10 July 2005

Chronically Angry and Hostile

In events-rich Philippines, no day is a dull day. Here, newspaper headlines are always sensational and controversial. Many times, the editors of major dailies will have sleepless nights trying to figure how to fit all the exciting news in the front pages.

Here, if your idea of a good morning is a cup of coffee and a major daily to read, you have to think again. Most of the news you get from the papers might already ruin your day before it has even started. This brings us to the topic for this Sunday post.

There is now preliminary evidence available saying that chronic anger may weaken the immune system and cause other health problems.
"Does chronic anger really affect health?" Scientists now are pretty confident that it does," Dr. John Swartzberg of the University of California, Berkeley, told Reuters Health.

In an interview, he noted that he and his colleagues decided to assemble an article about anger and health following recent studies that investigated this relationship. In addition, global events and news of fights at sporting events demonstrate that "there's a lot of anger in the world today," he commented.

The report describes two recent studies that found hostility can increase the risk of dying, among both men with risk factors for cardiovascular disease and postmenopausal women with heart disease, among whom hostility also increased the risk of a second heart attack.

Another study showed that nearly 40 percent of people who had the most common type of stroke, called ischemic stroke, had felt angry or experienced something upsetting within two hours before the event.

[ Reuters Health, Jul 8 2005]

My advice to everyone: Keep it cool.

Besides, getting angry clouds your better judgment and decision-making process. It does not help a bit solving our problems. It is already an angry world out there. Don't add anymore to the hate and hostility.

Here, try this instead: HOW TO MEDITATE.

Peace, everyone. Love one another, as we have always been taught since childhood.

"When anger rises, think of the consequences." -- Confucius


7 reactions:

bayi said...

I have always believed that negative thoughts and feelings such as anger, hatred, depression, etc. are bad for the overall well-being of our body and will be adversely consequential to our health. People who are generally optimistic in their outlook of life and do not indulge in negative feelings look better outwardly. It is reflected in the face and body language and they exude an aura of friendliness and happiness to all those who come near them.

I cannot say this is scientific but I believe their positivity in life allows for less toxins to be manufactured in their bodies. Hence, their stronger immune system.

I like to think that humans are naturally good and every time they do something negative, such as getting angry unnecessarily or thinking bad of other people, thousands of their cells "commit suicide", injuring their own body.

Perhaps Dr Emer can explain this in a more scientific way. Mine is purely dramatic, meant to propagate my philosophy of life in a graphic way! :)

newsiecat said...

hi dr. emer. thanks for visiting my blog. about the recent events, im so fed up na with politics. but being part of the media, i have to stay glued to what's happening. malaki ang epekto nito sa kamalayan natin pero hindi ko na lang iniinda. if i let these things get into my system, i'll lose my sanity hahaha. as what bayi said, it's better if we keep a positive outlook. =) kaya siguro sane pa rin ako. hehe

Dr. Emer said...

Bayi: I have always believed in the concept that negative emotions do weaken our bodies. I think many articles have been published validating this so. Dr. John Swartzberg's report is somewhat a meta-analysis of something we have long believed to be true. Your comments explain it succintly: less negative emotions means a better health status. It will be difficult to explain this scientifically. Science always operates on observed reproducible results, and to validate this, a researcher needs plenty of subjects and a cooperative team to help. Perhaps I will wait for more specific studies on the subject, and do a meta-analysis like Dr Swartzberg in the future.

Newsiecat: I think you have one of the most stressful jobs around. I know you are but human, and probably get affected by the events and people you cover everyday. And in our country, as I've said, no day is uneventful. All days are sensational, right? In other countries, headlines usually are as boring as a new plant growing in the park. I do not know if that is to be envied in the face of what we have here. Who knows? Maybe, it is them who envy us. Too much of anything can really overwhelm you. In our case, the news is always bad. This may also be the reason why I read my papers at night when I'm about to sleep. I always would like to begin my day on a high note.

thescrubsfamily said...

I totally agree with you Bayi, and Dr. Emer.

Stress can cause a lot of things, ulcers for one thing. Most of the patients who come to our cardiac floor with chest pains....are type a personalities under a lot of stress.

We all can use the meditation technique. Glad I am reminded today.

angelbeam said...

with the recent goings-on, i find myself fighting an internal battle each day-- on one hand, refusing to read the papers and dwell on the bad news, for fear that stress might affect the baby in my tummy; and yet on the other hand wanting to keep track of the latest.. after all, we are all affected by this political chaos, directly or indirectly. KEEP IT COOL. that could be a good mantra while tending to the garden and breathing fresh air.

Duke said...

hi Doc.. speaking of anger .. which is more fatal to your health ? anger that is suppressed of anger that is vent out?
Like what you said, reading a Philippine newspaper as a morning routine can cause a lot of stress and hidden anger. I myself feel this at times but I cannot seem to let it out and I feel like someone is literally squeezing my heart! ---> not good I know!

rolly said...

i agree completely that anger is dangerous to ones health. And I also believe in meditation. Hala umpisahan na natin.

ommmmm