|When was the last time you felt angry? Anger is an emotion many of us recognise and contend with on a daily basis – someone jumping ahead of us in the queue, being ‘wronged’ by a colleague or family member, usually we will point at another person or event and blame them for the way we feel. But, when this anger becomes deep rooted, it can take over our lives and trigger thoughts and behaviours that are uncharacteristic and at times extremely unpleasant.
What we might not realise is that anger has a negative impact on our bodies too. Your adrenal glands flood your body with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, your heart rate increases, body temperature rises and your blood vessels tighten. Blood is diverted away from your digestive system and into the muscles – ready to fight or flee from the situation. We may begin to visualise our ‘revenge’ – playing out negative images in our mind which prolongs and compounds the feelings.
I have a friend who is very capable and experienced driver, in the past they have had to drive long distances for the work, but their ability to control their levels of anger when they’re behind the wheel is zero. A learner driver taking too long to pull out of a junction, the car in front forgetting to cancel their indicator when leaving a roundabout or even an elderly lady taking longer than a split second to pull away at a green light all trigger anger for him. The learner driver, the driver leaving the roundabout nor the elderly lady are all blissfully going about their days and my friend continue to allow himself to be consumed with anger long into the evening following his drive home. Wouldn’t his evenings be much more pleasant if he just wasn’t angry? There’s a Buddhist saying ‘Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of harming another; you’re the one getting burned’. Would life be easier if we could spend less time being angry and more time focussing on feeling good?
If you’re struggling with anger and need support get in touch today!