling rejected, not getting the reaction we were expecting, it all comes down with how we size up the environment egotistically. We even get angry because someone votes for another candidate, egocentric. There are so many things to get angry about, and it is not going to help your quality of life. Anger is wasted energy if you don’t need it to protect yourself. Constant anger will lead to depression, when turned inward. The way out of anger is to get out of your head, and try to feel more love and compassion for others.

  76. susan says:

    WILL THERE be a follow up to answer the question posed above? ie “So how can we help clients express their anger more effectively?

    • CAroline says:

      I like your comment. Because if clients get the ideas that agner is not good for them…what solution they have?? If they repress it….then they will have more anger, and then repress it again, then more risk to explose… I think the clue is first to accept the anger, to lear from it, deal from it. Each emotions has a message to share to us…if we suppress it, we don’t hear the solution, the change we can make it to feel better.

  77. Hilary says:

    The hand out is a great tool for clients to be taught by and refer to and possibly share with others. The layout is simple and easy to follow.
    Thank Ruth you it’s a great share.

  78. Joanne Ruppel says:

    If this infographic was titled “How Unacknowledged Anger Affects Your Brain and Body”, it would be accurate and helpful. With a critical word missing from the title, it sends the completely wrong message- that one shouldn’t ever feel anger. Chronic repression of anger, a technique usually learned in childhood when needs are not met or ridiculed, will cause disease in brain and body (and sometimes erupt in rage-which is still not anger recognition). But anger itself is just a emotion; it does not have to become a chronic stressor on the brain and body. Please change the title so more people will use the infographic, as it can be very helpful information.

    • CAroline says:

      I like your comment. Because if clients get the ideas that agner is not good for them…what solution they have?? If they repress it….then they will have more anger, and then repress it again, then more risk to explose… I think the clue is first to accept the anger, to lear from it, deal from it. Each emotions has a message to share to us…if we suppress it, we don’t hear the solution, the change we can make it to feel better.

  79. Judy Meagher says:

    Tools like this that can be used as a handout, are really appreciated.
    I think it really helps clients to understand the way their body is working in regards to anger.
    I don’t believe it will scare people.

  80. The only issue I have with the illustration is that frustration and disappointment are not something that comes in from the environment. It seems to me that hese emotional experiences emerge from shifts in affective states and processes that arise from non-conscious, primal organismic valuing and sub-cortical appraisals of stimuli. Our attention is directed to important cues by these primal processes in which we inpute or code stimuli for relevance or significance to our safety, needs for homeostasus, attachment, social connection, in accordance with our values etc.. Some hold that this involves far more right hemisphere and sub-cortical processes than what is accounted for in the too-down cogntive appraisal theories of emotion theory. We ascribe the meaning of stimuli with non-conscious appraisals, which are further processed in higher cognitive centers. So, it seems odd to see subjectively experienced affective shifts as something that “comes in” pre-pacaged from the environment.

    • Flo says:

      Very good point. Thank you

  81. Angela says:

    Looks like a great way to scare people into not acknowledging anger!

  82. Donna Mills, LPC says:

    It really helps to have a picture to go with the explanation, and all the facts in one place – thank you so much!


    Interesting but we’ll known. I would’ve more interested in what your opening paragraph offers but this short article then doesn’t deliver- information on how to channel anger more effectively. Felt a bit like this was clickbait.

  84. Lyn Reilly says:

    Centacare SW NSW facilitates a 6 weeks mixed gender “Anger Management – It’s All The Rage!” program as part of its Post Separation Cooperative Parenting (PSCP) Program for separated parents experiencing moderate to high levels of conflict. This is a psycho-educational program designed to assist participants to be aware of and understand the body’s reaction to stress, and particularly the way the brain works in managing emotions. Education is the key to understanding. This article is excellent and will definitely benefit our clients. Thank you for sharing!

  85. Thank you !!!!
    Really great helpful resource .

  86. Eliza Kieding says:

    I was so excited to see what you had to say about anger, since I have seen some interesting ideas on anger on the Next Level Practitioner program. I have concerns that this chart would only increase clients inhibition to acknowledging the anger that is already so taboo, already so hidden in it’s expression. How to help clients express their anger more effectively is something that concerns me greatly, and I am wondering how you thought this would help Ruth. Forgive me if I am missing something here. I can be a bit slow at times.

  87. Margaret Bunzick says:

    I have many clients with anger issues, this is an opportunity to educate people, and hopefully offer a more productive way to channel anger

  88. Julane Swyden says:

    Thank you for these resources! Greatly appreciated. This visual is especially good.

