Let’s be real: everyone gets angry at one time or another. It’s been said that women get more made at people, while men get more angry at things. You may get angry at your spouse, your job, your kids, that electronic device that won’t work or maybe at a missed opportunity.
Sometimes anger can be good for you, if it’s addressed quickly and expressed in a healthy way. In fact, anger may help some people think more rationally, create a plan or work harder. However, the majority of us have unhealthy episodes of anger.
Emotions such as anger and hostility ramp up your “fight or flight” response. When that happens, stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, speed up your heart rate and breathing.
If you hold in anger for long periods of time, turn it inward, or explode in rage, it can wreak havoc on your body, inside and out. Here are just a few ways below.
1. Heart Damage
Anger puts your heart at great risk. Most physically damaging is anger’s effect on your cardiac health. “In the two hours after an angry outburst, the chance of having a heart attack doubles,” says Chris Aiken, MD, an instructor in clinical psychiatry at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and director of the Mood Treatment Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.