A boss who persistently overloads you with work… Coworkers who cross personal boundaries… A family member who knows just how to push your buttons…
All of these might be a good excuse for your anger. But are your anger management issues setting you up for a huge hospital bill? Maybe, yes.
According to The Barnes Firm, a crash lawyer in Los Angeles, “Road rage can not only be the cause of car crashes – it can lead to more serious and possibly criminal charges in Los Angeles. Traffic can be frustrating but your life and lives of others are on the line every time you put the car in drive, so it’s important to keep your cool.”
You might be more aware of your anger when someone cuts you off as you are driving to work. But losing your chill can happen at various points in your day. And aside from the mental and emotional turmoil that anger causes, it has health effects that you don’t want anywhere near your life.
Negative Health Effects of Anger
Many studies have focused on anger and the physical effect of it on our bodily systems. Your heart is one of the first in the lineup of casualties. Your risk of experiencing a heart attack increases after an outburst of anger. Even if you manage to control your anger, or repress it, this, too, can damage your cardiac health.
Additionally, outbursts put you at risk of stroke. One study found that you are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke 2 hours after you’ve lost control due to anger.
Your immune system also suffers. In a different study, researchers found that those who anger issues healed at a slower rate than the control group.
Harvard School of Public Health has also found a link between breathing problems and anger management.
Want to reduce the risks associated with losing your temper? Fortunately, it is a skill that can be learned. Figuring out how to channel negative emotion in a positive way can help curb these risks and keep you mentally and emotionally healthy, too.
Physically Remove Yourself from the Cause of Your Anger
If there are situations, people, or circumstances that you know can trigger feelings of anger or rage, try to avoid them as much as possible. Removing yourself from the equation can keep you from having a blowup.
Of course, this might not be feasible all the time. For example, driving through heavy traffic might be a trigger for you, and staying at home to avoid road rage is not an option if you need to get to work. But you can minimize the impact congested traffic has on you by leaving early enough so that you have less chance of getting gridlocked.
Physically minimizing the trigger points in your life will tide you over as you learn other anger management techniques.
Figure Out the Root Cause of Why You are Angry
Sometimes, the reason for your anger is an accumulation of many things. Other times, it could simply be that you forgot to eat breakfast (aka “hangry,” and yes, it’s a real thing).
Give yourself to the count of 10 to do a little digging into your mind and emotions. Talk it out with a close friend, a therapist, or write about it in a journal. These actions can help you figure out what the root cause of your anger is.
Once you know the root cause, you will better be able to come up with an appropriate response instead of flying off the handle.
The Role Stress Plays in Anger
Coming off a 60-hour work week? Did you have little sleep? Perhaps you are feeling totally stressed out? In a stressed-out condition, anything and everything others say or do could cause you to feel triggered.
Make your overall wellness a priority. Doing so will help to reduce your stress levels, and thus lower the risk anger could be having on your health.
One’s environment plays a pivotal role in sparking anger or keeping oneself cool and collected. Being in a stressful situation can cause you to be more prone to anger. So an essential task for you is to slow down and find ways that help you de-stress and find inner calm.