How Does Anger Affect Your Body and Brain?

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We all feel anger from time to time, and although it is a normal reaction to certain situations, uncontrolled anger or rage can lead to physical fights, arguments, and even physical assault or abuse. It can even cause you to inflict pain on yourself too, especially when you cannot redirect the anger that you are feeling. You might think that anger has no effects on you physically, emotionally, or mentally, but you might be surprised to find that there are side effects too which you need to be aware of. How does anger affect your body and brain? Here’s what you need to know.

Physical effects

Have you ever noticed how your body responds to your anger by either itching to fight or going on a flight mode? Just like in the case of anxiety, excitement, and fear, anger can trigger our need to fight or flight depending on the situation. This is because our body experiences a sudden rush of stress hormones, namely cortisol and adrenaline, when we are angry. What happens here is that, instead of blood flowing to the gut area, it becomes redirected to the muscles in order to prepare it for any physical response on your part. This means that, your blood pressure goes, your heart rate speeds up, even your respiration increases too. And because of this sudden rush of blood, your mind becomes sharper and clearer too.

High blood pressure

Like it was mentioned before, when you are angry, your blood flow gets directed to different parts of your body, and because there is an increase in stress levels, your heart is going at a rapid rate which can cause your blood pressure to go up. If your blood pressure is constantly up, there is a risk of going into a heart attack or a stroke even.

Digestive issues

With the lack of blood flowing into your gut, you can expect that your digestion will be affected too, especially when you are angry all the time. This is one of the reasons why there are times when you feel stomach cramps, bowel problems, and the like when you are feeling angry. This can cause discomfort and can add to your anger issues as well.

Immune system is compromised

The problem with being in a state of constant anger is that you are compromising your immune system. Your thyroid function is affected which means that your body’s ability to fight off free radicals and other dangerous cells in your body will be compromised. And because your immune system is not working properly, you are putting yourself at risk of acquiring various diseases too.

How to Handle Anger

For those who are always angry all the time, you will need to learn how to control and manage your angry outbursts as much as possible. Here are a few tips that may help you out.

Keep a diary

One way to help control your anger is to become aware of it happening. Keeping a diary and writing your angry incidents may help you feel relief as you write down your feelings. What’s more, you will be able to pinpoint what triggered your anger in the first place.

Exercise

Another way for you to manage your anger is to incorporate an exercise routine to your day. Beating out your frustrations through high intensity interval training can help you feel better afterwards. And since you are working out, you will be able to remove the excess fats in your body so you’ll feel and look better too.

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