By Georgianna Donadio, PhD – The way we feel — especially when we feel hurt or angry — can cause negative effects on the body because of the neurological and neurochemical connections between mind and body. Holding in your feelings can lead to serious illness. If we experience internalized anger, our nervous and hormone systems react, creating neurotransmitter chemicals that can result in harmful side effects. Those can lead to compromised health as well as compromised personal and professional relationships.
Anger that is felt over a period of time is unhealthy. When we become angry and do not express it in a productive manner, the body reacts through the stress adaptation response, leading to biochemical physical responses that can lead to illness or death. If we are habitually angry, the conditions that can occur as a result of this physical response to the chronic or ongoing anger include:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Tense muscles
- Heart attack
- Hiatus hernia
- Low back pain
- Shortened life expectancy
In addition to thousands of anger and stress studies, many other health studies have connected anger to loneliness, chronic anxiety, depression, eating disorders, sleep disorders, obsessive-compulsive behavior and phobias. It can also have a detrimental effect on our relationships and threaten the development and maintenance of intimate relationships. Communication is the key to learning how to handle our anger and creating healthy and fulfilling relationships.
Learning how to communication does not have to be complicated. While most of us have developed communication skills from our families and environment, there are easy-to-learn, proven skills that can provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to be able to channel and express your anger or hurt feelings appropriately.
When we are able to express our feelings (be they sadness, frustration or anger), we feel more in control of our lives. We are able to create the type of relationships we want with others.
Current research has clearly shown that it is healthier to express and resolve our relationship issues than it is to hold them in and allow them either to make us ill or to cause conflicts at work, home or with friends and colleagues.
As a researcher, I have participated in many years of research into a model of communication that has been proven to work in all types of environments with all types of relationships. You can read more about it and download a free chapter or excerpt from the book on this subject at www.changingbehavior.org. You can also get the book for free if you are a Kindle Prime member by typing in Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn, Proven Communication Skills.
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