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Friday, 1 January 2016

Why anger is so harmful for you and what you can do to curb it

Is your work taking a toll on you? Does it feel like everyone is out there to get you? Do small arguments involving you, often turn into huge fights?
Well, then you have to hear what we have to say. According to a report in IANS, a bunch of mental experts say that giving up on anger, will help you attain a healthy lifestyle.
But what exactly is anger?
According to Dr. Samir Parikh, director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare Limited, anger can be defined as "..a natural response by our body, which triggers the 'fight or flight' response in perception of potential threat, attack, injustice or disappointment."
Even though anger is an emotion which is experienced by every person at some point of time, it has been noted that more and more people, including children, lose their cool very easily nowadays. Which according to Dr. Sanju Ghambir, senior consultant psychotherapy and counselling, Primus Super Specialty Hospital can be blamed on the fast-paced life today.
She adds "We are getting a lot of patients now. They have a lot of anger in them because they don't have patience. We are living in a time where everything is instant. All we have to do is go online. When we don't get results fast, that's when people start getting angry.Children as young as three show anger. Be it sibling rivalry or not getting toy of their choice, anything can be the reason. Sometimes, even watching cartoons leads to anger because there is a lot of violence in that."
Ghambir also threw light on the the fact that earlier, there were more cases of men losing temper, but now, with the demand for equality, women are no longer hiding their emotions. "Now even women are expressing anger. More women are becoming aware of their own role. With that in mind, women also feel why they should keep quiet. So that role of keeping quiet to control the situation is going out now because a woman has her own ego to satisfy," she said.
It has also been noted, that age has almost nothing to do with anger. There hasn't been any significant proof of the fact that as a person grows older, he/she turns calmer.
Throwing light on the physical and psychological manifestations of anger, Parikh says that the common signs of anger include sweating, headaches and restlessness. It reportedly, also arouses the nervous system, leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and other regulatory functions of the body.
"Frequent anger is likely to lead to adverse impacts on the person's physical health, increasing the risk for illnesses like hypertension or cardiovascular diseases, sleep disturbance, skin problem, in addition to interference in occupational, social, and interpersonal functioning," Parikh adds. 

The long-term effects of anger not only include difficulty in decision making, increased anxiety and depression but also, stomach ulcers. 

According to Atul Verma, senior psychologist from SCI International Hospital, "Expression is the act of conveying your anger. Expression ranges from a reasonable, rational discussion to a violent outburst. Suppression is an attempt to hold in your anger and possibly convert it into more constructive behaviour."
He also says that techniques like, counting numbers backward and taking a deep breaths, when angry, can bring down your outburst in considerable amounts.
Adding to which, Parikh says "When a person is angry, the individual experiences a surge of energy, which typically is externalised in the form of shouting, or aggression. Instead, the person should be encouraged to have regular physical activity, be it in the form of a sport, workout, dance or even walking or jogging."
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