Do you know someone whose face turns red with anger? Does this person shout and swear at the slightest irritation? These people should be careful with their health.
Here are the possible complications that might occur:
1. High blood pressure – If you get hopping mad, your blood pressure might rise 30 to 50 points from its usual levels. This means that if your blood pressure is 130 over 80, this could easily shoot up to 180 over 100 when you blow your top.
2. Stroke – If during a fit of anger, your blood pressure reaches near 200 mmHg levels, you could get a stroke by bursting an artery in the brain. Studies show that the higher the blood pressure, the greater is the risk for a stroke. This is called a brain hemorrhage and can quickly lead to coma and death.
3. Heart disease or heart attack – A study published in Circulation in 2000 shows that getting angry increases your chances of developing heart disease and suffering a heart attack. You may have heard stories of people who got a heart attack after getting enraged. Any kind of strong emotion, be it too sad or too angry, can bring about stress to the heart.
In addition to the above, other diseases that could be “anger-related” are cancer, skin disorders, gastrointestinal complaints, diabetes, asthma and back pain.
Tips To Reduce Anger:
1. Rest well – Don’t overwork yourself. Getting too busy and tackling too many things can make one irritable. If you are well rested, it will be harder to make you angry.
2. Exercise – Physical exercise can reduce stress and tension. By getting your body tired with exercise, you won’t have the pent-up energy to get mad anymore. Exercise also releases feel-good and happy hormones.
3. Don’t drink alcohol – Alcohol and anger are a deadly combination. Alcohol can bring out the worst in you, so don’t even try it.
4. Wait your anger out – If you’re angry with someone, don’t confront the person right away. Wait awhile. Try doing slow, deep breathing exercises in the meantime. If possible, delay confronting him or her for a day. When the time comes, your anger might have passed already.
5. Think long-term – Ask yourself: Is this issue I’m angry about going to affect me in a year’s time? How about in 10 years? If the answer is “No, it won’t affect me,” then you might as well forget about it anyway.
6. Get busy – People who are idle tend to become more irritable. Little things that other people are doing become a bigger deal and a source of irritation. It’s better to focus your energies in your own projects.
7. Distract yourself – If you feel your anger rising, one trick is to distract yourself. Read a magazine, look at a different scene, or mentally think of a beautiful place. This will shift your mind to other things.
8. Put some allowance – You don’t have to be a perfectionist. Prepare yourself in advance for delays, traffic problems and glitches in meetings.
9. Release your anger safely – If you can divert your anger in another way, then it would be healthier for you and the people around you. Exercising and doing manual work can do the trick. Talking to a supportive friend is also helpful. However, if you are really furious, better go to a safe place with nobody around, and you can shout and release your anger there.
10. Avoid unpleasant situations – Know the things that usually makes you angry. Are you going to a meeting or a party you’re not comfortable in? Before getting yourself stuck in those situations, try to either prepare for it or just avoid it.
11. See a doctor – If you feel you are getting angry for no reason, then you might need to get a check-up. Common medical causes of anger are menopause for women, a hyperactive thyroid and uncontrolled high blood pressure. However, if you have some unresolved hostility towards somebody, then seeing a counselor or psychiatrist may help.
12. Pray – As the Bible tells us, “Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.” This is hard to do, but forgiveness and acceptance may be the only permanent release from anger.
How do we reduce hostility? It’s corny but maybe we can accept and love others a little more. And remember, it’s good for your health.