Anger is a totally natural emotion that many people struggle with and it's impact on our bodies can be harmful to our hearts. Did you know that? What does your heart feel like when you're angry? Does your heart ever pound so hard you can hear it in your ears? What does it feel like for your body? More questions I know but please do give them some thought. Could you be harming your heart?
It's normal to feel angry...life can be hard sometimes and sometimes? we may not always handle the anger we feel in a healthy healing way and we cause even further problems for ourselves. Has your anger ever gotten the best of you? Have you ever acted out as a result of your anger? Yeah more questions I know...but the more you know about what makes you angry, how your body responds and what you can do to calm this emotion...the less your anger will control your life...or even damage your heart.
Today I'd like to share some information about how anger can hurt your heart and what you can do about it. Please keep in mind that this information is shared for your personal entertainment only and is NOT meant in any way to take the place of direct medical care from a qualified professional. If you have questions about what you read here...please talk to your doctor.
Everyone gets angry. It’s a normal emotion, and there’s probably a good reason why you feel that way.
The way you handle your anger can make a difference to your heart, though.
“If you have a destructive reaction to anger, you are more likely to have heart attacks,” says cardiologist Dave Montgomery, MD, of Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.
That’s true whether intense anger makes you fiery or quietly fume.
If you can tell people in an appropriate way that you’re angry, that’s a good sign, says Laura Kubzansky, PhD, MPH, of Harvard School of Public Health. High levels of anger are the issue, not ordinary anger, says Kubzansky, who has studied how stress and emotions affect heart disease.
How Anger Fires Up the Heart
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.
You get a burst of energy. Your blood vessels tighten. Your blood pressure soars.
You’re ready to run for your life or fight an enemy. If this happens often, it causes wear and tear on your artery walls.
In one report, researchers found that healthy people who are often angry or hostile are 19% more likely than calmer people to get heart disease. Among people with heart disease, those who usually feel angry or hostile fared worse than others.
So if anger has you in its crosshairs, it’s time to shift the way you react to it.
4 Things to Tell Yourself When You’re Angry
Learn to notice the signs that you feel angry, says Wayne Sotile, PhD, author of Thriving With Heart Disease.
The next time you feel your anger and heart rate rise, remember these four things, so you can get a grip fast:
1. "I can't accomplish anything by blaming other people, even if they are responsible for the problem. I'll try another angle."
2. "Will this matter 5 years from now? (Five hours? Five minutes?)"
3. "If I'm still angry about this tomorrow, I'll deal with it then. But for now, I'm just going to cool off."
4. "Acting angry is not the same as showing that I care."
Consider counseling if your feelings still get the best of you. Ask your doctor for a referral. She’ll want to help.
"It’s really important that physicians start taking care of the whole person, including their moods and their lives, because it matters,” says New York cardiologist Holly S. Andersen, MD.
By Katherine Kam, Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on April 27, 2015
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