How Anger Affects Your Health And Mind (must read)
Anger is a powerful emotion. If it isn’t handled appropriately, it may have destructive results for both you and your loved ones. Uncontrolled anger can lead to arguments, physical fights, physical abuse, assault and self-harm. On the other hand, well-managed anger can be a useful emotion that motivates you to make positive changes.
The physical effects
Anger triggers the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. Other emotions that trigger this response include fear, excitement and anxiety. The adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The brain shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles, in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase, the body temperature rises and the skin perspires. The mind is sharpened and focused.
The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that accompany recurrent unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body. Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:
Digestion problems, such as abdominal pain
High blood pressure
Skin problems, such as eczema
Long-Term Consequences from a Moment of Fury
The health consequences of continual fight-or-flight response can be severe. According to Dr. Mercola, a highly regarded and widely published natural health practitioner, our automatic anger response leads to health problems like:
High blood pressure
Skin problems, including eczema
Expressing anger in healthy ways
Suggestions on how to express your anger in healthy ways include:
If you feel out of control, walk away from the situation temporarily, until you cool down.
Recognise and accept the emotion as normal and part of life.
Try to pinpoint the exact reasons why you feel angry.
Once you have identified the problem, consider coming up with different strategies on how to remedy the situation.
Do something physical, such as going for a run or playing sport.
Suggestions for long-term anger management
The way you typically express anger may take some time to modify.
Keep a diary of your anger outbursts, to try and understand how and why you get mad.
Consider assertiveness training, or learning about techniques of conflict resolution.
Learn relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
See a counselor or psychologist if you still feel angry about events that occurred in your past.
Take regular exercise.