Anger is an emotion that we are all familiar with. Indeed, some of us may feel anger everyday, and anger may act as a guiding force as we navigate life and make decisions. But anger, even if it feels productive, justified, or fair, is a prison that will hold you back and prevent you from reaching peace or happiness.
The Negative Effects of Anger
Anger is a forceful negative emotion, and one that, surprisingly, is one of the few emotions that our culture tends to embrace the display of in men. In addition to the myriad of other negative effects that anger has that will be touched upon momentarily, another problem with anger is that it is often confused with other emotions. To be sure, studies show that individuals have a difficult time labelling emotions, which means that feelings like disappointment, fear, anxiety, worry, or shame may all be lumped into the “angry” category.
Anger triggers the production of stress hormones in a process that involves your amygdala, hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands. The stress hormones that are released have an effect on both your brain and your body. In fact, anger changes your brain.
As explained by the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, when cortisol levels (stress hormone that is released) are elevated, the brain’s neurons accept more calcium than they should. In turn, cells will fire rapidly, often resulting in cell death. The two areas of the brain that are most strongly affected are the prefrontal cortex, which controls logic, rational decision making, and planning, and the hippocampus, which controls your ability to form new memories as well as recall short-term memory. Of course, too much cortisol also means a decrease in serotonin (the feel good hormone), which can lead to greater levels of aggression and anger, and put you at risk for depression.
And that’s not all: anger also has an effect on the body as well. Those same hormones can affect your cardiovascular health, immune system, eyesight, bone density, and digestive system!
We also believe that anger can have a spiritual or metaphysical effect on individuals, placing a weight on them that can feel impossible to lift, and which prevents them from reaching their ultimate goals regarding concepts like self-worth, happiness, and inner peace.
How to Free Yourself from the Prison of Anger
The shackles of anger can be hard to escape, and starts with an acknowledgement of your anger and a desire to truly be freed from it. This means you have to stop justifying your anger or saying that the other party–be in an individual or the world–deserves to feel your anger. Managing your anger requires things like thinking before you’re speaking, taking deep breaths, removing yourself from a situation, exercising and eating right, and practicing relaxation skills. However, actually ridding yourself of anger may take more dedicated and conscious effort. Nadia Khalil can help.
Meet with Nadia Today
To start addressing your anger today and to find a way to free yourself from its hold, contact Nadia Khalil today. You can schedule your one-on-one consultation with Nadia by sending her a message today.