PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Just about everyone gets angry from time to time. But when blow-ups are frequent, predictable, and happen over seemingly small matters, it may be an indication of rage constantly bubbling just under the surface – or unresolved anger.

Numerous studies have suggested that unresolved anger is a leading cause of early death. It also tends to be a source of distance and resentment in relationships.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Jack Burke says there are many sources of unresolved anger including childhood learning, habit, ignorance (of another way) and poor self-care that can leave you exhausted and stressed-out.

Burke also points to a book entitled "Rational Emotive Therapy" by Albert Ellis. He says, “Ellis basically taught us that feeling upset is a function of irrational thinking. Irrational thoughts lead to irrational emotions and, often, irrational actions.”

To resolve unresolved anger, Burke suggests:

  1. Change what you say (to yourself).
  2. Change what you do in situations that trigger angry outbursts.
  3. Change what you know. Learn the difference between appropriate venting and irrational outbursts.

For further reading on this subject, Burke suggests:

Ellis, Albert. "Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy." Birch Lane Press, 1994.

Edelstein, Michael. "Three Minute Therapy: Change your Thinking, Change your Life." Glenbridge Publishing, 1997.

Manson, Mark. "The subtle art of not giving a F*CK." Harper Collins Books, 2016.