Why Do We Get Mad?

Think about the last time you were angry. Maybe you lost a game, or asked for something and a grown-up said no, and suddenly, you start to feel a bit mad.

You might clench your teeth together, your stomach might hurt a bit, and you start breathing fast.

Term Emotion

Anger is a really powerful emotion, or feeling, and when you feel angry, your body starts to do different things all at once. Our bodies are great at taking care of us, and preparing us for anything that could be seen as a threat. In other words, something that might be bad for us.

When you get angry, your brain starts sending messages to the rest of the body that there might be a threat coming. Even if all that happened was that you lost a game, or didn’t get something you wanted.

But your body wants to keep you safe. Even if you’re angry about something that isn’t a big threat, your body starts to react as though there might be danger or a fight about to happen. Your brain sends the signals out to get angry, and fast. First, putting on an angry face warns others that you’re mad. 

Clenching your jaw and frowning are signs that tell possible threats to “back off.”

Many other animals have special ways of showing that they’re angry. Dogs growl, cats arch their backs, and apes clench their jaws and bare their teeth like us.

Sometimes, just showing that you’re angry might be enough to scare off a threat. If the threat doesn’t go away, and if you stay angry, your body will move on to other stages of preparation.

Your body gets ready to fight. This is when you might start to feel a bit funny, because your body can take over a bit more here.

Your body puts all of its energy into being ready to fight, so it stops working on things like digesting food. This can make your stomach hurt. Your eyes focus in on whatever is making you mad, noticing any changes or possible starts to a fight.

Your brain even sends out messages to release adrenaline, a special chemical that can help you react more quickly, move faster, or fight harder, throughout your body. In just a minute or two, you’re ready to face off against any big threats.

It is amazing how well our bodies work to protect us, but most of these reactions aren’t needed for many of the things that make us angry from day to day. Our anger instincts are there to keep us safe if something really bad were to happen, but most of the time, we don’t have to fight if we’re angry about something.

If someone disagrees with me, or I’m disappointed because I lost a game, getting into a fight isn’t the right choice for me to make. It can be hard when you’re feeling angry or upset to make good choices, because your body is running on overdrive trying to keep you safe.

But sometimes, we might need to find a way to control angry feelings and instincts. Maybe you can try out these tricks the next time you get angry or frustrated, and see which ones work for you.

Tips or tricks when you’re feeling angry:

  • Try to take deep breaths
  • Count to 10 really slowly
  • Eat and sleep regularly

Thanks for exploring with us today!

Do you have any tips or tricks for when you’re feeling angry?


This article’s entire text and content were taken from SciShow Kids.

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