  89. Rama Bassham says:

    That is an awesome graphic on the topic. I use information like that with teen aged clients and find that a psychoeducational approach that teaches them about their brain-body processes is an important component to nurturing mindful attention and the ability to separate the observing from the experiencing. I will definitely use the graphic with the appropriate client group and with teachers in professional development training.

  90. yvonne solorio says:

    Thank you! I rarely write my comments, and feel that I am not showing my gratitude for your helpful information, suggestions and professionalism. I will make efforts to be more communicative in the future. yvonne

  91. Traci O'Sullivan says:

    Excellent tool!!
    Thank you…
    I will share with clients in session so they can have a visual of the process I described as well as understand more clearly how important tools like mindfulness and yoga/ stress management and accepting and understanding anger and other underlying negative factors…..
    Traci O’Sullivan ..M.A.

  92. An extremely helpful visual in presenting the neural pathways in the structural components of the Brain.
    Forever appreciative!

  93. Extremely interesting. Another look at the HPA Axis!
    Thank you very much!

  94. A well illustrated succinct infographic that I will use daily in my work with my clients who struggle so painfully with anger as a result of trauma and the consequent intimacy difficulties. Thank you so much !

  95. Thank you, this is very useful. I will most certainly be sharing with my clients.

  96. I am going to be doing a presentation on “Working with Unreasonable People” for the Virginia chapter of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals on 4/21/17, so I am reviewing this handout as a nice review–and perhaps to make into a handout for attendees, though I have not concluded my prep yet. Good to get back to those important basics. Thank you for your communications. Pat Eby

  97. Tamara, Student, Canada says:

    I am deeply concerned about the lack of context for this infographic — to whom does it apply and to whom it does not apply? Is this applicable for those with chronic anger and/or anger management issues? for those who regularly rage? OR is it applicable or generalizable across the board, in every instance?

    I think this is a really important distinction, please clarify in a future email or posting or video, so this infographic can be applied in the most helpful and healthful ways and is not misunderstood or misapplied.

    Also, I’m not clear on the purpose of this infographic? Is it to shut down anger (which can be a concern if anger is simply repressed instead of processed in healthy ways)? Is it to help process anger? If so, how does this help process anger?

    Many thanks for any clarifications you can offer.

  98. Valerie Feeeley says:

    Wonderful resource and now a usable and printable copy – Good job!

  99. Marianne Seabrook says:

    Really useful tool for helping clients understand why they lose judgement and memory when they lose their cool. Thank you.

  100. I will incorporate it into the yoga/meditation classes i teach, thank you!

  101. Sue Brierly says:

    Many thanks- I have teens who are keen to demystify why they feel so intensely
    my drawing ability is limited- this is wonderful ! Many thanks Ruth and team

  102. Myriam Baker says:

    I teach a free intro workshop about how states of mind affect the overall health and I am planning to use your diagram on my power point.. thank you.. very helpful…

  103. Francis Perlmutter says:

    Some of my clients have had their self-esteem lowered and, generally, messed up, when their chemical use got out of control. ‘Beating yourself up’ is part of the downward spiral… I’d show my clients this diagram & use it when I do holistic mapping of the processes I think will be helpful to get them to become more functional. I’m ambivalent about anger: I find it can be sometimes helpful as a motivator (like, ‘going into attack mode when you begin the items on the ‘to do’ list’) since anger can sometimes be more productive than procrastination, fear, and just plain sitting there in the swamp of your misery and crappy memories.

  104. Donna Read says:

    Very nice and very accurate. Applies to a lot more than anger as well. Thanks for putting this together. Nice to have.

  105. Doris Motte says:

    Super handouts! I will definitely use these with my angry, stressed and traumatized clients!

  106. JONN says:

    Thank you
    much appreciated

  107. Robing Schilling says:

    This is very helpful and in formative , thank you so much .

  108. Dave Shirley says:

    Thank you for the handout. It will be helpful to some of my clients.

  109. Louise Sutherland-Hoyt says:

    Can’t wait to use!

  110. Dr Evangeline Munns says:

    I think that if clients understand their anger they hopefully will be able to control it better

  111. Sami Thorpe says:

    This info-graph is incorrect. Anger is a healthy emotion like all emotions. However ANY emotion that is not processed and regulated can cause psychological or physiological symptoms. The symptoms are NOT as a result of the emotion, but as a result of not being able to process the emotion. If we do not differentiate this to clients we run the risk of teaching that is not safe or healthy to have or express anger. Furthermore, as a specialist in emotional root-cause-analysis of symptoms, this info-graph is a generalisation that may cause fear or victim concepts in clients who have anger issues – it’s based on generalised information often presented as a result of studies showing CORRELATION NOT CAUSATION.

