Although it may seem like anger just appears out of nowhere, a complicated series of mental processes leads to anger. According to Alexandra H. Solomon, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor at Northwestern University and a certified clinical psychologist, the prefrontal cortex controls our body’s default state of calm and composure. “That’s the area of our brain that has compassion, can see multiple sides of something, and can hold compassion.

Our brain switches oxygen and glucose from the prefrontal cortex to the amygdala when it senses stress, such as when we become agitated while reading the news or watching a political discussion. This action sets off the body’s fight-or-flight reaction. In order to get our bodies ready to fight or run, the hypothalamus instructs our adrenal glands to release the stress chemicals cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones cause our skin to feel heated, our blood pressure to rise, and our muscles to stiffen. That’s why it is better to understand and ask yourself: what human emotion am I quiz.

Our brain signals to our body that we are prepared to fight, and occasionally we do, even if it is only verbally. Because our body is telling us we are threatened while we are in the fight-or-flight state, Solomon argues, “it feels really good to name-call or hit below the belt.

The amygdala makes sure we react swiftly to danger but isn’t very good at telling the difference between a genuine threat (being chased by an ax murderer) and an imagined threat (reading a tweet). It is also unable to completely evaluate the scenario.

People frequently worry about having something taken away from them. This concept is known as felt deprivation in political psychology. We could worry about losing our right to abortion or our Second Amendment rights, for instance. The anger we feel toward the politicians (and their followers) we believe will deny us may stem from this anxiety.

Frustration can sometimes turn into wrath. Feelings of frustration over talks with your friends and family may lead to anger in politics, the author claims. Those things definitely lead to anger if you feel like your actions in politics don’t change the results — if you feel, for instance, that the justice system doesn’t respond.