Believe it or not, feelings of anger can be beneficial, so long as you deal with them in a timely and healthy fashion. For some people, they may even improve the ability to think rationally and consider a situation. But the unwanted aspects of anger episodes – holding it in for a long time, taking your frustration out on yourself, exploding with rage – can damage your mind and body. If you find yourself losing your temper more often or more harshly than is advisable, these reasons to stay calm might just sway your mind.
The heart beats
Cardiac health takes one of the biggest hits when anger is not handled properly. In fact, you’re at twice your normal risk of suffering a heart attack in the two hours following an outburst. Especially damaging is repressed anger, which manifests as passive-aggressive behaviour or forces you to take great measures to keep it under wraps. The associated stress is linked directly to heart disease. One startling study’s findings revealed that people prone to outburst are always twice more likely than their calmer peers to suffer some sort of coronary disease.
Protect your heat by identifying your feelings of anger and sorting them out before you lose control, but address them in a healthy manner. One constructive method is to speak up and directly confront the source of the problem, especially if it’s a person who has made you angry. Just make sure that you speak calmly and in a manner befitting someone who’s trying to solve a problem, not start a fight.
The risk of stroke
Beware, ye who lash out at those around. Several studies have linked angry outbursts to stroke caused by blood clots and bleeding in the brain, especially in the two hours following an episode. If this weren’t worrisome enough, consider that you’re also 300% more likely to suffer a stroke of this nature during that timeframe. That’s the figure for healthy people – anyone with an aneurysm is at six times the normal risk!
But it’s not all bad news. You can actually train yourself to learn control of these explosive outbursts.
‘Positive coping’ is the term used to refer to dealing with negative feelings in a healthy way, and the first step is finding out what’s triggering your anger. After that, you have to decide how to alter your reaction so that you avoid blowing up. Deep breathing, assertive communication and a change in environment are all options to consider.
Being angry all the time makes you sick, it’s true. Harvard University researchers were able to prove a correlation and causation between anger and immunity. Healthier people recalling an outburst from the past experienced a drop in immunoglobulin A, the body’s first line of defence against harmful microorganisms, for up to six hours.
Being habitually angry isn’t good for the body, but there are steps you can take while you work on getting that temper under control. The positive coping strategies mentioned earlier, such as assertive communication and changing your setting, can be combined with other tools such as humour and analytical problem-solving. One of the best moves is to stop looking at situations as black or white and acknowledge the shades of grey. But the first step is always learning to calm down.
Someone who worries a lot needs to accept that anger and anxiety are inseparable bedfellows. A study published in Cognitive Behavior Therapy found that outburst can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, exacerbating uncontrollable worries and concerns that interfere with daily life. And not only did it find that anger and anxiety were linked, but that hostility and internalised anger contributed directly to the severity of anxiety symptoms.
We’ll make you happy
Depression is another mental illness that’s linked to anger, particularly in men over the age of 21. Passive anger is the most common manifestation, where a person considers a situation over and over but does nothing to rectify it until the worry eats at his happiness. Keeping yourself busy and avoiding any thought on the situation, while easier said than done, can help a great deal. Activities that require your complete attention, such as golf or sewing, are great ways to help you focus on the present, leaving little room for anger to stir about. ..... Ashwin