How Does Anger Affect the Brain and Heart?

Actually, it is normal to experience anger but as long as you can handle it. It is a natural response to certain conditions or perceived threats. In general, most people use it to express what they are feeling when something is wrong. However, it can be a problem when you lose control on it. Uncontrollable anger can affect your health, including your brain and heart.

How does anger affect your brain and heart?

Moderate anger in reasonable condition is normal, particularly if you can control it – even it is expected in order to tell others when something is wrong, as mentioned before.

But if you become explosive or even scream at others /hurl objects – and you experience it very frequently, now it is considered as a problem because can increase your risk of heart disease and even stroke if left untreated!

So, when we are talking about the anger that harms your health, it refers to a condition for high levels of anger that occur too often.

What happen if you anger?

The exact way of anger in affecting the health of your cardiovascular system and brain is not fully understood. But experts believe that it can directly affect your heart and arteries (major blood vessels in the body that carry blood away from heart to all cells of the body, including to cells of the brain).

An extremely change in emotion such as hostility, high stress, and high anger can trigger your body to release more cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones).

These hormones will trigger your heart and the mechanism of your breathing work faster in order to provide a burst of energy, which then eventually also can cause a significant increase in your blood pressure.

What else?

The bad effects of high anger to your arteries, blood pressure and cardiovascular system may be the key answer of why this emotional problem can affect the health of your brain.

Each cell in the body needs a continuously supply of nutrients and oxygen. And your cardiovascular system plays a key role in distributing these essential nutrients and oxygen to all around the body.

image_illustration69Blood is one of the major crucial components of your cardiovascular system. We can call it as a public transportation of your body. It carries oxygen from lungs and nutrients from your digestive system. And then then it goes into the heart.

But the blood cannot flow without your heart and blood vessels. The heart pumps the blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to all cells of the body and takes blood poor in oxygen & nutrients back into the heart.

The major blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart are called arteries. And blood vessels that carry blood back into the heart are called veins.

High anger can act in the same way of what high stress does to your brain. It can make your blood pressure increase suddenly. This effect is not permanent, but can be dramatic.

And if you have it very frequently, this can have contribution to speed up the process of what we call as atherosclerosis (a serious condition that can cause heart attack or stroke)!

Uncontrollable anger can make your heart work harder than usual ‘more often’. It can constrict the way of your blood in flowing through arteries and make your blood pressure surge, as noted before. It also can increase your chance of getting more accumulation of globules and glucose in the blood and blood vessels.

All these things can damage the artery walls, including for the brain arteries.

In addition, some studies showed that people are poor in controlling their anger are also more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorder. Both mental problems also can be bad for the health of your heart and brain.

Is there any scientific evidence to confirm the link between anger and brain diseases?

Again, experts still cannot explain the exact reason of why anger can affect you physically. The link of both is not fully understood.

But it’s clear that this emotional problem is bad for your overall health. Some evidences were found that it can increase the risk of heart disease and hypertension, and both problems are the major risk factors of stroke (one of serious brain diseases).

According to a review of 44 researches published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2008, uncontrollable hostility and anger can increase the risk of heart problems.

Even some experts believe that this impact can be very significant, particularly for people already diagnosed with hypertension or heart disease!

  • Riky

    Now I know why psychological problems (including irritability) is bad for the overall health of our body. Nice post!