Resentment Shortens Your Life

Carrying resentment around is not good for your health.

Carrying resentment around is not good for your health. (Image: Michalsuszycki via Dreamstime)

Everybody has negative moods sometimes, such as resentment, dissatisfaction, etc. Usually, they disappear soon, but if you are frequently in such moods or hold onto them for a long time, wrinkles will soon develop on your face and make you look old.

Why resentment and anger make you look old

Have you noticed that when you are in a mood of resentment or anger, the muscle on your face become rigid? When you have to force a smile when necessary, the muscle that usually raises the eyebrow also shrinks, so the facial expression looks downward, making you look old. If you are frequently in such moods, you not only look old, but also hasten the aging process.

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Dr. Lobsang, director of the Dr. Lobsang Preventive Medicine Group and an expert in preventive medicine, points out that clinically, those patients who are resentful usually look older than their peers of the same age, especially those aged over 60. Whether you smiled frequently or you are always resentful makes a difference in your face’s appearance and the number of wrinkles.

Irritability speeds the aging process.
Irritability speeds the aging process. (Image: Prostockstudio via Dreamstime)

Anger, panic, anxiety, vengeance, stress, and irritability follow when you are resentful. Dr. Lobsang points out that as negative moods accumulate over a long period, the autonomic nervous system will gradually malfunction and cause many physical problems.

The autonomic nervous system includes sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves that spread over the organs in the whole body. Once the sympathetic nerves malfunction, then sleeping, gastrointestinal, and metabolic problems will occur. A lack of sleep leads to inadequate digestion and metabolism, and the body’s ability to repair itself is decreased. Consequently, muscles gradually wane, the regeneration of collagen worsens, and the skin becomes dark, which induces wrinkles and bags under the eyes. The flexibility and water retention of the skin also worsen, making your face appear old.

Additionally, resentment and anger will trigger the sympathetic nerves to release more stress hormones (cortisol). Excessive cortisol will inhibit hair growth and the secretion of DHEA, a precursor of sex hormones, and on a long-term basis, speed up the aging of your appearance.

The mind can be a powerful source of preventative medicine.
The mind can be a powerful source of preventative medicine. (Image: Rawpixelimages via Dreamstime)

Obvious differences in your outlook induced by moods could be observed in a period of 10 years, said Lobsang. In addition to looking older, negative moods also induce skin diseases. Skin is the largest organ of the human body. It includes the epidermis, dermis, hair, nails, etc. It is closely related to emotions. Moods such as anger, nervousness, anxiety, and fear will make the skin turn red, white, sweaty or itchy, etc.

A study in Italy in 2020 disclosed that those who had skin diseases often had related psychological problems. Hatred or disgust was found to be highly associated with psoriasis, while anger was related to psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, hives, erythema, chronic spontaneous hives, acne, and vitiligo.

Anger is a poison that will shorten your life

Lobsang stresses: “In preventive medicine, the mind dominates. The toxin of the mind is the most poisonous.” Resentment was so poisonous that those who were resentful not only looked older, but also developed cancer more easily. Science supports this view. Telomeres at the end of each DNA strand are the protective caps of DNA. Each fission of the cell will shorten the telomeres a little bit. When they cannot be any shorter, the cell will die.

Another study disclosed that those who were cynical or hostile had obviously shorter telomeres than others. The association between hostility and diseases was more outstanding in men than in women. Another study in 2017 disclosed that those who were cynical had a much higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and strokes. The mortality rate was also higher. Lobsang comments that only by changing your moods to be optimistic and pleasant can the sympathetic nerves stay in balance and function normally. Those who always smiled had younger faces and tighter skin.

Cast away resentment and your physical age and outlook will appear younger too!

The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — and every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.

Translated by Audrey Wang

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