    • Tamara, Student, Canada says:

      Thank you for sharing your perspective, Sami. You’ve pinpointed the discomfort I’ve had with this information, too. I find this infographic — while informative — does paint a negative picture of anger and could even produce a lot of anxiety in people about anger. I can understand the negative effects in someone who has chronic anger, or who uses anger as their basic coping mechanism. And yes, for some, this information might motivate making some changes, simply by triggering more fear than anger. I wish the distinction was made regarding exactly what type or degree of anger this negative cascade applies to.

      I’m certainly not sure how this applies to what I call healthy anger that comes to us all on occasion and for good reasons (eg., when our boundaries are crossed). Anger can bring energy, clarity, focus, purpose, courage, determination and strength, too. It can have positive outcomes when understood, processed and directed appropriately. I agree anger has important messages to give us that we need to hear, even for those who are caught up in chronic anger. Let’s hear those messages.

  112. Excellent information. Thank you!

  113. susan says:

    Thank you for all you do. i would also appreciate an info graphic on healthy expression of anger, timing issues and what happens as anger is repressed.

    • Tamara, Student, Canada says:

      I’d be very interested in that, too, Susan. Yes, let’s learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger, and the different ways anger is expressed.

  114. Paula says:

    This is an excellent way to show how anger affects your brain and body. It will help to show clients the importance of challenging their anger appropriately. Learning that anger is harmful for them. Thanks for sharing.

  115. Doreen Hills says:

    This is something I can share everyday in practice. This is easy for clients to understand.

  116. Thankyou for this fabulous print-out. I will keep it on my wall in my psychotherapy/clinical hypnotherapy practice to explain to my patients.

    From my years of teaching, I realise that many people are VISUAL learners and this diagram will help enormously whilst I’m explaining the effects of anger/stress on your body and how the brain processes it.

    I’m seeing far too many children suffering with anxiety right now so I can only hope that even the youngies can visualise how to let it go. Thankyou once again.

    Lynette Courtney BA Welfare, BSocSce (Psychol)., Graduate Diploma (Psychology), BTeaching,
    NLP, Ego State (Parts Therapy), Neurofeedback.

  117. Andrea Watkins says:

    I don’t think this PDF is actually looking at anger. I think what we are looking at here is a brain’s response to an emotion based on it guessing what actions we might need our body to take. We are learning more and more that there is no such thing as a stress hormone.

    Further, there are similarities and statistical norms that emerge as patterns in the brain as it does its thing. Which is why we make the common mistake of saying our amygdala (the reptilian brain…shame on you for continuing this outdated science in a sneaky way.) Emotions simply make meaning for us and then we get to decide how to respond to what is meaningful for us. Over time we can make shifts in our responses to emotions which will shift how our brain decides which chemicals and hormones to release to make necessary changes in our bodies so we can take action-or not-around what is meaningful to us.

    I also feel like this handout leaves people thinking that anger is something that needs to go away. It is the one emotion that helps us construct the dance steps so that we can dance together without stepping on one another’s toes too many times. Where would we be without anger? I think we end up in the exact cycle you are representing in this diagram if we continue to teach people that anger is negative and not needed.

    Our repeated responses to anger may be what we are looking to change to make the chemical shift in our body different and this diagram does not do a good job of illustrating that point.

    • Andrea Watkins says:

      I guess I would use this handout to show how we used to think about emotions and as a conversation starter around new ways to view emotions, the responses we have to them, and how we can architect our experience to align with how we long for it to truly be.

      What we feel in our body (the chemical shifts you speak of) is separate from the meaning our emotions make out of all the input hitting our brain all of the hours we are awake. I’d possibly use it to highlight that.

      • Francis Perlmutter says:

        I’m a fan of that archaic / disproved reptilian brain notion… when I’m lucky I’ll be working with someone with a sense of humor and ‘reptilian brain’ is fun. Like, it’s an opportunity to imagine Godzilla stomping on Tokyo, and the ‘client’ and I will do a little stomp dance then imagine representations of the ‘issues’ which Godzilla is stomping. Part of being well-bred is about being ‘nice’ – and nice people don’t get angry. By the way, I’m in the Upper Midwest here, where Minnesota Nice is still somewhat of a thing ( but for people, maybe, over 50). The Lutheran Postulated Supernatural Entity likes cleanliness and order. Gotta rock with that!

      • Sami Thorpe says:

        Well said Andrea! Thank you for saying better what I wanted to say!

        • Marian Lancaster, Art Therapist, Kentucky, US says:

          Thanks to you both for providing important additional information!

  118. Nan Okeefe says:

    New essential information. Thank you!

