Getting angry when someone offends us or at a situation is one of the most natural things to do because anger is an emotion and emotions are involuntary reactions to life events but getting angry all the time and at the slightest provocation may not be the healthiest thing to do. If it is true that you can choose your attitude always or choose how you react no matter the circumstance, I believe it also means you can choose what to do with the anger emotion you are feeling. You can choose to be offended by someone’s action or not, you can choose to walk and not react to that anger. You can choose to be calm in the face of anger instead of erupting like a volcano. Anger causes certain physical responses in the body such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, increased levels of adrenalin or non-adrenalin. While it is perfectly normal to feel angry, it becomes a problem when it is expressed in such a way that is harmful to others or is unnecessarily prolonged. The challenge therefore is not to suppress anger but to express it in a healthy way without losing control.
The experts say that there is a direct reaction in your physical body when you experience any emotion such as anger. These reactions occur in your nervous system which is activated and prepares the body for fight or flight. Usually, this occurs by an increase in breathing rate, which means the body is taking in more oxygen, making the heart to pump faster and increases pressure on the arteries. The face may become flushed and one’s pupils dilated. This is because a lot of energy is used up by the body when angry. You may find yourself shaking physically or your voice trembling. As much as it is important to express anger, repeatedly expressing anger can cause a lot of stress to the body’s systems such as your heart, nerves or respiratory systems.
According to Dr Segal and Smith in an article on healthguide.org
- Out-of-control anger hurts your physical health. Constantly operating at high levels of stress and anger makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
- Out-of-control anger hurts your mental health. Chronic anger consumes huge amounts of mental energy, and clouds your thinking, making it harder to concentrate or enjoy life. It can also lead to stress, depression, and other mental health problems.
- Out-of-control anger hurts your career. Constructive criticism, creative differences, and heated debate can be healthy. But lashing out only alienates your colleagues, supervisors, or clients and erodes their respect.
- Out-of-control anger hurts your relationships with others. It causes lasting scars in the people you love most and gets in the way of friendships and work relationships. Explosive anger makes it hard for others to trust you, speak honestly, or feel comfortable—and is especially damaging to children.
It is neither good to hold anger in or to vent by lashing out, it is better to be able to express hurt or provocation in a sane manner. I have personally concluded that It is better to avoid getting angry, this may sound impossible but I think it is possible to practice not getting angry all the time.