5 Things That Happen To Your Body When You're Angry
When I get angry, my skin turns green, the sleeves of my shirt rip open as my muscles rapidly expand, and my veins lift out of my skin as they fill with the rushing blood of a thousand rivers. My teeth sharpen, my voice deepens, my brows converge and my hair raises to the gods. My foot steps become thunderous, my gestures violent, and my words venomous. Every finger nail becomes razor sharp, every nerve becomes alert and every muscle prepares for battle. That's right, I turn into The Hulk when I get angry — or so it feels.
OK, maybe none of that stuff actually happens. You're probably thinking I'm a civilized adult and anger doesn't change me. Well, you'd be wrong if you thought that. Anger actually affects the body greatly. Not in a great way, but in a big and significant way. Being excessively angry is actually considered unhealthy, as it's not good for the internal environment of your body. It affects the body's functions and puts a heavy strain on its ability to do its job.
If you too feel like you turn into a comic book villain every time you have a brush with anger, you might be surprised by these very real physical things that happen to your body when you get angry.
Your Brain Receives The Message
Anger lives in a very primitive part of our brains: the amygdala. So that's the place anger first makes a mark, triggering the amygdala into action. It raises alarm internally.
The Message Gets Sent To Your Adrenal Glands
The next responders are the adrenal glands, they get to work releasing some hormonal assistance in the form of adrenaline. Your adrenal glands also let out some testosterone to give your anger a little power boost.
The Adrenaline Makes You Rage
Adrenaline sends an intense wake up call to your muscles, twitching and jerking them into action. Here you might notice your brows and lips changing form, your pulse quicken and your palms turn to fists.
The Rage Makes You Louder
The increase of adrenaline in your system will increase the speed and volume in which you speak. And the louder and faster you talk, the more you'll work yourself up, further increasing your pulse and blushing your cheeks and protruding your veins.
The Anger Puts A Toll On Your Body
With your blood pumping away from your stomach to support your twitching muscles, and cortisol wrecking havoc in your cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune system, your body is like "please calm the F down".
Obviously anger has its evolutionary benefits — it helps us to survive and protects us from danger. But as with anything, excessive anger can cause long term damage and a lower quality of life, leading people to poor decisions, risky decisions, and make them more vulnerable to substance abuse problems. So try to Hulk In instead of Hulk Out whenever you can, and make sure any anger you feel is the productive kind.