  119. Reet says:

    How we can control our Anger

  120. sue says:

    I think NICABM is an excellent source of cutting edge theory and practice interventions…and I am loving being a Next Level Practitioner member…..however I wish to make one criticism of this handout……it excellently describes a rage process not an anger process…..I am author of ‘Anger, Rage & Relationship: An Empathic Approach to Anger Management’ (2008, Routledge). My contribution to our profession has been to differentiate between anger and rage, to thoroughly define them as different psychological phenomena with different purposes, processes, origins in terms of developmental stages and therapeutic needs….within psychology anger and rage have been conflated which I think is confusing for practitioners and clients alike….the psychology discipline has traditionally placed anger and rage on a continuum with mild irritation at one end and homicidal violence at the other….I have identified anger as a mild startle response and defined it functions as a ‘processing emotion’, operating within the window of tolerance to ‘facilitate the process of individuation… thereafter… constitutes the life-long guardian of an individual’s integrity through the practice of assertiveness; it signals the presence of a disturbance in the immediate environment that needs addressing and provides the energy to take the necessary action; it is both…immediate and proportionate…to the here-and-now situation, is only ever respectful, bears no malice to self or others and, if expressed or harnessed for action, is frequently cleared in less than five minutes’.

    Rage, on the other hand is a trauma related defence mechanism; ‘a primitive, unconsciously controlled mechanism that is employed when an organism is emotionally overwhelmed; it is an experience processing difficulty’. It functions outside the window of tolerance. Hot rage (above the window of tolerance) is ‘a mass of raw, undifferentiated and uncontained emotion seeking expression’; Cold rage (below the window of tolerance) ‘….the laying down or calcification of life experience that cannot be processed’ which involves suppressing or dissociating from emotional experience.

    Once practitioners and clients can differentiate between anger and rage, confusion disappears and anger can be encouraged, supported and expressed and rage can be transformed through learning how to identify discrete emotions, to find words for them and to express them.

    I hope this is helpful.

    • Andrea Watkins says:

      I’m curious how you define a “discrete” emotion. I’m failing to see the difference from what you described about about people placing anger and rage on a continuum of the same emotion.
      Wouldn’t a discrete emotion be low on the continuum of the same emotion? Are you teaching people to identify things that anger them when they are in a discrete state vs heightened state?

      Again, I think we are speaking about 2 completely different things:

      1. Emotions
      2. Response to Emotions
      3. How do we architect our experience to be in alignment of how we long for it to be?

      I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

      • sue says:

        Hello Andrea, thank you for your curiosity and the opportunity to explain what I mean by a discrete (the ‘distinct’ or ‘separate’ sense of the word) emotion……..I come from a relational and integrative psychotherapy perspective….my understanding is that our earliest way of experiencing the world are the binaries of pleasure or pain (Freud), we feel OK or not OK….I can tell when folk are stuck at this developmental stage because they have little or no language for their feelings….typically, when you ask “how are you?” they will reply ‘fine’ or ‘sh**’…..they can’t identify discrete emotions (I also call them differentiated or processing emotions).

        In my view, the ability to experience, identify and express discrete / differentiated / processing emotions develops can only occur with the support of an emotionally intelligent and attuned other, ideally within infancy. Once developed, this capacity helps us in two ways.

        Firstly, they support us to make sense of our immediate environment, orient us to a situation, take actions to help ourselves (or others) and generally take care of ourselves e.g.
        – cry or seek comfort if we have experienced a loss or disappointment
        – feel anger if we need to set a boundary or take a self-protective action,
        – feel fear if we need to protect ourselves, get more information, accept another’s help…..

        Secondly and equally as important, discrete / differentiated / processing emotions help us transform our archaic experience, life events which we have previously experienced but couldn’t process at the time because we didn’t have the emotional means to do so……I define trauma simply as ‘any emotional response to life experience, whether of epic or apparently trivial proportions, which has not yet been processed’.

        From my perspective, when we are experiencing discrete / differentiated / processing emotions we
        – are in the processing emotion zone which I liken to Dan Segal’s ‘window of tolerance’ and
        – process life experiences in the moment, as they occur and also older life experiences as they surface in the moment.

        I hope this makes things clearer Andrea. Thank you again for your reply.

        • sue says:

          Dan Seigel, sorry for misspelling

          • Tamara, Student, Canada says:

            Thank you, Sue and Andrea, for this additional conversation.

            I found this fascinating and totally agree about the importance of distinguighing/delineating discrete emotional states (both from my studies and from how what Sue has explained resonates with my own experience of life and processing life’s experiences).

            As for the continuum or spectrum of anger-related emotions, I think if we call on personal experience, we have all had times when we recognize a line has been crossed from one state (irritation) to another (anger or rage) and how very different that can be, how things escalate or de-escalate.

            Thanks again, Sue! This has been very enlightening and clarifying and useful for me.

