Anger is a natural human emotion, but when it feels constant and unrelenting, it may be a sign of something more such as stress or anxiety.

It’s OK to get angry. Life doesn’t always happen in the way you want or need, and anger is a natural response to feeling wronged.

In fact, anger is considered one of the basic forms of emotion, critical to survival. Anger can kick off your biological threat responses, activating everything from your cardiovascular system to your neurological system.

But anger that is constant, excessive, or uncontrollable may go beyond levels that are beneficial and instead hinder you in day-to-day functioning.

There are many reasons you might experience anger in the moment, but anger all the time might have underlying causes.

On-going oppression and ancestral trauma

Tavi Hawn, a licensed clinical social worker from Baltimore, Maryland, explains that constant anger can be a result of socioeconomic factors, particularly for marginalized groups.

“Members of groups that have historically been subjected to oppression often experience higher levels of daily stress related to systemic factors, such as poverty, health conditions, discrimination, and even hate crimes,” they note. “All these daily experiences combined can lead to feeling very angry as a response.”


Hawn also indicates that active, compounded, or unresolved grief can contribute to ongoing feelings of anger.

“Our society today, with a need to be working constantly to make a living, doesn’t allow space and time for many people to grieve,” they say. “Having to keep on moving without a break to process a loss, without others around you acknowledging the loss, can create unresolved grief which can cause constant feelings of anger.”


While there may be many underlying causes that contribute to anger, Dr. Juli Kramer, a counseling psychologist specializing in Chinese medicine, indicates that persistent anger can often be traced back to expectations.

“Holding expectations is a dominant source of anger from my counseling experience,” she says. “Sometimes the expectations are realistic, but most often not. People feel a constant ‘let down’ when those expectations aren’t met.”


Joni Ogle, a licensed clinical social worker from Los Angeles, lists several everyday reasons that can make you feel constantly angry when they happen over long periods of time.

These chronic stressors can include:

  • feeling not in control or helpless
  • being made to feel inferior
  • not being listened to
  • being disrespected
  • feeling threatened

“But if you find yourself angry almost always, it might be worth considering whether there are other underlying issues at play,” she says.

Anger can be passive, assertive, or aggressive. It’s not always violent, and it doesn’t have to result in harm.

Everyone experiences and expresses anger in their own way. Common signs that you may be feeling anger include:

  • elevated body temperature
  • sweating
  • rapid heartbeat
  • muscle tension
  • headache
  • flushed skin
  • clenched jaw
  • chest constriction
  • pacing
  • yelling
  • arguing
  • sarcasm
  • cursing
  • physical expression (e.g., throwing or breaking objects, physical violence)

Signs of anger may be accompanied by emotions such as:

  • humiliation
  • disrespect
  • insecurity
  • rejection
  • jealousy
  • abandonment
  • fear

You may also notice your thoughts move toward revenge, seeking justice, or wanting atonement.

Unrelenting anger can sometimes be a sign of a mental health condition.

While challenges with emotional regulation can be a symptom of several conditions, Ogle indicates that anger can often relate to:

Conduct disorders, such as intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), may also feature traits of anger and aggression.

“If you’re living with chronic anger, it’s important to talk with a mental health professional who can help you determine whether or not you have a mental health condition that might be contributing to your anger,” she says.

While it’s natural to experience anger, uncontrolled anger can have a negative impact on your life.

“People can start to avoid us because we’re not pleasant to be around or because our anger can be stressful to others,” Hawn states. “It can make it harder to compromise on things, which is key in relationships. Explosive anger can be scary to those around us and even be tied to abusive behaviors. It can end relationships altogether.”

In addition to social ramifications, uncontrolled anger can affect your physical and mental well-being. According to research from 2010, it may contribute to health challenges such as cardiovascular complications, diabetes, and eating disorders.

Understanding “why am I so angry?” is just one piece of the puzzle. In addition to finding where that emotion comes from, relief may require coping strategies.

Discovering the real emotion

Hawn recommends reflecting back when you realize you’re stuck in angry feelings.

They suggest, “Ask yourself: Is there another emotion that happened right before the anger? If so, what led to that emotion? How can I feel and honor that emotion? If not, what message is my anger giving me? Maybe a boundary was crossed, maybe I saw someone being mistreated or hurt and know it was unjust, etc.”

Stepping away

If you’re always feeling angry during certain events or around certain people, it’s OK to step away.

Kramer suggests that removing yourself from the situation may be required when you’re angry. “Literally, they [should] excuse themselves and walk away,” Kramer says. “Easy to say, hard to do. Having an ally, someone with whom they have a code word or cues to help them know when to leave is helpful.”

Once you’ve stepped away, Kramer suggests box breathing:

  • inhale for 4 to 7 counts
  • hold your breath for 4 to 7 counts
  • exhale for 4 to 7 counts
  • hold your breath for 4 to 7 seconds
  • repeat until the anger is diminished

Practicing relaxation techniques

“There are several relaxation techniques that can help you calm down when you’re feeling angry,” says Ogle. “Try things such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. This is a good start to learning how to control your anger overall.”

Lifestyle changes and outlets

Ogle indicates that some lifestyle changes can help you manage anger.

“Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can all help to improve your mood and reduce stress levels,” she says.

Exercise, art, recreational hobbies, and sports can also be used as outlets when you find yourself wondering, “why am I so angry?”


Sometimes anger requires the support and insight of a mental health professional.

Working with a therapist can help you uncover underlying causes of anger and can help you explore coping strategies that work for you.

You may also benefit from joining support groups, online or in person, where anger management strategies can be discussed in an empathetic setting.

Yes. Venting can be OK.

“It’s important to have an outlet for your anger, whether that means talking with a friend or writing in a journal,” says Ogle. “Venting allows you to express your anger in a safe and controlled way, without hurting yourself or someone else.”

But venting can be unhelpful if it’s used to lash out at or harm others, makes you feel angrier, or starts to happen as a regular method of expression.

Asking yourself, “why am I so angry” can be the first clue that your anger has stuck around longer than it should.

While there are many reasons for anger to become a constant in your life, socioeconomic factors, chronic stressors, and underlying mental health conditions may all play a role.

Long-term anger can negatively impact your mental and physical well-being, but coping strategies and support from a mental health professional can help.