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The Most Damaging Effects Of Anger


  Written by Kerry Watts

Anger is a natural emotion and studies have shown that it is an instinctive response to a threatening situation. This emotion evolved in humans because they needed something that would empower them during a hostile situation; something that would bypass their instinctive fear and hesitation to propel them into action.



It has been of great use in various trying circumstances. People living a few thousand years ago used anger to defend their home, town, and family against attacks from enemy tribes. Anger has also sparked rebellions like the French Revolution and other independence wars.

Negative Expression Of Anger

While anger can be used to power positive actions, it is still a negative emotion that can have an adverse impact on your mind and body. In fact, people who experience this emotion on a regular basis can also be susceptible to experiencing health problems. This is made worse by people’s inability to express the anger, leaving it to fester away inside.

In the past, many released their anger through violence, confrontation, and aggression. People used to pick up swords, axes, spears, and hammers to defend their territory.   It was an outlet for their anger, but reactions such as these are no longer an acceptable expression of this emotion. In the modern world, we tend to write an angry email or vent on social media.

The only problem is that while you now have pinged off that email, that hasn't done anything to rid your system of the adrenaline that was dumped into your bloodstream. So your body is still in fight mode, regardless of how effective that email was.

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The Most Damaging Effects of Anger

Anger is a harsh emotion that takes its toll on your body and mind. People underestimate just how damaging it can be and don’t take steps to address it. In terms of its effects on your body, it's very much the same as with stress, and everybody seems to know how bad that is for you! But with proper anger management, it is possible to avoid triggers, channel anger productively, and ensure your health isn’t affected by it.

Here’s a look at some of the most damaging effects of this emotion:

1. Effects on the Mind

When anger is triggered, it bypasses your reasoning ability and causes the body to react. This shortcut can lead to impulsive decisions, violent expression, and a feeling of helplessness because of the loss of control. Most people would rather stay in control, and don’t want to express their anger instinctively, regardless of whether their emotion is reasonable or unreasonable. Frequent surges of anger and this loss of control leads to serious mental health problems like:



·         Depression – Depression can be the cause as well as the effect of anger. Individuals with this mental health issue are more sensitive and can react unpredictably. Their anger is often directed inward, but can explode outward in different circumstances. But people experience depression because of anger as well. Their brain becomes relatively unstable every time they experience fury, which can lead to chemical imbalances or emotional turbulence.

·         Anxiety – People who experience anger frequently are in a heightened state of awareness. They are wary, always looking for a threat, and easily triggered, which can lead to anxiety. This mental health concern has a big impact on a person’s life, especially if they develop a propensity for panic attacks.

·         Irritability – Anger can build and escalate until a relatively calm individual becomes irritable. High levels of irritability lead to frequent outbursts of anger, which eventually makes a person more irritable. This cycle must be broken for a person to regain control and calmness.

·         Low Self Esteem – As mentioned before, angry people often direct their fury inward. Their mental voice is negative and attacks a person’s self-esteem. This has a big impact on a person’s self-belief, which makes them reluctant to try new things, experiment with different treatments, or take the initiative.

·         Low Confidence – Individuals who experience anger frequently often appear to be confident but aren’t. They are sensitive to criticism, reluctant to admit to mistakes, and can be easily triggered. Anger management, along with some assertiveness, can help them develop a steadier mindset.

·         Guilt – Guilt is common in anger-prone individuals, especially if they have a tendency to express it violently. People often take this problem out on their loved ones and friends, which can harm personal relationships and increase guilt.

A constant state of anger has a big impact on your personal relationships, which only worsens the mental state and causes people to spiral into deep depression. Unfortunately, anger and depression often go hand in hand so both must be treated at the same time to regain good mental health. The only way to resolve this issue and get into a better state of mind is through careful anger management, counseling, positive expression, and developing assertiveness.

2. Effects on the Body

Anger is a response to a threatening situation, so it prepares your body for fight or flight. It is an intense physical response that gives a momentary rush of energy and power, but withers away after the anger is spent. This surge can have a big impact on your body over the long term, especially if surges of anger are frequent and uncontrolled. Here’s a look at some of the physical impact:

·         During Anger – In an angry state, the body is preparing to fight. People experience a surge of energy as their blood races, heartbeat speeds up, breathing escalates, and focus becomes narrow. Their muscles tense in preparation so they can leap into a fight or retreat. This surge of energy must be expelled positively because the first instinct is always to react violently.

·         After Anger – Long-term physical consequences of frequent anger can be serious and even deadly. People experience frequent headaches, hypertension, heart problems, skin problems, insomnia, and digestive imbalances. They’re more likely to suffer strokes or heart attacks than a person without anger issues.

Angry individuals are also more likely to get involved in fights, which leads to injuries and can even cause fatalities. They’re more reckless and make decisions that place them in harm’s way. That’s why learning to manage anger without suppressing it is essential.

In Conclusion

Society has advanced, and we're no longer spear or sword-wielding warriors. But the instincts developed over the course of thousands of years don’t just vanish. So while being a keyboard warrior and typing out angry rants can be satisfying, it isn’t as effective as channellng your fury productively.



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