    • nelson kieff says:

      Quite helpful and an important distinction that I have sought to make with my beloved who has suppressed anger all her life for lack of the differentiated effects in the continuum. Please continue this work which probably has measured ANS responses and perhaps varied anatomical participation. It is essential to a healthy self image and development, preventing abusive treatment. Norman Rosenthal, M.D. in Emotional Revolution has a chapter 9 on the subject; while, Bessel Van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score implicitly treats this distinction but with clearer self effect discussion.

  121. Menaka Cooke says:

    This is a very revealing infographic. I will certainly SHARE this (giving you full credit of course) with my clients.

  122. What a useful tool! At Quest Healing Retreats we often work with folks who have ANGER MANAGEMENT issues and your infographic is a great way to demonstrate the effects of anger outbursts. It also helps take the shame and blame out of difficulties with anger episodes.

    We find that most people who have anger management issues have various forms of developmental trauma, including abuse and neglect. Some of these early experiences stem from turmoil in the family where abuse of a parent or sibling is repeatedly witnessed, where one or more parent is abusing alcohol and, of course, direct verbal and/or physical abuse to the child.

    When we can understand the physical effects you outline here as well as the effects of parent’s angry outbursts, it helps tremendously in treatment. As you have demonstrated elsewhere, the effects of neglect and abuse are not life sentences. With experiences of safety, opportunity to tell and experience our story and having this witnessed by a “caring other” is what takes us from coping with anger issues to actually healing and changing those impulses from the inside.

    THANK YOU for your important work. Our participants at Quest Retreats continue to benefit!! ;-)

  123. Melissa Jefferson says:

    Hi, I teach skills/psycoeducation class to youth and parents at a child advocacy center. The class covers brain development​, feelings, etc. Your info will enhance understanding. Great work!!!

  124. Al says:

    Awesome visual. I might use the PDF when explaining to my clients the mechanism and impact of stress on our mind and body. Thanks. Al

  125. Donna Taylor says:

    Really terrific ! Thank you – will use this in presentations

  126. Ellen says:

    This helped me to understand why my mother and people like her can’t be hopeful for a better future. Knowing her negativity is physiological helps me to be more compassionate and not try to get her to see “the bright side” which she never sees.

  127. Barbara Ward says:

    Very interesting and easy to read. I am a lay person and found it very informative. This is good information to know.

  128. Dr. Joseph Eaton D.D. says:

    It helps me know myself. knowledge is “power”. To become aware of how we function gives us a reason to pause and choose rather than just react. Anger is only one letter from d anger.

  129. Nancy Kunsak says:

    Helps clients mAke good choices

  130. Nancy Kunsak says:

    I use information to help clients mAke good intentional choices. I believe that is the basis of empowerment

  131. Mathieu says:

    Good am,
    Am presenting myself Mathieu and I want to thank you for taking the intiative to create this wonderful descriptive, illustrative and very interesting document.
    Continue your great mission, educatiing and teaching us.
    Best regards Mathieu.

  132. I’m adding my voice to the chorus of thank-you’s, Ruth, as this is very useful information. I am also grateful to many of those who responded (Cate, Joanne Jaworski, Norman Brown and reply by Kathy, Andrea Mock, Val Liveoak and Kathy Digitale) and presented an extended perspective of this process that focuses on the positive aspect and treatment of anger. Although that was missing from the above presentation, perhaps NICABM will be getting to that in a future email?

  133. James says:

    Thanks for this clarification of the effects of anger

  134. Alison Howe says:

    I work counselling primary school children. I use a jigsaw of the brain and explain and this works really well and helps to reduce shame for anger outbursts, and increases self compassion and understanding.

    I really like your summary that gives more information and the visuals that I can use. The children are very curious and like the real scientific words that are on the jigsaw and make some surprising comments and insights. I also use the words wizard and lizard brain to help explanation.

    • Alison, is it possible for you to share where you found your jigsaw of the brain? And specifically what part of the brain do you refer to when you’re explaining about the “lizard brain” to children? Many thanks,
      jude mccormick

  135. Thank you for allowing the chart , explaining the biochemical -physiological response of Anger as a very valuable emotion in our body, for us to be used for the benefit of our patients.
    we owe you.

  136. AnnaMaria Kamstra says:

    Thank you! Making the path of anger visual is a great tool to understand anger.

  137. Jane Peterson, PhD says:

    Thank you! What a clear visual presentation on this important topic. I will use this with my clients who are struggling with their anger. Happy to credit NICABM for this resource.

  138. Karen Ouse says:

    Thank you for putting this informative chart together. I use visual aids frequently with clients, and I think this will be particularly helpful for the clients I have who struggle with anger management.

