J. Sabo September 2019

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Make Drinking Water Fun! Take a Break

Anger May Be Harming Your Heart

Chronic Anger, Your Heart, and Your Health How This Emotion Is Doing You Harm

Anger is a common emotion. It’s natural, and it’s a part of how you respond to certain circumstances in your environment. It’s how you express extreme displeasure. However, new research suggests chronic anger can be detrimental to your health. Essentially, it comes down to this: If you are stressed, tense, easily irritable, angry, and “snippy” all the time, you may be doing serious harm to your well-being.

hormones enter the bloodstream, your heart rate increases and arteries constrict. This helps to more effectively pump blood to the arms and legs for a fight or a flight.

The problem is that when a person is constantly angry or upset, these hormones course through the body more frequently, stressing the arteries and internal organs. As a person ages, this stress can become more damaging. One study that appeared in the Psychology and Aging Journal looked into this phenomenon. Researchers found that there is a link between frequently experiencing anger and increased inflammation and chronic illness for people ages 80 and older. This equated to more instances of heart disease and dementia. The study also looked at other emotions, including sadness, which has also been linked to heart disease and other inflammatory diseases. Through a number of tests involving 200 participants ages 59–93, the researchers concluded anger was far more detrimental to a person’s health than sadness. Ultimately, if you regularly experience rage and frustration, properly dealing with your anger is one of the best things you can do for your health. Every person’s situation is different, and it comes down to getting to the bottom of what makes you angry so you can work through it, whether you work through it alone or with a mental health professional. Take the steps to prioritize your mental and physical health, and your efforts will pay off tenfold in the long run. 4

Studies have already shown a link between anger and the heart. People who showed signs of feeling anger on a regular basis experienced higher rates of heart disease. The first studies on the impact of anger came out in the 1950s and have since been confirmed: Chronic anger physically harms the heart. Why? When you get angry or upset, your brain triggers the release of specific hormones, including cortisol and norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for triggering the “fight or flight” response. When these

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