It may not suprise you to hear that anger can have a negative effect on your health.
When you experience the emotion of anger, your body will start responding physically. Have you ever noticed your heart rate go up, or your muscles get tense when you’re angry?
It’s perfectly normal for your body to react in these ways. The problem starts to occur when your anger is happening too often, or when it’s too getting too intense.
How Anger Affects Your Body
Often times we forget about the mind and body connection. When you experience any emotion such as anger, your body begins to respond physiologically.
One of the first things you might notice is that your muscles start to get tense. People often notice this tension in their shoulders, neck, or jaw.
You might feel your heart start to beat faster and your blood vessels will constrict. Perhaps you’ll realize that your breathing starts to change as you get more upset.
Your body begins to respond this way as stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol gets released. This adrenaline rush is one of the reasons you might feel shaky after you get angry.
Why Does Anger Impact Your Health?
Overtime these changes in your body can start to take a toll on your health. If you’re experiencing anger on a daily basis your body is working harder than normal. The stress hormones in your body are keeping you at an elevated level which is why it’s difficult to relax when you’re upset.
You may have lived in this elevated state for so long you don’t even recognize it anymore. During anger management counseling I often help clients practice relaxation techniques to realize how much tension they’re carrying in their body.
Imagine your body is like a vehicle. If you race your car down the highway on a regular basis, and force your car’s engine to work hard it’s eventually going to wear out. In a similar way, your anger is forcing your body to work hard on a regular basis.
Your heart has to work harder than normal, your blood vessels are being stressed, and your muscles are too tense. This is why problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and physical pain occur more often in people that struggle with anger.
Changing The Way Anger Affects Your Body
One of the first things you can do to deal with anger problems is learning to recognize how your body reacts.
You can begin by starting with some breathing exercises. Practice taking slow deep breaths in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.
The simple practice of getting oxygen into your lungs and slowing down your heart rate can have an immediate effect on your body.
You can also practice mindfulness exercises designed to help you identify what your body does when you’re angry.
Check out this article on using mindfulness to control your anger.
Routine exercise is another important way to help your body’s response to anger. When you’re moving physically your body produces hormones to counteract your stress hormones. Physcial exercise also stretches and relaxes your muscles.
Anger Management Can Improve Your Health
People often walk into my counseling office wanting help with their anger because it’s affecting their relationships, families, or careers.
Once we begin to really look at their anger, they often realize how much it’s hurting their own life and physical health.
Anger managment is designed to help you understand how anger is affecting your thoughts, emotions, and your body.
Once you recognize it’s impact you can change the way it functions in your life. When your anger becomes a manageable emotion, it doesn’t have to feel uncontrollable and doesn’t need to impact your health in a negative way.
Talk To A Denver Anger Management CounselorDo you need help with anger? Give us a call or connect online.
Anger Management and Emotional Pain Have you ever heard someone say that anger is a secondary emotion? Anger as a secondary emotion means that when you feel your anger starting to rise, there is a good chance there is another emotion lurking beneath the surface. As an...
What Is Trauma? What comes to mind when you hear the word trauma? Perhaps it's something catastrophic such as a natural disaster. Often times thoughts of abuse or even death come to mind. These are definitely traumatic events that occur in our lives. However a...