  139. clementia eugene says:

    I teach a course Inter and Intra Personal Development to Social Work students at the University of Aruba. One of the inter personal skills taught is anger management. I will use the chart as it provides a clear summary of the role of the brain. Thanks.

  140. Thank you Ruth. A great visual tool.

  141. Helen Hadley says:

    I work in a drug and alcohol centre as a counsellor and group facilitator. I will use this in conjunction with my Anger work shop and when working with families. I also work in the classroom with children as a mindfulness coach so this will come in handy for all aspects of my work. Thank you.

  142. LYNN GOOLD says:

    Great Resource THANK YOU!!
    Do you have a similar handout for anxiety please.

  143. Roberta Lyon says:

    The beauty of this detailed explanation is that we can do something about it. That’s the good news.

  144. paula silberstein-melamed says:

    Great clear summary.

  145. Judith Steinberg says:

    Thank you so much for the summary of what I always tell people and write down for them in tables and pictures.
    You summed it up beautifully.
    I would let the person look at it and tell me what the changes in the brain and the rest of the body – as a result of anger. Then, I will ask the person to reflect the details to oneself.
    And write about it and one’s feeling before making up the decision of a will to make a change ….

  146. Teresa Sanchez says:

    This is great! I’ve been teaching my clients this iformation for several years, but using my own scribbled diagram each time. A super resource.

  147. This is great! Thanks so much for the visual aid.

  148. Elaine Dolan says:

    We have all sorts of harm done to angry and violent people and expenses incurred…drugs, ridicule, imprisonment, put on lists of offenders, death sentences. Why don’t we disconnect the adrenals from the HPA axis? Snip snip, done?

  149. Carmel Dever says:

    My so is 29 years old. Diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. He had frequent outbursts.many end violent or self abuse with alcohol or marijuana. It’s good to read the science behind his behaviour. Yet crushingly sad that I and other professionals are powerless to make affect for him.

  150. John Kochiss says:

    Very impressive! More concise and thorough than other charts I’ve seen, I am personally feeling most of the effects of long term chronic anger in my brain and body…. now what? I could use help going forward from here, Thank you!

  151. Dr. Megan Davis says:

    I have a client who is currently working on anger issues. I like using brain science to explain topics to my patients as it seems to help them grasp the issues a little deeper. Excited to use this inforgraphic with him and others!

  152. Debbie Davis says:

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

    Thank you!

  153. Ruth F. says:

    I will use it Helping incarcerated women interrupt and understand patterns of behaving. Great visuals thank you!

  154. Marcia Harms says:

    Wish I had had this yesterday to give to a new client. It would help her and others to begin to understand their own brain and feel more in control and not like they are loosing thier mind. The science works wonders with modern intelligent folks. thanks for all the assistance to make it easier to explain this research to others. I picture is worth a thousand words.

  155. cecilia says:

    great. will use for clients

  156. Bre says:

    Dear Ruth, thank you for your kindness in putting this together and sharing it with the world. Very well structured and I like the step by step guide. I find this useful for myself.

  157. Bre says:

    Dear Ruthe, thank you for your kindness in putting this together and sharing it with the world. Very well structured and I like the step by step guide. I find this useful for myself.

  158. This is a great resource. I find that educating my clients gives them a sense of understanding what is going on in their body and helps empower them to link and implement the techniques they learn in therapy. My experience has been that clients find this type of education very validating, especially when we are able to give them the science behind the Mind Body Connection. Information is power and they no longer feel like they are at the mercy of their body with no control.

    • Couldn’t agree more. it seems most upbringing and education sadly neglects the knowledge of oneself, especially of what resides below the skin. I find it increasingly necessary to help people understand the basics of themselves and to go further with mainly emotions and anxiety.
      Thanks for the chart is is very useful for anyone who can read; this in itself is a diminishing ability at a level of more complex information. Diagrams help with this capacity.

  159. cecilia says:

    great handout!

  160. Kathy Digitale says:

    And, also ‘to be honest’ , as a few have indicated below, the graphic is likely to be overwhelmingly discouraging, and it misses the fact that many people (women especially) are groomed from childhood that anger is primarily a signal to be squashed. It is “true” that now science “can” reinforce that psychological damage with hard science data about all the negative chemical trails of destruction it leaves, but it is rarely useful to do so if someone is struggling with anger….and frequently, thus, also guilt, about experiencing anger at all. It is important to welcome the information that anger contains, as it is intended to help us in a situation that needs changing, that needs good solid attention-over-time, either inter-personal, or intra-personal. It is rather ‘omitted’ that all these chemical cascades happen in nano-seconds, and that the inplied ‘permanent damage’ (death of cells, damage to prefontal cortex or hippicampus) are NOT irreversable processes that leave us damaged people everytime we feel the adrenaline or cortisol wash over us in ‘anger.’

