Why do we get angry and why uncontrollable irritability is a serious threat to health.
Life gives men unending number of situations, because of which they become angry and irritable. An angry waitress who refused to look in your direction at the time when you desperately waving a check. A guy who crossed the road on red right before your vehicle. A missed call, cold showers, a chewing gum on the sole of a shoe.
Although it is a normal thing to be angry because of such things. Anger manifests itself in different ways. Even minor troubles cause anger, which cannot be controlled. It seems that some men have a very short temper, despite the fact that anger is a mortal sin. Even if you do not drink alcohol every weekend at a roadside restaurant, you might enjoy a display of anger. You must feel that anger helps you succeed.
But there is a downside of masculinity – facile tendency to explode. “Having surveyed the people with such character, we have found that anger and hostility can cause deaths,” according to Dr. Charles Spielberger, a professor, who studies psychology at the University of South Florida and has studied anger for 25 years. Under deaths he means someone who gets angry, and not the one on which this anger is poured. The fact that anger can worsen your health is proven. And, of course, uncontrolled anger in men can break your marriage and your career, not to mention your teeth.
Understanding of anger
Is anger just emotions? As long as we think like that, it will be much more than just an emotion. “Anger is both psychological and physiological,” according to Dr. Spielberg. When you lose control over your emotions during traffic jams or during a game, there are many biological reactions in your nervous system:
- Your breathing quickens.
- The pulse quickens.
- Increased blood pressure.
- If you are overheated, you start to sweat.
- Pupils dilate.
- There are frequent headaches.
- The level of hormones such as cortisol increases.
Basically, your body is preparing for intensive physical effort. If we are exposed to stressful situations, our body prepares for fight or just to get out of control.
According to Dr. Spielberg, anger is a common phenomenon, which has the habit to evolve. “Fear and anger are also present in animals. They developed for many centuries to help animals to fight and survive.”
Health risks due to the inability to control your anger
The problem is that today your body produces a reaction to stress, what is not always very helpful. Perhaps it was out of season, when our ancestors tried to beat a cave bear to death. But this is unlikely to help if you are near the traffic police.
In fact, uncontrolled anger is worse than useless: worse to you. Some studies have shown that there is a connection between anger and disease. For example, a survey of 13,000 people showed that those who have a high level of anger – but normal blood pressure – were more prone to coronary artery disease or heart attack. People who do not know how to control anger have a higher probability of having a heart attack.
How does the anger turn into a disease? The physical reaction of your body to anger doesn’t last long, it increases the intention to survive and then stops. But if such an explosion of emotions happens too often, you may be subject to long-term influence. Stress hormones of anger may influence the development of arteriosclerosis, accumulation of platelets in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. These hormones can also increase the levels of C-reactive protein, which may lead to inflammation or to the development of cardiovascular diseases. The study of Psychosomatic Medicine in 2004 showed that people who are prone to get angry have an excessive level of C-reactive protein. Anger can even cause a breach of the electric mode in heart rhythms.
Anger is also closely linked to depression. People who are often exposed to stressful situations are less health-conscious. They are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, eat poorly, and are not engaged in physical activity. In these cases, it is impossible to say exactly what is the cause of anger, but unhealthy lifestyle plays an important role. Anger is also a manifestation of feelings of helplessness or depression.
Control your anger
Dr. Spielberg does not want anger to be considered as an obsession. It is not harmful. “Anger is a natural, human emotion,” says Spielberg. “And there is nothing abnormal.”
He argues that if the anger is directed correctly, it can be quite arbitrary. It can force people to discuss and solve problems. Furious anger is often a strong, positive force in our world. But the problem is that every man can use his anger conditionally, there are a lot of angry people who spend their lives on a frequent occurrence in the police department.
How to deal with anger, if it is a natural phenomenon?
According to Spielberg, there are two ways to deal with it. The first is to think that it is absolutely normal when your anger is out of control. Some people believe that such acts as yelling at people, throwing different things in them make them feel better. In fact, your anger can only increase your response, resulting in loss of control over anger.
Here is another wrong solution: to take control over your irritation and keep smiling. Some men think that any display of anger negatively affects health, and this anti-social phenomenon must be reduced.
Studies have shown that these two approaches are equally harmful and can trigger the same health risks, according to Dr. Spielberg.
There is another option. Release your anger, but monitor this process. The first step is to understand your weaknesses and strengths. Do not lose it. Instead, learn to be aware of your anger. This is the only way to determine what is causing your anger.
Once you can identify the real problem, you can try to solve it wisely instead of becoming furious for no reason. If you are angry with someone, talk about it in a positive way. If specific situations give rise to uncontrolled anger, learn how to prepare for it. It is better to learn how to avoid such situations if possible. In fact, you should try to deal with the problem, rather than shouting about it, and then you accurately achieve the desired result.
How to calm down
Since anger is a part of the physical process, you cannot convince yourself to calm down. Instead, you need to calm yourself physically. This is how you can reduce the heart rate and the level of pressure and cope with anger.
• Take a deep breath. Inhale and exhale deeply, feeling your diaphragm. After a minute, you should feel the tension subsides. The advantage of breathing exercises is that it can be done anywhere. You can make them even during marital quarrels or business meetings.
• Take a break. If you feel that your anger is out of control, it is necessary to change the situation. If possible, it is better to leave the room and go for a walk.
• Focus on something else. Count to 10. Try to imagine yourself in a peaceful place. Or repeat the soothing words. Make a couple of exercises. Make your daily routine – it will be an excellent tool for stress relief.
If anger problems are more serious, it requires the intervention of doctors.
If you think that uncontrolled anger decreases the quality of your life, ask for help, as long as it does not hurt you permanently. Learn to turn your anger into something useful.