How Constant Anger Impacts Our Overall Health and Well-Being by Dr Asa Andrew

Sylvia From Nebraska Writes:

Over the past few months I have been catching a lot of colds. I always seem tired and don’t have that much energy lately. I am in a tough relationship at the moment and my friend mentioned it might be due to me being so angry. Could this be true?

Dear Sylvia,

Emotions are the main driver of our health. In my opinion, and with many medical studies, we know that about 85% of the root cause of most health challenges are caused by emotional and environmental toxicity. When we are constantly in a state of frustration or anger toward someone or something, it triggers a stress response in our bodies that can be detrimental to empowering your health. Some people are constantly angry. They just can’t forgive and forget. If we could learn to be more forgiving and move on past the hurt and anger, it can make remarkable strides in our health. Just be like the Disney Frozen song,” Let it Go!”

Now studies have shown that being constantly angry can be very tough on our physical health as well as our daily energy levels. There are some ways to help remove the anger nutritionally, however, we must become aware enough of our emotions to be able to control our anger. Anger can be a good emotion, if handled in a quick manner and expressed in a healthy way. However, when you hold anger inward, or blow up at people, that is very unhealthy, and can create some damaging effects in the long term. Here are some important keys to keeping your temper under control.

1.Lower Immune Function
People who are angry get sick more often. It’s true. Studies have now confirmed this. When you get angry, it causes a 6 hour dip in the immune system called immunoglobulin A. This is our main defense against any type of infection. One way to cope is to use humor and rebuild your thoughts. 

Nutritionally you can consider using L-Theanine, and amino acid that helps support certain brain chemicals like GABA.

2.Depression Can Result
Depression can result from repressed anger. Holding the anger in and never taking action will cause you to potentially deal with depression. It creates a drop in the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can cause low mood and become a repetitive cycle. 

A great way to get out of this cycle and improve your mood is to find an activity that you enjoy like biking, a new sport, gardening, or a team-based event.

3.Lung Disease
You are not a smoker but are angry? Guess what it may be just as damaging. Harvard scientists did a study and found that lung function decreased and had increased inflammation with higher levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. Being angry also decreases lung capacity. We always talk about cancer being the number one killer in America today. But did you know what type of cancer? You guessed it, Lung cancer by almost 33%. 

The answer? Pick an activity that you enjoy and get involved to help you get in shape. Also, consider L-Taurine, and amino acid that has been proven to rebuild lung tissue and support healthy lung function.

4.Decreased Life Span
Another reason to chill out and drop the anger is that it may shorten your life! Stress is tightly linked to our overall health picture. There was a recent study that people who hold their anger in have shorter life spans than those who let it out. Learn to directly tell people what you are mad about and why. Communicating in a constructive way can help the entire situation, most of all your health.. 

Exercise is a great stress reducer. Choose your favorite activity and do it 5-6 days per week. Just 15 minutes a day of an activity can help support a healthy outlook and overall immune system. It is true that happier people live longer!

5.Decreased Heart Health
Anger is not good for the heart. Your risk of a heart attack doubles just 2 hours after an angry outburst. Studies done at Wake Forest University showed the impact of this on our overall health. Those that hold their anger in just to control it are twice as likely to have some form of coronary artery disease. When we were younger we used to say to someone that was angry, “Don’t have a coronary!” I didn’t even know what that meant. I just thought it was sarcastic and funny. Now, we know that it does. 

The best way to avoid these negative health issues is to speak up regarding your anger and be constructive. Another great tool is yoga. Yoga empowers the body and the mind. 

Anger is a normal emotion and a healthy one. The greatest tool is to find a positive way to express your anger and do it quickly and effectively. Deal with it and let it go. 

Your Best Days Are Still Ahead…

Choose to thrive, your health depends on it.



Known as America’s Health Coach, Dr. Asa Andrew is a national best-selling author of Empowering Your Health and host of the #1 Health Talk Radio Show in North America. In addition to hit television series, he is a regular contributor to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and FOX and regarded as a healthcare leader in the field of lifestyle medicine.