  161. Chris Molnar says:

    I will also use it to illustrate the impact of extreme fear – mostly the same physiological cascades centrally & peripherally! Thank you – patients will benefit from this. Another great resource for patients is offered at or search mind-body interactive at

  162. Hi Ruth!

    This is a wonderful resource! I plan to adapt and present the information in this graphic in a more child-friendly way in order to help my younger clients to understand what is happening in their bodies and brains when they are feeling angry. This will help to establish a wonderful foundation of self-compassion while we work together to build healthy coping skills! Thank you!

  163. Mary Riordan says:

    Thank you very much for this excellent information.

  164. Ruth, Thank-You for this great graphic. I will share it with my clients. So many of us don’t pay attention to our stress warning-signs, and by pushing anger and not dealing with the anger, we become more stressed. The more a person learns healthier ways to deal with anger, the negative thought-patterns brought-out from anger begin to decrease. The more positive we become, we can sense the changes in our brain, hormones, emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and relationships, because these begin to improve. Our bodies, which are interconnected systems, begin to heal as we heal the negative emotional baggage of anger.

  165. Val Liveoak says:

    I’ve seen a book, WHEN ANGER HURTS, that offers exercises to work with the precursors to anger, labeled “Sources of anger” in the diagram. These are mainly thoughts, beliefs, habits such as “No one should cut me off” “I need people to show me respect” (woulda, coulda, shoulda) etc.
    Working to recognize, and perhaps re-write these thoughts can be done when one is calm and in their right mind, whereas dealing with the hormones released by emotion is a bigger challenge.

  166. Judy hanazawa says:

    Thanks for the visual tool about anger’s process in the brain and body. It adds to the resources available when helping people address anger whether it’s a healthy stimulus toward making a positive change or a signal to begin effective self management.

  167. Andrea Mock says:

    All good info. However, while important to know is insufficient to modify behavior. Negative benefits have limited (usually to two weeks) power to motivate. Better yet would be a chart of benefits to a person for diffusing anger before it gets roiling. YMMV but I found by asking myself, “What do I feel entitled to?” then answering shows me how ridiculous my anger over anything is. For example, just last night I was mad at my husband because for three weeks he had to knuckle down over work and didn’t have a drop of time or energy leftover for anything else. Now that his deadline had passed he was making very nice overtures. I asked myself what do I feel entitled to and answered, a partner who is always available to shower me with attention no matter his work deadlines. I immediately saw the silliness in my thinking as well as the unfairness. Didn’t I often get burrowed down into my looming work deadlines? I’ve taught this trick to friends and family with truly amazing results. Pass this on. Anger can become habitual, contagious, and of course, dangerous.

    • Mira Carroll says:

      Powerful interventional question, “what do I feel entitled to?” Thank you! Coupled with an understanding of the harmful biochemistry of anger (as well as our amazing healing capacity), this question alone can be the main tool of change. For those who are ready and willing to approach their anger so honestly.

  168. Thank You so much for this information.
    I teach a high conflict parenting class for divorced parents. As you would imagine, we deal a lot with anger and how it affects the children.
    This explanation will be of great help.
    Thanks again!

  169. Elizabeth says:

    Many thanks for this powerful diagram. It speaks volumes.


    Elizabeth Agnese, M.A.

  170. Jocelyn-Health Care Practitioner says:

    This is one of the most brilliant graphics and explanations visually that I have seen when describing Andre and how it effects us all around. So grateful to all of you in sharing with us to share with our clients and families. The awareness in itself will be so beneficial for all of us to respect it’s organic process.


  171. This is good to educate people. This gives insight in body changes. It’s a way of defusing or metacognition besides the common “what happen(ed)s, what do you think, what do you feel (also what and where do you feel in your body), what do you do, and what are the expected concequences”

  172. Norman Brown says:

    You completely neglected the positive side of anger, that it provides the energy to change the situation you’re in on the interpersonal and physical-environment planes. You conflate the short-term benefits of anger with the long-term detriments of unactualized environmental and personal change to present an unequivocally negative portrait of a life-saving emotional resource. Junk-perversion of science by ignoring the dimension of time and emotional sequences in favor of hypothetically static organismic functioning.

    • kathy says:

      The negative affects of anger come from repressed anger, not anger that is recognized and applied in a healthy way. Repressed emotions are the toxic issue, not emotions expressed in healthy ways.

  173. Susan Cheyne, LPC says:

    Excellent! Thank you! For many clients it is helpful to have a concrete understanding of what is happening in their brain, even if they don’t grasp it all. I like that it also helps to illustrate the effects on the body, which could be beneficial for clients with chronic illnesses, especially auto-immune disorders.

