Unfortunately, keeping your cool is a problem for many people: almost a third of people in the UK recently said they have a close friend or family member who has trouble controlling their anger, while one in ten admit to having a problem with their temper. Here, we outline seven reasons why it’s good to get anger under control:
Researchers from Iowa State University found that angry men aged 20 to 40 were one-and-a-half times more likely to be dead 35 years later than those who were calmer. Scientists believe this is due to a number of factors linking stress to physiological damage. The frequent release of adrenaline during periods of stress damages DNA, which could lead to life-threatening illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.
GRUMPS DON’T SLEEP AS WELL
Feelings of anger produce a heightened response in the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with survival instincts. Angry emotions prompt the amygdala to signal a heightened state of anxiety to the rest of the brain and the body, increasing blood flow to the limbs and heart, which makes relaxation almost impossible.
Those exposed to anger-inducing stimuli – without discussing how it made them feel – are more likely to experience insomnia than those who engage in an emotional ‘debrief’, according to neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts.
ANGER CAUSES HEADACHES
Emotions such as excitement or anger result in the release of stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and testosterone, which put the body into flight-or-flight mode.
The chemical surge increases blood flow to the brain and triggers the swelling of both blood vessels and nerves surrounding the brain.
The pressure can result in tension and headaches. A study of 422 healthy adults found that chronic headache sufferers scored significantly higher on a ‘trait anger scale’.
YOU’LL GET SICK MORE OFTEN
Too much cortisol in the body – released by adrenal glands during angry outbursts – can cause an imbalance in blood sugar, repress the thyroid and even decrease bone density, according to researchers at Southampton University.
When released initially, cortisol triggers an anti-inflammatory response by the immune system, but prolonged increase of the hormone makes the body more susceptible to viruses.
RISK OF HEART DISEASE INCREASES
As blood pressure rises thanks to a surge in adrenaline, the heart beats faster, increasing the risk of potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms. Adrenaline also signals for the release of platelets, which can trigger blood clots or block arteries – particularly dangerous if arteries are restricted by a build-up of cholesterol.
Studies have shown that men in particular who score highly on trait anger scales are three times more likely to suffer from general heart disease, according to Harvard University scientists.
IT’S HARD TO DIGEST…
Once the ‘fight or flight’ signal has been issued by the brain, blood supply is directed to areas needed for action such as the limbs. That means blood supply to the digestive system is reduced, with a reduced amount of oxygen provided to keep vital ‘good’ bacteria in your gut alive.
A dampened immune system can lead to a weakened gut lining, increasing vulnerability to harmful bacteria entering the area, according to experts at the University of California.
AND MAKES YOU WRINKLY
Brazilian scientists have shown that heightened stress reduces the amount of available glucocorticoids – the hormone involved in the synthesis of the skin-plumping compound collagen.
A lack of collagen contributes towards saggy, wrinkled skin. What’s more, the weakened immune system caused by stress responses increases inflammatory reactions to pathogens underneath the skin.
Cheer up! Resolve any bitterness, forgive others, and smile at the unexpectedness of life. Things don't always work out the way we wish they would here, but there is a better world coming. God loves you and the Bible has many wonderful verses and promises in it that are sure to brighten your day and cheer you up! Here are just a few:
Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Zephaniah 3:17 – “The Lord your God is in your midst; a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”
Matthew 19:14 – “But Jesus said, ‘let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 – “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
"A merry heart does good like a medicine." Don't forget to smile at someone tomorrow. A good smile can turn a raisin back into a grape!
Walk with the King and be a blessing.