It’s often stated that negative emotions can affect your overall health and immune system. The prolonged presence of anger, this negative emotion, if left unchecked, can threaten your health and life inadvertently. Rarely do we stop and reflect on the sinister and lethal effects of this negative emotion, anger, which makes avoiding anger a key factor in better health.
Can you recall a time when you were extremely angry at someone or some event? How did your body feel? Was your heart racing? Did your breathing rate increase? Did your head start aching? Was your mind racing with negative thoughts of revenge and retaliation? Did you lose your appetite? Did your body visibly shake and feel tormented by the prolonged presence of these negative emotions and feelings of rage or anger? Even years after the event, when your mind thinks back on this incident, do you still get engulfed by these negative emotions and feelings of anger? It is rare for a person to not have encountered this negative emotion of anger.
Let’s examine the effects that anger has on your body.
Decreases the body’s immunity
When a person is stressed and tense due to angry feelings or emotions, it stimulates the body to secrete cortisol. If the body secretes too much cortisol, it will hinder the functioning of the immune system that in turn reduces the body’s ability to resist or self-correct the imbalance.
When the body’s immune system is compromised, the body then becomes more susceptible and prone to developing various infections and illnesses.
Dangers to the heart and brain
A large amount of blood in the human body is concentrated in the head and when one is engulfed by the emotion of anger, this increases the pressure of the cerebral blood vessels. This in turn causes a lowering of the blood oxygen levels in the brain, as well as increasing the toxins present in the brain. This could be seen as poisoning the brain cells. In severe cases, this may induce or lead to cerebral hemorrhaging.
The over-concentration of blood in the head leads to an insufficient supply of blood to the heart that consequently can cause the development of oxygen deficiency in its muscular tissue. In order to maintain the normal functioning of the body, the heart has to increase its workload. This causes an excessive burden on the heart, increasing the heart rate and even leading to an irregular heartbeat.
Effects on the stomach
When you are emotionally charged with anger, the blood supply flows to other organs of the body, thus reducing the supply to the stomach. This decreases the stomach’s ability to secrete the mucus needed to protect its lining. This compromises its normal health and functioning.
Another effect is the loss of appetite, which leads to insufficient food being present for the stomach to neutralize the stomach acids. So an overproduction of stomach acids, for a prolonged period of time, can lead to various stomach disorders.
Depending on the degree of anger, your breathing rate can increase and some people may even experience hyperventilation. The Chinese saying “the lungs are bursting with air” refers to the alveoli in the lungs that continue to expand without having time to contract and relax.
Effects on the breasts and uterus
Studies have found that frequent anger can adversely influence the endocrine system, leading to a risk of breast hyperplasia, which is a non-cancerous increase in the number of cells, as well as higher risk for breast cancer itself.
The human reproductive system is also closely related to the endocrine system. Women tend to be more emotional by nature, so frequent anger may lead to endocrine disorders. These can easily lead to diseases such as irregular menstruation and uterine fibroids.
Anger leads to illness
People who are often angry are more prone to getting ill. So in order to prevent illness, you need to find practical ways and methods to personally control and reduce your anger.
If you are someone who is easily angered, the following methods may be of help in regulating your emotions.
Enjoy basking in the early morning or late afternoon sunlight
Modern studies have found that sun exposure increases the synthesis of serotonin in the body. Serotonin has the property of making people happy and relaxed. So indulging in outdoor activities is important for your health. If you are choosing to go out in direct sunlight, choose early morning or late afternoon periods of the day.
Genuinely smile often
A genuine smile is a beautiful, non-verbal language expressed between human beings. A smiling face can relieve you of any bad emotions and anger. Even during the times that you least feel like smiling, just put a smile on your face and note how your body and spirit relax. Which would you prefer: “Anger to control you” or “you to control the anger”?
A soothing drink
6 gm daylily
3 gm dried rose petals
6 gm licorice root sliced and soaked in honey (Chinese herbal medicine tonic, honey used to counteract the bitterness)
Cut 3 or 4 daylilies into small pieces together with 3 or 4 dried rose petals. Add three pieces of licorice. Add boiling water and brew as a herbal tea.
Drink this just like normal tea.
Daylily soothes the liver and regulates qi, which can make people feel happy. Rose petals soothe the liver and regulate qi, again helping with positive feelings. Honey-soaked licorice adds flavor, protects the stomach, and invigorates qi.
These three ingredients are brewed as a tea, which makes people feel happy, soothes the liver, and relieves depression. Another long-term benefit of drinking this herbal tea is beautiful, healthy-looking skin.
NOTE: People who are allergic to any of these ingredients should not prepare and drink this.
The secret to longevity: Avoid anger
People who have lived to an age of 80 to 100 years and beyond, when asked about the secret to their healthy longevity, all mention a similar story. You need to maintain an optimistic and peaceful attitude, be tolerant of others in all situations, and care about others. All of these qualities naturally leave little room for people to get angry easily.
Translated by Cecilia G and edited by Maria Meyer