Why is getting angry harmful? It will hurt your relationship with the people around you. If you’re too busy being angry or bottling up rage, you won’t have the time to appreciate the people who love you. Anger can ruin your relationship with the ones you love because when you live with anger, you’re likely to get irritated even with the slightest transgressions. Suppressing anger also may also cause negative behaviors such as depression, bitterness and hopelessness. When uncontrolled, you may end up channeling your anger by being verbally abusive , or worse, you might resort to physical violence. Who would want to deal with a person with lots of baggage?
Anger will affect your health and well being. Your body’s automatic response may weaken your immune system and can develop to muscle tension, flushing, indigestion, excessive sweating, chills , migraines, insomnia and even skin problems. Chronic anger can lead to several complications such as :
- High blood pressure. When you get very upset, your blood pressure might rise 30-50 points from its usual level. This is because when you’re angry, the heart beats faster, pumps more oxygen , adrenaline and sugar into the blood. It can raise your blood pressure from 120/80 to 220/130 or probably higher.
- Stroke . If your blood pressure reaches near 200 mmHg level during fits of anger, you could burst an artery in the brain and suffer from stroke. This leads to brain hemorrhage and can later on lead to coma and/or death.
- Heart disease and possible heart attack. At a moment of anger, your heart rate can raise up to 180 beats a minute. It induces a surge of stress hormones and damages blood vessel linings.
Anger, when suppressed, is not good for you. So is expressing it explosively. Learn to manage your anger by:
- Ensuring that you get enough rest. Don’t overwork yourself. Lack of rest stresses the body and makes one irritable. If you’re well rested, you will be more tolerant and it will take a lot to make you angry.
- Distract yourself. If you feel you’re reaching your boiling point, divert your attention to something else. Read a book or play a certain sports.
- Exercise. It can reduce stress and tension. When your body gets tired from exercising , you won’t have the energy to get mad anymore.
Wait your anger out. You have probably heard it from other people- count to 10 before you say something in retaliation and if you’re still upset, count to a hundred before you do any action. Try doing slow, deep breathing exercises. Delay confronting the person involved and when the time comes, your anger may have already subsided.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol can relax you but it may also bring out the worst in you. Anger , combined with alcohol , is very dangerous. Your anger may get amplified when you’re intoxicated. So when you’re angry , don’t even try it.
- Think of the consequences. Before you flare up, ask yourself: Will this issue be relevant in a year’s time? In 5 years? Will it affect me significantly? If the answer is no, then it’s probably not worth the trouble .
- Give yourself a break. Life is not perfect but you can definitely make it sweeter by not fussing over things that you have no control of. You can’t avoid delays, traffic jams, and last minute problems so you might as well keep your cool instead of stressing yourself.
Release your anger safely. Find positive ways to express it. Release your creative juices. Paint a wall or do some gardening. Talk to a friend who will not judge you and will support you. Meditate and reflect on the situation. If you feel like you need to express your anger in a physical manner, sign up for activities that will help you release the tension without resorting to violence like martial arts or boxing sessions.
- See a doctor. We all get angry sometimes, but it can’t be for no reasons. Certain medical conditions like menopause for women and hyperactive thyroid are common causes of anger, and you might not know it but you can be affected. These can be treated . If your anger is a result of unresolved issues with other people or asituation, it may be best to see a counselor or a psychiatrist.
- Take the high road. Learn to forgive and accept the things that you cannot change. It’s easier said than done but forgiveness and acceptance may be the ultimate release from anger.