Your world is a very dangerous place. You are surrounded by problems, from trying to pay the mortgage to taking care of your family. Modern life is extremely stressful and, in today’s bleak economic environment, stress is becoming a way of life. You have to fight to get what you need in life – no one is going to just give it to you. In today’s highly competitive world, you don’t always get what you want, despite your passion and hard work. Life’s rules of engagement require high levels of stress and anger with almost insurmountable odds of success.

You feel stress while you try hard to obtain something you want very badly. For example, it is stressful to work 80 hours a week to earn enough money to prevent your house from going into foreclosure. You’re physically and emotionally exhausted from too much work, and you miss having fun with your friends and family. If you succeed in paying off the house in time and can cut back on work hours, you no longer feel stress. You feel angry when you don’t get what you want. In our example, you would be very angry if you worked two full time jobs for three stressful years and still lost the house.

Stress is painful and anger is your body’s natural response to pain, therefore anger is a normal reaction to stress. Anger can occur independently after a long period of stress, or anger can present itself concurrent to stress. In fact, this combination of stress and anger can morph into a chronic grumpy demeanor.

Stress and anger share some common threads. Both of these emotions create physiological responses, such as increased blood pressure, high pulse and respiratory rates, enhanced senses and tense muscles. Stress and anger endow your body with special strengths to help you move yourself from a place of danger to a safe location – your body is set to spring into action at any moment.

Anger and stress are intended to be momentary emotions that appear when you need explosive energy to engage in mortal combat and then disappear when danger has passed. Humans are not wired to be angry and stressed all the time – your body and mind need to live in a calm, safe state most of the time. When you develop a pattern of chronic stress and anger, you require your body to maintain high blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate and muscle tension even when it is not necessary.

You do have a certain amount of choice in the amount of stress and anger in your life. People vary in their reactions to stress, where some people laugh and joke at the world falling down around them while others freak out about every little problem. The same could be said about the variety of ways in which you react to a single stressful incident. For example, some days you yell at your kid for leaving his toys scattered everywhere and other days you just put the toys away.