When you get upset, your body undergoes sudden changes. Indeed, no matter the reason behind your anger, it has an impact on the functioning of your body. You feel it at the level of your movements, of your breathing but also of your stomach. What many people seem to forget is that anger is not just an emotion. It is indeed a chain of hormonal and physiological reactions in your body. You probably suspect the outside reactions of your anger. However, what happens inside your body may seem a lot more mysterious. This is what happens in your body when you get upset.
When you get upset, a section of your brain called the amygdala starts working at full speed. This part of the brain is at the level of the temporal lobe and aims to control emotions such as anger. Likewise, it is the part of your brain that manages extreme situations with the reflex of flight or fighting. The situation you are in triggers your amygdala and sends more blood to the cortex of your brain.
It is this sudden influx of blood to the cortex that prevents you from having clear ideas. That’s why, when you’re upset, it becomes difficult to think rationally. One can quickly feel confused and make decisions “under the influence of anger”. Acting when one is angry can therefore push to commit actions that one could regret. You’ve probably already said hurtful things or you do not think you’re angry. It is your amygdala that must be blamed for it.
Your body produces more fatty acids
When you are angry, your body also tends to produce a larger amount of fatty acids. Indeed, anger is our body’s normal response to a threat. Your brain is therefore giving your body the signal to provide it with more energy to deal with this threat. That’s why you automatically feel stronger when you’re angry. However, this has negative effects on your health.
Indeed, if you get upset too often, you could suffer from arteries that get clogged up. The fatty acids and sugar your body uses when you’re angry could build up in your arteries. The hippocampus may indeed become confused and no longer make a difference between a stressful moment and a normal moment. Your production of fatty acid could therefore become more important in a constant way. The solution ? Learn to manage anger.
Bad consequences on your health
When you get upset, it automatically has bad consequences on your health. For example, people who tend to get upset are more likely than others to suffer from cardiovascular disease. In addition, anger is a factor that can weaken your immune system significantly. Indeed, a study conducted by the big American university Harvard shows that anger reduces the amount of white blood cells to fight against infections.
When you get upset too often, it can also make your anxiety worse if you suffer from it. It can also increase your chances of becoming depressed. Anger can also shorten your life expectancy, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan. It can also help reduce the capacity of your lungs. So we relax and stay zen!
One of the simplest ways of not giving in to anger is to count gently from one to ten. This gives your brain time to calm down and think about the appropriate response to the situation. Practicing meditation on a daily basis can also be an appropriate solution to combat this problem.