Researchers from Iowa State University found that angry men aged 20 to 40 were one-and-a-half times more likely to be dead 35 years later than those who were calmer. Scientists believe this is due to a number of factors linking stress to physiological damage. The frequent release of adrenaline during periods of stress damages DNA, which could lead to life-threatening illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Feelings of anger produce a heightened response in the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with survival instincts.
Angry emotions prompt the amygdala to signal a heightened state of anxiety to the rest of the brain and the body, increasing blood flow to the limbs and heart, which makes relaxation almost impossible. Those exposed to anger-inducing stimuli – without discussing how it made them feel – are more likely to experience insomnia than those who engage in an emotional ‘debrief’, according to neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts. ‘Writing down the cause of your anger frees up the space in your head, dampening the fear response and encouraging relaxation,’ says Mike Fisher, director of the British Association of Anger Management. READ MORE