Anger: Right or Wrong
Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage,” according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.
Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person (Such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.
Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.
If you’re prone to losing your temper, beware: being angry can make your lungs weaker.
A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health measured the lung capacity and rated the hostility of 670 men, three times over eight years. At the end of the study, the lung power of those who exhibited high levels of hostility had become significantly worse compared to those with a low rating.
“When you’re angry, you produce hormones to help your body prepare for a fight,” says Dr John Moore-Gillon, president of the British Lung Foundation. “These release chemicals that can cause cells in your bronchial tubes to inflame. The tubes then narrow and you’ll feel breathless.”
Dr Moore-Gillon says this type of lung damage is tiny compared to the effects of smoking. But long-term, irreversible damage can be caused.
However you can manage that anger by taking certain measures:
- taking a deep breath, stepping away from the situation and asking yourself “Why am I really mad?”, often people misdirect anger caused by a valid yet bigger issue on to everyday annoyances and inconveniences.
- know your triggers, if there are certain things that you know bother you or that you can’t accept know what they are, take steps to avoid them, and play out an appropriate reaction in your head when you’re feeling calm to train your mind to react that way when the problem arises in real life.
- plan your time wisely, one of the most common anger stressors is poor time management, when you’re in a rush and something slows you down even more you are very likely to react in anger, the simplest way to avoid this is to exercise effective time management.
- exercising regularly, it’s true that exercise is an excellent way to de-stress body and mind, people who exercise regularly are less likely to overreact to annoyances and inconveniences.
- talk it out, reacting in anger often causes the reasoning center of the brain to shut off for a time and the way you can turn it back on is to talk rather than act out when anger takes hold, it may sound crazy but taking a few minutes to gather your thoughts and speaking them out loud can do wonders to diffuse an angry situation.
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” – Chinese Proverb