How Anger Can Indirectly Cause Health Problems
Of all the emotions that humans face, anger is one of the most toxic and problematic. Affecting tens of millions, toxic anger can literally poison people each and everyday of their lives. Anger is not something that can or should be cured but anger management is a necessity to avoid terrible conflicts whether it is at work, in relationships or at home and so forth. One of the reasons for the need of anger management is due to the toxic side effects that anger may indirectly cause to your health.
A high risk of a heart attack is one of the main health issues caused by anger. Unhealthy habits such as smoking cigarettes, overeating or drinking alcohol (or some combination of these) may contribute to heart disease. High blood pressure and high cholesterol usually go hand in hand with overexcessive lifestyles of overeating and cigarette smoking and so forth. Chest pain, a heart attack and a stroke are associated with a history of heart disease and anger is a contributing factor to all these risk factors.
It is estimated that there is a 65% higher chance of being a cigarette smoker if you normally experience intense anger such as rage than if you usually experience mild anger, that is irritation. This is due to the fact that smoking cigarettes may somehow help alleviate the stress and anger that one may feel. Unfortunately, smoking is linked to heart disease (and cancer) and that is one reason why anger indirectly affects your health.
Drinking alcohol is a negative coping mechanism, it numbs a person’s emotions and people drink to forget their problems but also what they are feeling at the moment, such as sadness, anxiety, stress, guilt, shame and anger. Alcohol is a contribuiting factor for heart disease and it is noted that the more intense anger the person feels, the higher the alcohol consumption. Of the people who get occasionally mildy angry, 22 percent have more two or more alcoholic drinks whereas 44 percent of the intensely angry people drink that amount.
Overeating is one way that people deal with emotions, whether it be positive or negative. Stress, happiness, anger and so forth are a common way to be dealt with by reaching for food. Food, like alcohol, can be a numbing agent and when people are upset at the world, food makes a good distraction. Unfortunately, the side effect can be obesity which can cause all sorts of health problems.
High blood pressure is a significant factor in contributing to heart disease. Fifteen percent of people who get mildly angry have high blood pressure whereas 44 percent of people who display intense anger have high blood pressure. If you keep in the anger, your odds of having hypertension are 21 percent, and if you let it out, your odds are only 11 percent. When it comes to high cholesterol though, it is not caused by anger. However, it does aggravate the problem. High levels of anger among Type A personalities tend to have elevated levels of total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
As it has been emphasized several times, it’s very important to practice anger management if you tend to display fits of rage. Not only does anger affect other people at work or at home, the relationships that you try to cultivate, but it can also indirectly cause some serious health problems. Displaying intense anger can indirectly contribute to a higher chance of overeating, overindulgeing in alcohol, smoking and so forth. Practicing anger management is one of the first steps to getting your health back on track.