Good morning all who are weary and heavy-laden:
I thought that as we race towards the end of 2017, I would pause and reflect on a year that has produced a lot of emotions and the consequences of how they may have, for better or for worse, affected one’s health. Now, now, I know some of you will be saying that this event, that person or these situations caused me to feel and act this way or that way. But honestly, that is a cop out. While we may be angry at an outcome, a person or a situation, we are responsible for implementing appropriate coping measures so we can remain in a good health.
Am I saying that we always have to be happy and never have an argument or be upset? No. There is a difference between being happy and being, for a lack of a better word, centered. In life, there are some things that we have more control over than others. And, because of that, when the things we have less or no control over don’t pan out they way we think they should, our reaction should not be one that harms US! Yes, the pronoun I’ve chosen to use is “us”. Not “them”. Of course, our reactions shouldn’t harm others. We’ve all been taught that. And whether or not we follow that advice is a discussion for another time and probably another forum. However, unselfishly, if our reaction to something causes OURSELVES pain, it can only negatively affect those around us anyway; and that is a scenario no one wants.
And while videos of outbursts may be good ratings for a news station when they get sent in by a witness who captured the incident on their smartphone, here are seven ways that being upset/angry affects one’s health in ways that are nsfw.
First, angry outbursts put stress on the heart. “In the two hours after an angry outburst, the chance of having a heart attack doubles,” says Psychiatrist Chris Aiken.
Next, one study found that there was a three times higher risk of having a stroke from a blood clot to the brain or bleeding within the brain during the two hours after an angry outburst.
Third, if you’re always mad, your immune system is more susceptible to becoming ill. In fact, a Harvard University study showed a significant drop in levels of immunoglobulin A, the antibody that is the first line of defense against infection, in healthy people who simply recalled an angry experience from their past.
No surprise here, in a 2012 study published in the journal Cognitive behavior Therapy, researchers found that anger can make anxiety worse for those who tend to worry more often than not.
Are you depressed? Numerous studies have also shown a link between depression and being angry. There’s a vicious circle that, if left untreated, is never ending.
A theory formulated by other Harvard University scientists concluded that, in men primarily, an increase in stress hormones associated with feelings of anger creates inflammation in the airways of the lungs leading to a poorer lung capacity.
And finally, yes…being angry can actually shorten your life. A study of couples done by the University of Michigan over a 17-year period found that those who hold in their anger have a shorter lifespan than those who readily say when they are mad.
There you have it. Being angry is bad for your health. I don’t really think that is news to anyone. However, I do believe that since there has been so much negativity surrounding this past year, no matter where one stands, a little reminder couldn’t hurt.
So what’s the prescription in order to avoid the health consequences when the inevitable times of anger arise?
While many people like to go for a walk, a run or even take a yoga class in order to reduce stress, Luis M. Alvidrez and Len Kravitz, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico, report that multi-joint resistance training exercises produce more endorphins (improving your mood and decreasing tension) in a faster period of time than cardio exercise. So if you are upset with the news (real or fake), mad at someone dear to your heart or just angry with the driver that stole your parking space on Black Friday, get a workout scheduled now! Because greater amounts of testosterone and human growth hormone will be released; releasing you of your anger and frustration fast!
And finally, in keeping to today’s topic, and showing that my spelling error in the title was intended, according to December’s WinCalendar, one of the monthly foods are Beets (which are a favorite with Tracy and I). They are rich in nitrates which make for better blood circulation and possibly lower blood pressure. Beets are also rich in betaine (a plant alkaloid) as well as folate (a B-vitamin), which work together for to help reduce your risk for artery damage and heart disease.
Here is an easy way to cook ‘em:
Remove the tops and roots of the Beets and peel.
Place tin foil on the grill
Coat foil with non-stick spray
Place beets evenly spaced on the foil and season with your favorite flavors
Grill on high for 30 minutes or until they are very tender
Remove and let stand for five minutes