The Danger of Anger

We all know that anger is not good for our health but do we actually use this information in our actual life. Do we actually understand our anger or do we even recognize our anger. Most of us don’t because when we are angry that emotions take over our brain and we lose control over it. You may have experienced this, often we do not remember what we said or did during that anger period and sometimes we do not even remember why we were angry at the first place.

But why does this happen?

The main reason for this is because we are not actually aware of our emotions and state of mind and this is majorly the case during heated moments. Putting this thought aside for a second, think of a thing that you do everyday, let’s say brushing our teeth. We do this activity everyday but most of the time we are not aware of this activity. If asked later we cannot recall which parts did we move our brush in and for how long did we brush our teeth because we do not have to use a lot of our brain power to do this task after a habit is formed and it happens automatically. Similar is the case with anger. The reactions of our anger are out of habit and once formed, we tend to lose our temper as a habitual reaction to anything that does not happen the way we want it to happen. This may include episodes where we have to wait for the lift to arrive and we lose our temper for that.

But this habitual anger can have serious effects on our body especially the heart. Repeated episodes of anger cause micro damage to our arteries and if this continues for a longer time repeatedly, it leads to cardiovascular diseases and increases the risk of a heart attack. Anger increases the flow of adrenaline which has a direct effect on our immunity. Our immunity goes down during these angry periods and repeated sessions of anger adversely affects the immune system.

This does not mean that we do not vent out our anger at all and suppress that feeling. Suppressing anger can also lead us towards an agitated state of mind which again is not good for our health. Suppressing this feeling can lead to negative thoughts about ourselves or the other person and changes our point of view. These toxic thoughts can cause even more harm because they create a negative image about the other person and we start to think of possibilities and motives that may not completely opposite of the actual reason.

Then what is the way out of this?

The only way is the mindful approach towards the emotion of anger. Anger is just like any other emotion and it too needs to be acknowledged. Rather than being under its influence, we need to sit without anger and understand the roots behind it. Why am I feeling angry? What is the real problem that is causing this anger? Is it my ego that is hurt which is acting out in the form of anger or are my feelings hurt in any way. Am I angry about something that is not in my control or is there something that I can do to resolve this problem? 

Answering this problem can help us deal with our anger in a mindful way. The mindful way of dealing with anger does not let it loose, nor does it suppress it until it explodes someday. It addresses the problem and finds the next best option to get out of that situation. 

But to be mindful during heated moments is very difficult and needs deliberate practice and efforts from our side. Next time we sense anger, pause for a moment, do not try to avoid it or think that it is bad to be angry. Talk to yourself. Ask questions as to why are you really angry and is it out of habitual reaction? Share it with the other person if you feel comfortable. Treat it like a baby crying for attention. We don’t let the baby loose and allow it to do whatever it wants neither do we ignore the crying baby. We comfort him/her and try to understand its need. If the needs are logical, we fulfill it if not we find alternate ways. Deal with it in the same manner.

Just remember to be Mindful of your anger. It can solve half of the problem.

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