Someone just cut you off while driving. At work, a selfish co-worker doesn’t give a second thought to your workload. Your kids don’t obey when you tell them to clean up their room. And when you go to the mailbox, a bill you had forgotten about appears. These are triggers that can make even-keeled people simply steam under the collar.
Is it OK to get angry? Studies say – yep. It’s OK as long as you don’t let it get the best of you.
Many of you know I grew up in the jungles of the Amazon River. I had snakes and toucans as pets. Animals carry instincts that push them to do what they do on a very base level. They aren’t intentionally mad at you or any other beast, they simply act the way they do out of a survival instinct.
When you get angry, you have what researches call the “fight or flight” instinct come alive. But they also say that for us, these two responses are unhealthy. Fighting would have us kicking and screaming at the situation, and flight says we would just bottle it up inside.
If you are feeling angry on a consistent basis, researchers have found that it can lead to headaches, heartburn, indigestion, high blood pressure, skin problems, heart attacks or strokes!
The author of, “The Secret Side of Anger,” Janet Pfeiffer, gives us some tips on how to cancel the negative effects of anger within. “The moment you feel anger well up inside you, remember SWaT: Stop, Walk and Talk. Stop what you are doing. This prevents the situation from escalating. Next, walk away. Creating distance allows you to calm down and cool off. Then, talk yourself calm. Discuss your feelings and situation with a neutral party, seeking deeper understanding and guidance. If no one is available, talk to yourself. Repeat calming statements such as ‘I am fine. I am calm. I can handle this in an intelligent and rational manner.'”
Another awesome tip is laughing. A good chuckle can relieve tensions. And if you’ve ever studied it you know that laughter has physical benefits. The scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that while mental stress, like anger, can constrict blood vessels and blood flow, laughter can have the opposite effect, similar to aerobic exercise. Dr. Michael Miller, the principal scientist on the study says, “We don’t recommend that you laugh and not exercise, however! We do recommend though, try laughing on a regular basis. Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis, is probably good for the vascular system.”
Wonder what they chuckled at back in the days of kingdoms?
So remember – you can get angry. Just don’t stay that way!
On a side note, I believe that you can overcome anger by first acknowledging that it will not change the situation. Don’t get angry at things you cannot change or have no power over. Think on happy things when anger lurks. Anger is negative energy that will zap you and put you in such a state that any of the above exercises will be hard not something you want to do.
Stay happy. Smile. A lot! It can change you physically. And remember that you are in a better place than what is causing you the anger. Fight hard for your mind and don’t give power to anger.