When you picture anger it is likely that you are picturing the emotion as a negative thing. And for the most part it is considered to have an association with an unstable state of mental health. Anger can be associated with feelings of stress, that are let to boil over and they can begin to affect many aspects of your life. Including your home life, social relationships, kids and grandkids, and your ability to be effective in the workplace.
These unresolved anger issues which lead to dangerous states of mental health can cause so many problems, that when a new discovery was made that put a positive spin on anger, it has been met with some scrutiny.
New research out of Germany is showing that it isn’t the emotion of anger, or the poorly painted mental health stigma that is associated with it that is considered to be positive. What is considered to be the positive in the anger equation is the idea that expressing it could lead you to live longer.
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The research is showing that those who express all negative emotions, from anger, through to other mental health concerns like stress and anxiety, live longer than those who internalize the emotion. The results of this research, and how anger can help you live longer was published in the journal Health Psychologies.
The boiled down version of the researched showed, after careful analysis of several thousand patients, that those who pushed their anger down, had an elevated pulse, which is indicative of high blood pressure, and the domino effect can in turn, raise the risk of heart disease, and other issues which can negatively impact health.
So if expressing anger is considered to be a good thing, you might consider that while it could be great for your mental health, and lower stress to ‘get it all out’, it shouldn’t be overlooked that there is certain social stigma’s attached to people who just begin sounding off every single time something upsets them. And whether or not it could help you live longer aside, there could be a detrimental effect on your relationships, or workplace if this behavior is carried out, for good health or not.
Experts say it isn’t all about yelling and screaming and getting things off your chest that makes the aim to use anger to live longer successful. The best way to improve your mental health through expression is to not internalize feelings. This can include a whole variety of healthy ways to get the anger out. It can involve a civil discussion of feelings, getting more active to lower your stress or ‘get it out’. Or it could be something that involves no confrontation at all, such as writing or journaling.
Beginning these tactics to address anger and improve mental health, according to this new research, could be an invaluable and simple way to not only be happier, but add two years to your lifespan too.