Anger is one of the most common emotions…it is one that can not only hurt and destroy others but it can also hurt and destroy you. The effects of anger can be felt by both on either side for a very long time.
Anger is not something that is easily controlled for some. A lot of times the anger is so deep rooted into the soul that it can take years or even a lifetime to understand and fix.
It is my hope that this series will be of help to those of you who have issues with your anger…whether it be serious or minor. Hopefully we can all learn to turn our negative anger into LOVE.
Here are 8 ways to understand anger and the effect it really has on you.
The effects of anger on your body
Anger can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. It also has negative effects on your metabolism.
It has been shown to suppress your body’s immune system…weakening it and making it vulnerable to chronic pain.
As you become angry and stressed, your mind will go into survival mode…your body will release chemicals to clot your blood, as we all know blood clots are never a good thing…they can travel through your bloodstream into your heart or brain causing a heart attack or stroke.
Anger can also cause headaches such as…tension headaches, cluster headaches and migraines. Anger can be very detrimental to your health, these listed above are just a select few of the effects…but there are many many more.
There are several different things that happen in life that will trigger anger, some we can control others not so much. The following is a list of conditions that are mostly controllable if you are aware.
9 Physical conditions that trigger anger…
*Hormone changes ie…puberty, pms, menopause child birth & too much testosterone.
*craving addictive substances such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine or other drugs
*Living with chronic/acute pain
A few of these are easily remedied while others may be due to factors beyond our control. One thing we must keep in mind is that while one may be angry for a simple reason, another can be angry for a reason beyond their control.
The long term effects of frequent anger
*Increase in Cholesterol
*damaged and/or blocked arteries
*Aggravated heart disease
*Increased susceptibility to infection, due to a depressed immune system
*Longer time for recovery from traumas such as accidents or surgery
The above happens because of the biological responses that are triggered when we get angry.
The bodies responses are:
*Extra adrenaline is secreted
*Heart beats are more rapid and blood pressure rises
*Sympathetic nervous system diverts blood from the live, stomach and intestines to the heart, central nervous system and muscles
*Cortisol production is increased, depressing the immune system
*For men they have an increase in testosterone
This can lead to internal feelings of…
*energy and warmth
*the urge to shout and move quickly and forcefully.
Being angry isn’t worth all the above, we want better for ourselves than that. We need to learn to let things go so we don’t get angry and make ourselves sick.
Don’t be at the mercy of your anger.
Rebuild your relationship with your emotions, learn how to control your emotions instead of them controlling you. At times when we feel depressed, we may feel angry that things aren’t going right for us…angry that we may be in physical pain, emotional pain and that all may seem hopeless. Maybe someone has been taken from us too soon, or we have been cheated on by our partner…these may all seem like valid reasons for anger. but, if we do not learn to let go these things, sooner or later the anger will eat us alive. If you breathe in through your nose and out your mouth and release all your thoughts…clear your mind. Count each breath you take…relax and breathe. Every time a thought enters your mind…acknowledge it and then let it go and go right back to counting your breaths. Stop letting your thoughts control you and you can control your thoughts. Remember how sometimes we as children were told to count to 10 to calm ourselves…the above is the same concept, and it works.
Some may tend to try to suppress their anger by stuffing the anger deep inside. This too can be very harmful, it can make you feel powerless about the situation your in. This can lead to depression.
5 Vital signs of suppressed anger
*restlessness…the effect is that you are not happy with yourself or the person which has caused the anger.
*judgmental…you feel judgmental toward others and find fault in all they do and you consider yourself to be right.
*you are moody and unhappy…you feel sad, hurt and worried
*tendency towards violence. Due to the inability to express anger, the probability to turn violent in some cases is very high.
*depression…you feel depressed and unwanted and may want to cause harm to yourself if no solution is found.
The first step is to acknowledge that this an issue.
Some simple ways to solve these problems are…remove yourself from the situations causing you anger, remain calm, keep an open mind, and be happy. while these are simple ways some may seem impossible. But, you always want to do what you can to better yourself. You need to learn to be able to control and not suppress your feelings for a situation and not bury them deep inside and not deal with it. Not dealing with it can be very harmful and cause depression.
*most of us as children we taught that if we expressed anger when we got in trouble we would be punished more.
We have never forgotten this and we carry it into our adult lives, it can become a way of “coping” with some situations.
Me as a parent, I remember that feeling and I always have let my children express their feelings or their anger for something…as long as it was not disrespectful. If they got into trouble and were punished, even if what they did was wrong…they are still kids and are entitled to their feelings regardless of the reasoning. They were always allowed to be angry to cry or vent, as long as they were not disrespectful to anyone…they have every right to their feelings, and I would never take that away from them. Nor should we take someone else’s right away from them, nor let them take it away from us.
The Mayo Clinic offers 10 tips to tame your temper
1: Take a timeout Counting to 10 isn’t just for kids. Before reacting to a tense situation, take a few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10. Slowing down can help defuse your temper. If necessary, take a break from the person or situation until your frustration subsides a bit.
2: Once you’re calm, express your anger as soon as you’re thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.
3: Get some exercise Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other favorite physical activities. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.
4: Think before you speak In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you’ll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.
5: Identify possible solutions Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything, and might only make it worse.
6: Stick with ‘I’ statements To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never do any housework.”
7: Don’t hold a grudge Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.
8: Use humor to release tension Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.
9: Practice relaxation skills When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.
10: Know when to seek help Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret or hurts those around you. You might explore local anger management classes or anger management counseling. With professional help, you can:
*Learn what anger is
*Identify what triggers your anger
*Recognize signs that you’re becoming angry
*Learn to respond to frustration and anger in a controlled, healthy way
*Explore underlying feelings, such as sadness or depression
Now you know what anger can do to your body.
The question is how to control it. Not everyone is the same and not everyone will be able to control their anger right away. Learning to deal with anger issues can take a long time. You have to get to the root of the anger and that is where you start. Is it the ones you are with on a daily basis…is it something in your past that you haven’t let go of, are you holding on to resentment and are you bitter for a hurt from the past.? These things can be dealt with…you can let them go, but just like forgiveness you have to want to…you have to want to let it all go so you can get better and move on with a better life. If you are dealing with someone in your life that is constantly causing you to get angry, as hard as what it may be you may have to let that person go or find a different way to cope everyday if you are not willing to let them go.
The key once again is learning to control your mind and stop letting your mind control you. The simplest way is the same breathing technique I have told you about in past series.
It may sound very cliche but counting to 10 when angry or trying to control your thoughts is the best way to do it.
A simple form of meditation a breathing technique where you count your breaths is always the best.
It can be done several different ways…if you are in a confrontation with someone and you are about to lose it…breathe, and as you breathe count each breath and as you count clear your mind and concentrate on nothing but your breathing and counting you breaths. This gives your body a chance to relax and calm down and rids your mind of any angry thoughts or feelings.
This can be done at any time of the day even while you are in the car in the middle of traffic getting frustrated.
It is as simple and easy as that. I use this in my everyday life not just with anger but with pain and forgiveness or anything other reason I may need to calm myself and clear my mind.
When we can get to a calming point in our lives, where we aren’t so stressed, so angry, so bitter, so resentful and we become more thankful for what we have and become more positive in our lives…our lives will begin to change.
I hope that this series has enlightened you on the dangers of anger and has given you some ways that you can cope with and control your anger.
Remember please, I am not a doctor or a therapist…I am however a Certified Life Coach & a human who has been through and learned a lot. I have found ways to cope and be more positive in my own life, I do a lot of research on things and am always finding new ways to become more enlightened and more positive and I want to share them with you so that you may get better too.