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New Study Shows Profound Impact of Anger on Your Health…

June 17, 2010 | 82,342 views
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angerWhen you get angry, your heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, and the left hemisphere of your brain becomes more stimulated.

Researchers induced anger in 30 men "Anger Induction" (AI), which consists of 50 phrases in first person that reflect daily situations that provoke anger.

Before and immediately after the inducement of anger, the researchers measured heart rate and arterial tension, levels of testosterone and cortisol, and the asymmetric activation of the brain.

According to Eurekalert:

"The results ... reveal that anger provokes profound changes in the state of mind of the subjects ('they felt angered and had a more negative state of mind') and in different psychobiological parameters."

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The feeling of anger, like all emotions, is not isolated in your mind. The mental reaction triggers a cascade of physical reactions that extend throughout your body, including:

  • Increases in heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone
  • Decreases in cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • Stimulation of your left brain hemisphere, which is involved in experiencing emotions related to closeness

Interestingly, the last finding, uncovered by researchers from the University of Valencia, suggests that although anger is perceived as a negative emotion, it actually prompts you to become closer to the object of your anger, likely as a means to stop the conflict. And when it comes to anger, resolving the upset is a very wise decision.

Why Unresolved Anger Can be Deadly

Anger is a normal emotion, one that all of us experience from time to time. It’s a feeling that evokes that well-known "fight-or-flight" response, preparing us to defend ourselves physically and psychologically in a conflict. Back when anger corresponded to real threats, this response could be lifesaving, but today it pushes your body into an overdrive mode that is almost always unnecessary.

As soon as you start to get “hot under the collar,” your body starts preparing for a “fight.” Your muscles get tense, your digestive processes stop and certain brain centers are triggered, which alters your brain chemistry.

The feeling of anger may actually help you make better choices -- even if you are normally not great at making rational decisions -- because anger can make you focus on that which is important, and ignore things that are irrelevant to the task of making a decision.

In the long run, and sometimes even the short term, however, this automatic response to anger can weaken your immune system and lead to a variety of health problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Problems with digestion
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin problems, such as eczema
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Not only that, but anger can lead to other negative emotions like bitterness, hopelessness, futility and overall sadness. Let’s face it -- it’s hard to have a good time if you’re holding on to anger.

Feelings of Anger Damage Your Heart

It does not feel good to be angry, and this is a clue that this emotion is also likely damaging your body on a physical level.

This is especially true of your heart, and one study from Washington State University found that people over the age of 50 who express their anger by lashing out are more likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries -- an indication that you’re at a high risk for a heart attack -- than their mellower peers.

Letting your anger out explosively may be harmful because it triggers surges in stress hormones and injures blood vessel linings.

However, simply holding in your anger isn’t the answer either; this has been linked to increases in blood pressure and heart rate. A new study even found that suppressing your anger may triple your risk of having a heart attack.

Since it’s a given that you’re going to experience anger from time to time, it’s very important for your health to have a healthy form of release. You don’t want to lash out violently but you don’t want to hold it in either … turns out the best solution is actually somewhere in the middle.

Your Emotional Health is Intricately Linked to Your Physical Health

Negative emotions will invariably impact your physical well-being, and anger is no different. Emotional factors are actually one of the most important contributing factors for all diseases, including cancer.

That is why an effective strategy to manage your emotional stress has long been a part of my top health tools, and this is because there is overwhelming evidence that your mind does matter when it comes to preventing, or triggering, disease.

The idea that your emotions impact your health and the development of disease is not new. Even the conservative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that 85 percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional element, but the actual percentage is likely to be even higher.

Your emotions can actually trigger your genes to either express health or disease … and if you’re chronically angry or prone to uncontrolled outbursts you could be inadvertently sabotaging your health.

This is why I highly recommend you work on overcoming your emotional barriers, whether they’re based on life’s anxiety-factors or more deep-seated emotional traumas that may have left you “angry at the world.”

There are a host of techniques to instill positive emotions and thoughts and create a sense of inner-peace, and the best rule is to find the one that works for you, whether it is considered conventional or "alternative," and keep on using it. Prayer and meditation are helpful for many.

In my clinical practice, I have tried a variety of methods, and have been exposed to many more (both conventional and alternative) through my medical background, but none have come close to the success rate I have experienced with the Meridian Tapping Technique/Emotional Freedom Technique (MTT/EFT).

With EFT, while mentally focusing on the psychological/emotional issues in a positive manner through the use of affirmations, pressure is applied to the same energy points used for thousands of years in acupuncture (these energy points are finally even being recognized as legitimate by the pharmacy- and surgery-addicted American medical establishment.)

These energy points are only tapped, though, not punctured as in acupuncture, as it has been shown that pressure on these points is all that is necessary to activate your body’s bioenergy. This combination of positive mental focus on the issue(s) and physical stimulus to your body’s biochemistry is amazingly effective at eliminating the issue -- be it anger, stress, anxiety, etc. -- quickly.

Life’s Too Short to Live With Anger

Optimal health involves addressing and resolving your anger and other emotional traumas as quickly as possible -- without letting old emotional wounds contribute to more negativity, and therefore disease, in your mind and body.

So in addition to using MTT/EFT as your primary anger-resolution tool, you may also want to try:

  • Relaxation techniques (slow deep breathing, meditation, prayer, positive imagery)
  • Empathizing with the person (or situation) you’re angry with
  • Exercising (vigorous activity is an excellent way to release angry energy that has built up, and gentler exercise, like yoga, can help you calm down afterward)
  • Asking yourself, “Will this situation matter in 10 minutes? Tomorrow? Next month? Next year?” Most often, situations you’re angry over mean very little in the greater scheme of your life. Keep this question in mind to help you remember that the situation you’re so angry about now will likely be irrelevant in a short time -- and is probably not worth getting worked up over.

When combined, these techniques are extremely effective at both releasing negative energy and putting your mind at ease.


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