Monday Mind Talks: Understanding what causes anger and its negative effects on physical and mental health
Ms. Samar, a psychologist, certified holistic health coach, and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) specialist, is here to offer insight into understanding what triggers anger and its negative consequences on physical and mental health.
Let’s face it, we all feel angry at different times for different reasons. You could be angry at a person whom you dislike, when you experience unjust treatment or if you have some unmet needs; for many, hearing criticism is an irritant, while others get angry at getting stuck in traffic or for having a delayed flight. Often times brooding on traumatic memories or by being anxious about future events can anger us. Hence anger can be caused by both internal and external events. Ms. Samar, a psychologist, holistic health coach, and expert in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), is here to share her knowledge on understanding what causes anger and its detrimental repercussions on physical and mental health.
Negative physical and mental health effects: Anger hampers reason and logic. It clouds judgement and emotional intelligence. The worst part is regret and remorse, just think how many times have you regretted the things you have said when angry? Knowing now you can do nothing about it? Anger gets you stuck in a cycle of regret which is hard to break.
Additionally, frequent anger outbursts can take a toll on your health. Chronic anger makes one susceptible to high blood, cardiovascular diseases (anger is known to constrict blood vessels and increase clotting, thereby triggering a heart attack). Being angry doubled the risk of cardiac arrests in people already suffering from heart problem. Besides constant outpouring of stress hormones like ‘cortisol’ and ‘adrenaline’ excites sympathetic nervous system which suppress immune system and triggers tension headaches.
Furthermore, your mental health gets effected too, increasing risk of depression, isolation, anxiety, insomnia, chronic stress, and even suicidal thoughts and attempts. And also undermines relationships at home and workplace.
Ways to make a change
The best way is to ask yourself some mindfulness questions such as ‘why am I getting angry?’ What was I thinking a moment ago? Why is my body reacting this way? Is my anger masking or concealing other negative emotions like frustration, embarrassment, hurt, shame, insecurity, sadness, anxiety? what can I do to make myself calm and happy right now? How can I be kinder? These questions will give you major clues as to why you got angry and how to navigate around it.