Feeling Bottled Up? How Hidden Anger Can Harm Your Health

Anger and other emotions have a profound impact on both our mental and physical health. The mind and body are connected through neurological and neurochemical pathways. When we experience strong emotions, such as anger, our nervous and hormone systems respond, creating neurotransmitter chemicals that can lead to harmful side effects, compromised health, and strained personal and professional relationships.

The Impact of Unresolved Anger

Holding onto negative emotions can wreak havoc on our physical and emotional well-being. When we become angry and do not express it productively or resolve it, the body reacts through the stress adaptation response, leading to various biochemical and physical reactions. Habitual or unresolved anger can have serious consequences on our health, including:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tense muscles
  • Heart attack
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Glaucoma
  • Stroke
  • Hives
  • Asthma
  • Ulcers
  • Migraines
  • Low back pain
  • Psoriasis
  • Shortened life expectancy

In addition to these physical effects, anger has also been linked to mental health issues such as loneliness, chronic anxiety, depression, eating disorders, sleep disorders, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and phobias.

Effects on Relationships

Unresolved anger and poor communication can also have a detrimental effect on our relationships, particularly intimate ones. Learning how to handle anger effectively and communicate our feelings is crucial for building and maintaining healthy relationships.

Effective communication skills can empower us to express our feelings and create fulfilling relationships. By expressing our feelings (whether sadness, frustration, or anger), we can feel more in control of our lives and better connect with others.

Learning to Communicate

Improving communication doesn’t have to be difficult. Many of us have developed communication skills from our families and environment, but there are proven, easy-to-learn strategies that can provide the tools and knowledge needed to channel and express anger or hurt feelings appropriately.

One model of communication proven to work in various environments and relationships is Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn, Proven Communication Skills. You can learn more (and even download a free chapter or excerpt) by visiting their website. If you’re a Kindle Prime member, you can also access the book for free.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to recognize the impact that unresolved anger and emotions can have on our health and relationships. By learning to communicate effectively and express our feelings productively, we can take control of our lives, build strong relationships, and protect our physical and mental well-being.