Stress and anger are linked in a number of different ways. In many instances, one causes the other; for instance, a person who is experiencing stress may express it by getting angry. Similarly, anger is one of the most common ways that stress occurs in a person's life. The effects of both stress and anger on the body are interrelated as well. Immediate physiological responses, such as shallow breathing are common, but frequent episodes of anger and stress can potentially cause cardiovascular damage and lead to heart problems down the road. It may also increase the risk of other diseases such as cancer.
It is important for everyone to explore and recognize the connection between stress and anger. Each person may respond to stress in a different way, but for many people, they get angry. This occurs because anger can act as an outlet for feelings that may be difficult to express, or that have built up over time, and many people find it to be a more comfortable response than sadness or anxiety, other common stress responses. The trouble is that anger is not a healthy response to stress, and in many cases can simply exacerbate the situation and perpetuate the cycle of stress.
For some people, the connection works in the opposite direction. People who have a frequent reason to get angry in their lives -- for instance, work frustrations or relationship troubles that are not being resolved -- may find that their anger leads to stress. In this case, resolving the original source of the anger might help to prevent the stress it causes; alas, this is easier said than done in many instances. It is always a good idea to find healthy outlets for angry or stressful feelings, however, such as meditation or exercise.
There are a number of ways in which the connection between stress and anger is seen in the body. In general, it can affect the brain chemistry and make an individual more prone to anxiety or depression. Persistent stress and anger also appear to have a negative effect on cardiovascular health, making it more likely that a person will have issues with his or her heart later in life, potentially causing cardiac arrest. Stress may also contribute to other diseases such as cancer. Though stress and anger may be a natural part of life, it is important to really make an effort to deal with them in a healthy way in order to prevent issues later on.