Do You Get Angry a Lot?

If you "fly off the handle" easily you may risk serious illness, so it's important to know how often you place yourself at risk.

Everyone gets angry occasionally. But people who "fly off the handle" easily may be at risk for heart disease or other illnesses, so it's important to know how often you place yourself at risk. Men are at greater risk for these illnesses than women.

Score 1 if the statement is never true for you, 2 if it's sometimes true, 3 if it's often true, and 4 if it's always true.

  It doesn't take much to get me mad.
  People tell me I should calm down.
  I blow up at terrible drivers.
  If I'm upset, I'll hit the dog or cat.
  People call me hotheaded.
  I'm furious about the way I get treated at restaurants or stores.
  Often other people's mistakes slow me down, it can upset me for the whole day.
  If things are bad enough, I'll throw things.
  I swear loudly to blow off steam.
  I feel like hitting someone who makes me very angry.
  I've been told I have a bad temper.
  If you embarrass me in front of someone, I'll be furious.
  I'm a very ambitious person, so sometimes I get impatient and angry with other people.
  I've been known to break things when I'm frustrated.

What Your Score Means

If you score 18 or below, you have a high temper threshold, and are able to stay calm in situations which would frustrate many others. This helps you manage your stress levels.

If you score 19-27, you get angry about as often as most people. To reduce your score, practice the hints below.

If you score 28-35, you might be under too much stress, or getting angry may be a habit. Take this score seriously, and begin to make changes now, before it affects your health.

If you score over 35, and you continue with your behaviors and attitudes, you risk serious stress-related disease. Work your way down the list below and take the test again. Repeat until your score is in the normal range. It may help to speak to a counselor about other ways to deal with your anger.

Hints That Help

You'll be happier and easier to live with if you try these hints every day:

  • Say "I was wrong" to someone.
  • Think about when and where you learned your reactions to anger.
  • Spend 10 minutes sitting in a park or garden.
  • Laugh at a joke, situation or yourself.
  • Read something for pleasure.
  • Avoid doing two things at once (such as eating and reading).
  • Try to relax and gain perspective on your life.