- Mental Health
Don't Let Your Anger Kill You
Your Body: User’s Manual (Chapter 2)
Many believe that expressing our dissatisfaction and anger verbally or acting it out helps us deal with the negative feeling and stops it from harming us. However, recent scientific studies show that individuals who get cross are more prone to suffer strokes, and sudden death. They are even more at risk than individuals with so-called “Type A Behavior”. Men who get angry are also more prone to a heart condition called “atrial fibrillation” where the atrium of the heart contracts quickly but ineffectively to pump blood around. This precipitates embolism and strokes. In the states, over 2 million people suffer from atrial fibrillation. With regard to sudden death, hot tempered men are at 1.2 times risk that of their calmer counterparts. A word on “Type A Behavior”: this describes those individuals who put their emphasis on ambition, efficiency, speed and competition. When we mention the term, we picture the quick-tempered, argumentative, impulsive, inflexible and loud-talking individuals. They are more prone to develop heart disease.
If acting out your temper seems easy to you, with practice, suppressing it or diverting it is not too hard either. In the simplest terms, you have to train your nerves to cope with the undesirable, frustrating , unfortunate, unpleasant events and persons that occur at constant and predictable frequencies. It’s not much different from training your body to cope with the unpleasant sensations of physical exercise that you’re not used to. Besides, don’t get cross, get even. No, I don’t mean you should dish out punishment or pain to your offender. I mean that the best revenge is to be able to live happily in spite of the stress and assault associated with the situation. Other proposals by psychologists include: staying away from the source of provocation, diverting your concentration to other issues, analyzing what causes the unpleasant thought and rationalizing the negative emotions. Last but not least, talk to someone who is willing to listen.
Yes, life sucks. At least, it won’t “suck” half as much if you expect it to and learn how to deal with it. Don’t let your temper kill you.