Rather than Rage, It May Be Better to Hold Your Anger In

Bottling doesn't necessarily result in a more severe explosion of negative emotion down the line. According to studies which gave participants pillows to punch, actively expressing your anger makes you more aggressive.

What's the Latest?


We all sometimes feel the need to vent our anger but acting on that feeling might adversely affect your health. Biologists who have studied the physiological experience of anger say that the body interprets the emotion as a threat, taking fat stored in smooth muscle in case you need the extra energy. "If those fatty acids aren’t used they have to go somewhere and can end up clinging to the artery walls, and these deposits can contribute to heart disease." Added to that, blood pressure increases which are associated with fits of anger can leave scar tissue along coronary artery walls. 

What's the Big Idea?

Bottling your anger doesn't necessarily result in a more severe explosion of negative emotion down the line. According to studies which gave participants pillows to punch, actively expressing your anger makes you more aggressive. "In one study people received insulting criticism about an essay they’d written, including feedback such as 'this is the worst essay I’ve ever read'. Half the people were then given the chance to vent their anger by hitting a punch bag. They said they enjoyed it, but when they were then given the chance to subject a competitor to loud noises in another part of the test, they punished the people with louder noises than the other group did."

Read more at BBC Future

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