Bottling up anger may harm your heart
If you are one of those people who stuff your angry feelings, you may be putting your heart health at risk, says recent research
A German study says that repressing anger and anxiety can be tough on your heart. The research found that bottling up those intense feelings can lead to high blood pressure which is a known contributor to stroke and heart attack.
Researchers evaluated more than 6,000 people as they were given stressful tasks. The people who kept their emotions in check but churned on the inside were found to have elevated heart rates and higher blood pressure as compared to those vented their frustrations. Repressed emotions force the production of a stress hormone called cortisol which can cause the rising blood pressure, scientists found.
The American Psychological Association offers some simple techniques that can help you control your emotions in a healthy way.
- Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won’t relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your “gut.”
- Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax,” “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.
- Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.
- Non-strenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.