Much like how a smile can be infectious… so can anger. By letting negative emotions get the better of you; it fans the embers of negativity around people close to you as well.
Depending on your temperance, life is full of anger triggers. Yet even the most placid person can have their limits pushed – ask any parent. Add an unreasonable employer into the mix, and combine that with a new diet (“hangry”) and then try to drive home in rush hour traffic and see what happens.
Some people don’t even realize they have been poisoning themselves with anger. It only takes a micro moment to shout out a four letter word – such as your favorite team fumbling the ball, or your internet freezing when you need to urgently send an email, or when somebody won’t let you change lanes on the motorway.
You don’t even need to shout out in anger… muttering profanities under your breath or playing out a negative scenario in your head (like telling your boss what you think of him) is just as detrimental.
These angry emotions wreck havoc on your heart. Countless studies have proven that anger triggers the body’s “fight or flight” response (an evolutionary response from our cavemen ancestors) which floods the body with adrenaline and cortisol (the primary stress hormone).
Stress also triggers this “fight or flight” response.
But when your body is constantly subjected to spikes in cortisol; the long term heath dangers can be severe.
The most dangerous health issue is how cortisol causes calcification of the heart and arteries. This has a cascading effect which triggers carbohydrate cravings which cause insulin resistance (high blood sugar levels) and obesity. Insulin resistance and obesity is the catalyst for type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure. From there; problems with low immunity, bone density and reduced libido can be expected.
Now if you didn’t realize the root cause of these diseases (anger, stress), your first reaction would be to seek medical advice; your doctor would prescribe you medication.
High blood pressure meds have terrible side effects which only make matters worse by creating new ailments – which require more drugs.
Controlling your Anger
Anger is often a gateway to stress. If you have better control of your anger, the less likely you are to become stressed.
Meditation is an incredible tool for combating anger issues as well as stress. So if you’re a cool headed yet burdened by the stress of your responsibilities; taking time out of the day to decompress with meditation will do wonders for your health.
But if sitting in the lotus position chanting “OM” isn’t your thing; simple breathing exercises while you sit at your desk while trying to clear you mind of thoughts will have a huge impact on you state of mind and mood.
Be mindful of “first world problems”
Try to look at things from a broader picture. Journaling is a great way to prevent bottling-up your anger. And it also highlights the fact that things “aren’t so bad”; especially when you compare your problems to people from disadvantaged countries.
First world problem: My wife used up most of the hot water – now I can only have a short, luke-warm shower.
Third world problem: Billions of people have never experienced a hot shower.
First world problem: It takes forever to get home in rush hour traffic.
Third world problem: Billions of people don’t have a car, or a nice place to come home to… let alone a decent job to come home from.
So when you notice you are in a bad mood; try doing your breathing exercises at your desk. If you have trouble clearing your mind; try thinking of all the things you are grateful for instead.
If controlling your anger is a constant battle; remember that popping a pill (sedatives, anti –depression meds) often leads to serious side effects down the road.
Although meditation can seem difficult to begin with, the health benefits are immense.