We all get mad from time to time, but if you’re someone who spends most of their days angry you might need to spend some of your time focusing on cooling down. Anger is not something that does us any favors and it could be damaging your heart severely.

Throughout the years there have been quite a few studies in regards to the effects anger can and does have on our hearts and most of the findings are not ideal. Intense episodes of anger, in general, can trigger things like heart attacks and seriously increase your risks of having one. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney Australia actually found that for those with acute coronary occlusion, the angrier a person gets on a regular basis the more likely they are going to be to have a heart attack. Those whose anger has ranked a scale 5 or above were almost 9 times more likely to have a heart attack up to 2 hours after an aggressive outburst.

In regards to their findings, these researchers noted that:

“This study adds to the small, but growing, body of evidence linking acute emotional triggers with onset of MI. Future studies identifying the most vulnerable during times of emotional exposure may improve predictive models for when an MI will occur and inform future novel preventative therapies.”

When it comes to anger and the risks that come with it being able to work through your bad emotions is crucial. We all need to know how to handle stress and reduce our outbursts regardless of the reasoning behind them. The more aware we all are of this kind of thing the more we can work to pay closer attention to it. It might even come in handy to take an aspirin after an outburst in many cases just to be on the safe side as aspirin is known to help in coronary event situations overall. 

In reference to this issue Harvard.edu wrote as follows on their website and goes over how to manage anger to reduce this kind of issue:

For a nondrug approach, try an anger-management program. An analysis of 50 studies that included almost 2,000 volunteers found that such programs help people tone down their anger, respond to threatening situations less aggressively, and use positive behaviors such as relaxation techniques or better communication skills. But it remains to be seen whether anger management can reduce heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac events.

The American Psychological Association offers strategies for keeping anger at bay, including the following:

Relax. In the heat of the moment, try to step back and take some deep breaths to help yourself calm down.

Reframe your thinking. When angry, people tend to exaggerate or be overly dramatic. Instead of swearing, acknowledge your frustration, but keep the situation in perspective and recognize that getting angry won’t help.

Communicate with care. During an argument, slow down. Listen carefully to what the other person is saying and stop to think before responding.

Change your environment. When your immediate surroundings trigger a sense of rage, move away if possible. Schedule quiet time alone during very stressful times of the day.

Dr. Michael C. Miller, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, points out that expressing anger often escalates conflict. “That can lead to more anger. So step back from it, and don’t take immediate action unless you have to. By keeping your head cool, you may get more satisfaction—and perhaps avoid a serious heart-related problem.”

Anger is and always has been quite the toxic emotion. Working to handle it better could benefit you greatly. How do you deal with your anger and is this an issue for you?

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