Cues to Anger

A very effective way of identifying and preventing anger is to understand and recognize the four cues or hints that we receive from the way our mind and body reacts in a hostile environment or at the initiation of an unfavorable external agent −

  • Physical Cues − These are the hints our body gives us to tell that anger has started building inside us. They could be increased heart rate, rapid breathing, tensing of muscles, etc.
  • Behavioral Cues − The way we behave with others when we are angry, or what others observe about us when we are angry such as jaw-clinching, furrowing our brow, and staring.
  • Emotional Cues − These are some other emotions that accompany anger such as insecurity, helplessness, shame, and guilt.
  • Thought-related Cues − These are our thoughts when we are angry such as disturbing mental images, imagining punching someone, connecting this incident with some other similar incident.

Try it Yourself

Imagine a scenario that makes you uncomfortable and angry. Notice the changes that are occurring in your body, mind, thoughts, and behavior respectively. Now fill in the following table.

Your name Physical cues Emotional cues Cognitive cues Behavioral cues