Everyone experiences negative emotions, but studies have shown that constant anger makes you age faster. Over time, people with high levels of hostility do themselves permanent physical harm.
According to a study by psychologists Carsten Wrosch and Ute Kuntzman, permanently being angry is even more destructive than sadness. They believe that all emotions — including negative ones — have a role in human development. For example, anger can be a motivator in tough times, and sadness can help you overcome trauma or losses.
Subscribe to our Newsletter!
Receive selected content straight into your inbox.
Resentment and anger have long been linked with several long-term health complications, premature aging, and wrinkling. But is your being angry a passing moment or a permanent emotion? Are you always wearing a scowl?
Effects of being angry on your skin
As mentioned, fleeting anger and sadness are part of life. But for millions of people consumed with lasting rage and resentment, it’s a different story. Permanent hostility and never-ending arguments set the stage for premature wrinkles.
According to Jessica Wu, MD: “Anger makes your facial muscles tense, which over time gives you lines.” Jessica is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of South California medical school and Daily Glow’s dermatology expert.
How does getting angry affect skin repair? In another study, scientists separated participants into quick-tempered and calmer zen individuals. They then gave each group a standardized blister wound on their non-dominant hand. And you guessed right, healing took almost four times longer in angry individuals than in the more peaceful category.
Researchers believe this may result from high levels of cortisol released by angry people. Excessive amounts of cortisol inhibit collagen production, a crucial component of skin healing and wrinkle reduction. Also, when you are angry, it makes you frown more and look more aged because of anger-induced wrinkles.
How does anger affect your life?
This negative emotion affects your entire body. It is arguably the most harmful emotion that people experience. But, unfortunately, the effects of rage don’t stop at your skin.
The British Association of Anger Management identifies two ways that most people deal with this emotion — implosion or explosion. Exploders quickly move from getting angry to rage and hostility, and they may harm others or themselves without thinking.
On the other hand, imploders bottle this up for long periods, sometimes years. But the more this powerful emotion remains inside, the more it affects them, leading them to self-destructive habits like drug abuse.
How permanently being angry affects your lungs
Anger doesn’t only make you “look older,” you become older. Its expression is linked to stress, grief, depression, and stress, which can lead to various health disorders. Permanent resentment also causes your blood pressure to increase, your heartbeat to rise, and it interferes with hormonal and neurological activities.
Worse still, in 2006, another study by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston showed permanent anger might lead to lung damage and breathing problems. This study, conducted by Laura Kubzansky, Ph.D., MPH, followed 670 men (45-86 years old) for eight years. Their lung capacity was measured three times during this time.
At the beginning of this research, people deemed to have high levels of hostility had lower lung power than their calmer counterparts. But their lung power became worse with each examination showing the effects of anger over time. Moreover, this association of anger and breathing difficulties still held even after factoring in smoking.
After the study, Laura and her team wrote: “The role of hostility in pulmonary health deserves a closer look.”
How to control your anger
Permanent anger and resentment cause premature aging, among other health complications. Irritation also causes insomnia and exacerbates under-eye wrinkles, eye bags, and dark circles, making people look older.
It is impossible to reduce the signs of aging altogether. But besides other health and skin remedies, anger management techniques can help prevent premature aging. Yes, it isn’t easy to control emotional responses. However, there are ways to reduce their lasting impact.
The American Psychological Association recommends improving your communication skills, making your environment stress-free, stress relief practices like meditation and yoga, and using rational speech in arguments. You can also seek therapeutic help to reduce the long-lasting effects of constant anger.