Anger & Bitterness Can Literally Break Your Heart

An EKG red heartFrom anger in high profile cases like in the death of Trayvon Martin, or a silly argument between friends that turned deadly, anger flows in our community.  We all feel angry at times; it’s a natural response to threats and attacks, injustice and disappointment. Anger is a powerful emotion and releasing the pressure that builds inside is essential to deal with deep-seated problems and move on. But if anger isn’t dealt with in a healthy way, it can have a significant effect on your daily life, relationships, achievements and mental well-being.

Some doctors have gone as far to see that anger kept inside and bitterness can have a number of negative effects on the body. Even the physical reaction you have when you see or interact with someone you are bitter against is literally toxic for your body.

Learning how to express anger can protect your heart, mind, and health. Here’s the right way to do it.

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Understanding Anger

The emotion of anger is neither good nor bad. It’s perfectly healthy and normal to feel angry when you’ve been mistreated or wronged. The feeling isn’t the problem—it’s what you do with it that makes a difference. Anger becomes a problem when it harms you or others.

Mastering the art of constructive anger takes work, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. And the payoff can be huge. Learning to control your anger and express it appropriately can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a healthier, more satisfying life.

What Kinds Of Problems Can Be Linked To Anger?

Anger in itself is neither good nor bad; it becomes a problem when it harms us or other people. Anger is the emotion most likely to cause problems in relationships in the family, at work and with friends. People with a long term anger problem tend to be poor at making decisions, take more risks than other people and are more likely to have a substance misuse problem.

It is linked to poorer overall physical health as well as particular conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Colds and flu
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Gastro-intestinal problems

Emotions And The Heart

There are many studies and analysis with evidence that supports the link between emotions and heart disease. To be specific, anger and hostility are significantly associated with more heart problems in initially healthy people, as well as a worse outcome for patients already diagnosed with heart disease.

One study showed that chronically angry or hostile adults with no history of heart trouble might be 19% more likely than their more placid peers to…