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4 Ways Anger is Bad for You

Anger is a normal emotion that serves a valuable purpose. It indicates there’s something wrong that you need to fix. Unfortunately, most people have an unhealthy relationship to anger. Most of us learn from the time we’re children we can’t just throw a tantrum every time something doesn’t go our way. That usually means we smile and choke down our anger rather than using it productively. At the other extreme, sometimes we blow a fuse and lash out. Neither is good for us. In fact, they can damage our lives and health in the following ways.

Anger is bad for your heart.

Repressed anger–anger you try to control or refuse to acknowledge–doubles your risk of heart disease. This is especially bad news if you have used alcohol or stimulants heavily. Alcohol and anger often go together. The Big Book identifies resentment–or repressed anger–as one of the major drivers of alcohol addiction. If you want to protect your heart, get sober, eat healthy, exercise, and learn healthy ways to manage your anger.

Anger makes you more prone to illness.

One study found that just thinking about an experience that made you angry can impair your immune system for up to six hours. That’s astonishing. Just think of how many people you can come in contact with during that time. If you feel like you’re sick all the time, anger might be the culprit.

Anger is linked to depression.

You may have heard of Freud’s belief that depression is anger turned inward. Studies actually do show that people who are angry all the time are more depressed. In depression, you get angry, but instead of expressing it, you ruminate and get even angrier. However, failing to do anything constructive with that anger only makes you feel powerless and depressed. Depression is bad in itself, but it is also a major cause of relapse. Getting your depression under control might require changing the way you deal with anger.

Anger makes you impulsive.

Even if you are the kind of person who represses anger rather than expressing it, anger can make you behave irrationally. Most people have a breaking point at which their anger will cause them to do something impulsive. Taking this kind of action is usually bad and can hurt you and the people around you. If you’re driving, for example, a sudden burst of anger can have very bad consequences.

Dealing with anger takes practice. You may want to talk to a therapist if you have trouble expressing anger constructively. Working the steps can also help you identify and resolve resentments so you don’t have such a high baseline of anger. The most important thing is to become aware of feeling angry and understand why, then doing what you can to fix whatever you’re angry about.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and ADHD, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.