Anger is one of 27 types of emotions. The best way to describe anger is a feeling that reflects outward as a hostile reaction towards a person, event, or consequence that works against you. Anger management can have positive outcomes. For instance, it can be a means to express negative feelings or motivate you to find the solution to a specific problem.
On the contrary, uncontrollable anger can increase your risk of numerous physical and mental health disorders. Here are three undesirable effects of anger and ways to subdue the emotion naturally.
3 Negative Effects of Unrestrained Anger
Smooth liver qi circulation can help regulate our emotions. However, liver imbalances can disrupt this flow of qi and trigger abnormal psychological reactions, including anger. Conversely, anger can also give rise to liver disorders.
It can increase your risk of heart disease
Evidence suggests that anger links to a higher risk of heart disease. The influence of anger on the condition is similar to smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Studies show that people who are angry frequently and have intense outbursts are more susceptible to heart attacks. They’re also more likely to undergo bypass surgery.
Men are more prone to act out when they’re angry. Young men who react angrily may develop heart disease before the age of 55 or have a heart attack.
It can impair sleep quality
Thinking about the cause of your anger will also make you angry. If you don’t take steps to regulate the emotion, you won’t be able to get quality sleep. Also, anger may keep you physically and mentally awake before and during sleep.
Consciously playing out a scenario in your mind, meanwhile, will also cause you to remain angry for a prolonged period. Consequently, it can induce insomnia, delayed sleep onset, and poor sleep integrity. Children who throw tantrums or have an angry temperament may experience higher daytime sleepiness and problems falling and staying asleep.
It can evoke memory loss
Distress can make you irritable or angry, especially if the stress becomes overwhelming. For instance, if you’re involved in an afternoon car accident, the emotion you feel can make you temporarily forget what you did in the morning.
It’s worth noting that the lapse in memory is due to all your attention being focused on the threat of potential physical harm. You may be able to identify what caused you to feel threatened. However, you’ll struggle to remember anything besides the accident.
4 Anger Management Tips to Keep the Emotion Under Control
It’s understandable that you won’t be able to avoid, change or control what sparks your anger. Fortunately, anger management can keep you calm and manage the physiological arousal that the emotion sets off.
Engage in physical activity
Exercise stimulates a number of brain chemicals that promote happiness and relaxation. Psychologist Kelly Wilson explains in her book “Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong” that hundreds of studies demonstrate that exercise suppresses anger by burning excess energy and encouraging a release of endorphins.
In addition, exercise can help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is both a risk factor and an effect of anger. Aerobic exercise, in particular, can elevate heart rate and work the pulmonary system. Consequently, it’ll help regulate blood pressure and decrease anxiety, thus lessening episodes of anger. An ancient exercise like Qigong can also be beneficial for anger management. “Qigong can promote qi circulation to disperse the emotion of anger. Stretching towards either side of the body aids circulation along the gallbladder and liver meridians,” explains physician Lim Sock Ling.
Practice breathing exercises
Slowing down breathing and systematically relaxing tense muscles will enable relaxation. One way to do this is to count to four as you breathe in and breathe out slowly as you count to eight.
Your breath must enter your belly first, then your chest, and finally the upper chest area that’s just below your shoulders. Continue this breathing pattern for several minutes, ensuring that your ribs and lungs expand at the same time.
Stimulate acupressure points
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that effectively modulates anger by supporting a healthy flow of liver qi. It’s also useful for calming the mind and correcting imbalances in the body. “Massage the Taichong (LR3) acupressure point that’s located on the dorsum of the foot, in a depression between first and second metatarsal bones,” advises physician Lim.
Use herbal ingredients or formulations
The consumption of herbal teas can help regulate emotions in distinct ways. Brew and consume a tea that uses rosebuds or Buddha’s Hands citron to ease liver qi. Chrysanthemum tea consumption reduces liver yang. Separately, you can use Rhodolea Rosea (Hongjingtian) to calm irritability by normalising bodily functions. Kava is a South Pacific herb that can be used to tranquilise the central nervous system and provide relaxation.
Anger management is an important first step towards a better quality of life. Adhering to the abovementioned tips consistently will help you channel anger towards more constructive purposes. If you’re considering the use of herbal ingredients, speak to a TCM physician beforehand. Doing so will help you learn about herbs that are suitable for your body constitution and prevent adverse side effects.
- AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION. Anger. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
- The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. 2015. Anger & Heart Disease: Try Thinking Positively, For Heart Health. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
- ResearchDirect. 2017. Anger tendencies and sleep: Poor anger control is associated with objectively measured sleep disruption. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
- CogniFit. Memory Loss. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
- ACTA SCIENTIFIC MEDICAL SCIENCES. 2019. Exercise and its Impact on Anger Management. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
- MentalHelp.net. Anger Management Relaxation Techniques. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
- THE CENTER FOR ADVANCED ACUPUNCTURE. Acupuncture for Anger Management. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
- GLOBAL HEALING. 2014. The Top 5 Herbs for Controlling Mood Swings. [Accessed 13 January 2022]
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