Effects of anger
Anger is not all bad and it is not all good. Sometimes it’s detrimental; sometimes it’s beneficial.
Detrimental effects of anger
Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:
- Digestion problems, such as abdominal pain
- Increased anxiety
- High blood pressure
- Skin problems, such as eczema
- Heart attack
Some other negative effects of anger:
- Loss of job
- Substance abuse
- Loss of friends
- Physical injury
- Property damage
Beneficial effects of anger
Constructive anger can be beneficial. Some characteristics of constructive anger are:
- The person who caused the anger is present.
- The anger is justified and proportionate to the wrongdoing.
- The anger is expressed in a way that shows you want to find a solution to a problem rather than just venting your frustration.
Anger can be motivational
People say you should use anger by ‘turning it into positive energy. However, anger is already a kind of positive energy and a powerful motivating force. Research has shown that anger helps you persevere and overcome obstacles on your path toward your goal. When we see something as beneficial, we want it more when we’re angry.
Angry people are more optimistic
Contrary to what you may think, angry people are more optimistic than happy people. may sound like an odd thing to say, but angry people have something in common with happy people. A study of fear of terrorism conducted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks found that those experiencing anger expected fewer attacks in the future than those experiencing more fear and more attacks.
Anger can benefit relationships
Anger is a natural reaction to being wronged and it communicates your feelings of injustice to those who you feel have wronged you. But we have been taught that anger is dangerous, and we should hide it. But this does not help the situation, it usually makes it worse. Research has shown that hiding anger in intimate relationships can be detrimental since when you hide your anger, your partner doesn’t know they’ve done something wrong; so, they keep doing it.
Anger provides self-insight
Anger can also provide insight into oneself. In one study, participants were asked about how recent outbursts of anger had affected them. Over half of them claimed said that getting angry had led to a positive outcome, and one-third said that anger provided an insight into their faults.
Anger reduces violence
Although anger often precipitates violence, it can also reduce violence. When another person sees how anger you are, they are more motivated to try to placate the angry party. If you do not show anger, the other person does not know you are angry, so they continue with their behavior until you erupt in violence.
Anger can be used as a negotiation tool
Anger can be part of a plan to get what you want. One study found that negotiation participants made larger concessions and fewer demands of an angry person than one who was happy. In a negotiation, if you appear powerful, the other side’s options are limited.
Controlled anger wins
What has anger got to do with being a warrior? It makes you want to stop the attacker instead of capitulating; however, if it is not controlled, it will rob you of control, power, and speed, because you will not be thinking clearly and you will be tense.
Without training, confidence, and a desire to survive, fear or anger will cause you to freeze-up or do the wrong thing in a confrontation. With proper preparation, the body will do whatever is necessary to escape and preserve its life, naturally and without hesitation. Every ounce of its strength is focused and directed toward one thing—survival.
We all know what anger is and we have all felt it, whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full rage. Anger is not a fault; it is not a defect in our genes; it is a part of our human psyche. Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion.
Anger may be harmful, or it may be beneficial; it all depends on how you use it. Anger is harmful when it is inappropriate, unjustified, or uncontrolled. Anger is beneficial when it makes you get off your ass and do something and it prepares your mind and body for what they must do.
Getting angry at inappropriate times serves no useful purpose, such as getting angry with an unruly child in a public place. Unjustified anger is always bad, such as getting angry when the baby will not stop crying. Uncontrolled anger usually leads to medical problems (stress) to you and others or injuries to you or others. It may also lead to social problems, family problems, legal problems, and lawsuits.
Justified, controlled anger used at appropriate times is a useful survival tool that nature has provided us. Do not reject anger as a fault, instead, understand it, embrace it, and use it effectively.