  174. Carolyn Howard says:

    Great tool! Thanks. Looking forward to sharing this with clients.

  175. I am a coach who uses EFT tapping on any and all of these “symptoms”. It not only calms the amygdula almost immediately, but it can also address subconscious beliefs such as, I’m not supposed to get angry, anger is a bad emotion, I’m afraid of my anger, I saw anger hurt others so I will never get angry…

    It not only calms the energy systems, but it also releases the emotions from the body that have gotten stuck on a physical level! It’s a fabulous tool for so many issues. What is also great about it is that you can also “PROGRAM IN” what you desire once the “charge” is low enough for the subconscious to accept a new path. It’s amazing to watch what happens so quickly when programming in new desires.

    • Norman Brown says:

      Thank you for presenting a partial counterpoint. To the negative portrait of a “negative reinforcement emotion.”

  176. Pam Durrant says:

    This is a very clear, concise and useful diagram to give to clients explaining the effects of anger….. Thank you. I think something that explains the effects of anger so clearly also helps the client contain their anger more.

  177. Ann Dolan says:

    Thank you, this is so helpful. I work almost exclusively with older adults and their families, and frequently discuss self care. This will be a very important addition to my “Save Yourself” talk!
    I have also long suspected that high stress and anxiety over a lifetime must be a part of the dementia risk equation, and this is finally being recognized. Thank you again for all of your good work.
    Ann Dolan, LCSW

  178. DM says:

    This is great and certainly helps us see the destructive potential of anger. I’d like the part B of this info gram- describing what helps us channel or discharge anger positively and diffuse the negative impacts of this process depicted above.

  179. Honestly, I feel it is too technical. It’s very good to know for me as a therapist what is the impact on the brain, but I prefer to spend time focusing on change with my clients and help them
    acknowledge their feelings of anger, understand the healthy
    purpose of that emotion and help them envision and
    learn new ways to react when they feel anger arising.

    • Norman Brown says:

      Yes, you’re right. Back in the 60s some women and men invented a process guide they called “Assertiveness.”

  180. Tracy says:

    Thanks for the information. I will share some of this with my clients

  181. Cate says:

    To be honest, for the majority of coaching clients, this information is a bit over the top – they are not CNS scientists. While most of them might find the hormone elevation and impact to the body interesting….they may also interpret this to mean that I am communicating anger is bad and avoid it at all costs. Anger is an emotional indicator that we have inner work to do and I recommend not avoiding feelings of anger. I recommend healthy avenues for release of the anger i.e., running, dancing, drawing, kick boxing, some sort of physical activity, EFT tapping, etc. This will help to get to the core of the issues causing the anger. This is a launching off point. Anger can be much more empowering vs feeling shame, guilt, self-hatred, depression which are all very disempowering emotions. Anger, when faced head on and managed in a loving way toward yourself can be very empowering and enlightening.

  182. Anita Hoffer says:

    I’m a sex educator and counselor and a member of a professional group called “Women Waging Wisdom”. I will bring this to our meeting next week. Thanks for this excellent resource which I will also make available to my clients.

  183. Robert Linton Jr. says:

    Wow. I am step back. To see this information
    I have Big Anger issues

  184. James O'Connor says:

    I’m not working with patients any longer; but, as a former military chaplain who co-led PTSD groups, I truly have gained from your insights and focus. Thank you for your fine work.

  185. cathie says:

    Really helpful little graphic to help illuminate what happens in the body/brain with anger. Thankyou.

    I will use it with the right clients within the therapy I offer.

  186. Ellen Gooding says:

    I will put copies of this in my high school classrooms where I teach a class called Emotional Health. We talk about these systems but a visual explanation will certainly help. We also have a program, started by our PTAA, which has been lovingly termed “Potty Posters” (maybe has something to do with living in NC?)
    which puts colorful, informative posters in toilet stalls. The two this year have been non-hysterical facts about marijuana and opioid use/abuse. I can see this poster used in that capacity. We will certainly give credit to any use!

  187. Gina Simmons says:

    Beautifully presented graphic! Well done!

  188. This is the best explanation about anger and the brain I have seen. Thank you so much for the valuable resources you provide. Dr. Linda Shake

  189. Chris Kellogg says:

    My client is me!

  190. Lesley says:

    This is a wonderful graphic – clear and well laid out. Thanks for sharing it!!!

  191. Rochelle says:

    Great infographic. I agree with you, anger can be an asset as long as it’s channeled properly, it’s a powerful energy.

  192. jennifer says:

    Excellent and helpful information in a very usable format. Thank you.

  193. Joan Mancuso says:

    Great infographic. Thank you for sharing.

  194. slope says:

    Nice information. Thanks for sharing!

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