Anger Control for Men

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Life provides men with an endless supply of things to get angry about. There’s the sullen waitress who refuses to look in your direction while you wave desperately for the check. There’s the oaf who drifts across the road without ever using his blinker. There’s the dropped call, the tepid shower, the gum on the bottom of the shoe.

While it’s perfectly natural to get angry about any of these things, anger comes to some men more naturally than others. For the hot-tempered, the pettiest annoyance results in out-of-control anger. And some guys, despite the fact anger is listed among the deadly sins, genuinely like having a hot temper. It can be a source of pride and a badge of masculinity. Even if you’re not busting heads every weekend at a roadhouse, you might enjoy indulging your angry side. You might feel that anger helps you succeed and inspires respect.

But there’s a downside to the manful, short-fused Type A personality. “In researching people with this disposition, we found that anger and hostility may actually be lethal,” says Charles D. Spielberger, PhD, a distinguished research professor of blood pressure rises.

  • As you heat up, you begin to sweat.
  • Your pupils dilate.
  • You may notice sudden headaches.
  • Basically, your body is gearing up for intense physical activity. This is the “fight” part of the “fight or flight” response. If we’re exposed to something stressful, our bodies get ready to do battle or run away.

    Spielberger says that anger is common because it has an evolutionary advantage. “Anger isn’t just a human emotion,” he says. “Fear and rage are common to animals too. They developed over eons to help creatures fight and survive.”

    Don’t have a coronary, dude! Health risks of uncontrolled anger

    The problem is that, nowadays, your body’s full-blooded physical response to anger isn’t always so useful. It might have come in handy when our ancestors were trying to club a cave bear to death. But it really doesn’t help much when you’re standing in a line at the DMV.

    In fact, uncontrolled anger is worse than useless: It’s bad for you. Several studies have found a link between anger and disease. For instance, a large study of almost 13,000 people found that those who had high levels of anger – but normal blood pressure – were more likely to develop anger management” can sound pretty feeble and goofy. It’s often seen (and used) as a punishment, a humiliation to be endured – like doing community service picking up litter on the freeway – rather than anything you’d ever want to seek out on your own.

    But if you think uncontrolled anger is interfering with your life, get help before it’s court mandated. Learn how to turn your rage into something useful. Because taming your uncontrolled anger won’t only benefit the people around you – it will make your life better and healthier too.

    Like any other human emotion, it’s how you use – not abuse – anger that matters.