|Anger and Your Health|
Did you know that the variety of responses you show in your ability to express anger relates positively to your heart health? Researchers at Ohio State University found that subjects who always react the same way “regardless of whether they expressed the anger or held in it” have higher serum levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Everyone is confronted with anger-provoking situations on a daily basis and there is no single right way to handle anger. It is possible to benefit by becoming “response-flexible.” You might want to keep an anger journal: list the times during the day when you became angry. What was the cause? Was there a pattern to your reactions? Then, broaden your response repertoire. As long as you keep aggressive behavior under control, you may find it liberating to experiment with responses.
Are you able to just “blow off steam” in a situation where it won’t hurt anyone? You may also notice yourself being much less angry after 15 or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. Do you have a pal who will patiently listen to your description of whatever outrage you were subjected to, until you wind down? You can ask yourself what’s really bothering you underneath the anger and talk to your “inner child” about your hurt feelings. Have you tried counting to 10, taking a breath, and asking “is this really worth my getting upset over, or can I just let go of it?” Next time that volcano in your chest is about to erupt over an aggravation, see if you can surprise yourself and others by stepping out of your habitual anger-releasing behaviors and try one of the above techniques.
Joanne Zimmie, MSW, LCSW, provides individual and group therapy, offers classes at Camden Co. College, and is a 2nd degree Reiki practitioner. Fifty-minute sessions to help you with anger, or other life problems, are now available at the Center for Women's Wellness, 1930 E. Marlton Pike Q-36, Cherry Hill. Call (856) 751-4115 for an appointment.