Saturday, October 28, 2017 by JD Heyes
Very few people like to spend most of their time ticked off about something, but a growing body of research indicates that sometimes, just sometimes, getting really angry is actually good for you.
As noted by NBC News, most everyone has experienced periods of blind rage — being so angry ‘you can’t see straight,’ as one old saying goes. The reason for that rage is varied: Political differences of opinion, the feeling of being slighted, getting insulted by someone, etc.
And we know from past research that too much anger certainly isn’t good for you and can lead to all kinds of health issues like high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and even breathing problems.
As NBC News notes:
Messages abound that anger is something to fear and avoid, like the flu. Even Buddha was anti, touting this adage: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
And yet, we also know that being angry is just part of a normal day, even if that ‘anger’ only amounts to annoyance, really, or disgust. We’re human; therefore, we get angry. (Related: New study shows anger outbursts may trigger a heart attack.)
But that’s not all bad.
According to a 2002 study titled, “When Anger’s a Plus” which was published by the American Psychological Association, nearly half of a control group said they experienced “positive long-term effects of angry episodes,” while just one-quarter of participants said they considered such episodes as a long-term negative.
Clinical psychologist Scott Wilson, an adjunct professor in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College Columbia University, also agreed that there is some good to being angry.
“We are hard-wired to pick up facial clues related to anger, and perception of these cues is an important aspect of social communication,” he told NBC News, in recognizing that anger can be a gateway to communication. “The experience of, or expression of, anger communicates to others that we are unhappy with their behavior, or that we perceive their actions to be unjust or unfair.”
In addition, Wilson says he believes anger is vital to the success of any relationship.
“A lack of expression of anger in relationships can actually be detrimental. The feedback anger can deliver is very important in social relationships and actually can make them healthier, as long as it is not too intense,” he said.
In addition, experts say there is evidence to suggest that anger can often make people more rational, instead of less so, which is a common perception. Researchers studied college students to find out how anger would affect their thinking and decision-making processes; they found that anger made them more analytical and rational. Scientists concluded that action brought on by anger can originate from “clear-minded and deliberative processing.”
Says Wilson: “Like all emotions, anger is a response that organizes our thinking, our physiology, and our behavior so that we can most effectively face a particular type of challenge.”
There’s more. Anger can also enhance or activate our instinctive “fight-or-flight” response to danger or confrontation. And while we can often get angry when challenged, it is an emotion that also emboldens us to be assertive and even aggressive when necessary. “Since anger doesn’t feel good subjectively,” Wilson told NBC News, “we are motivated to try and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
Also, a Scientific American piece cited research proving anger also serves as a pathway to creativity, most often due to a boost of adrenaline. That said, one expert noted that anger-induced creativity is subject to rapid burn-out.
“Anger leads to creativity, though perhaps only in small doses,” said one of the study’s authors, Mattjas Baas, an assistant professor and the Department of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. He said anger doesn’t generally last long so the period of enhanced creativity won’t either.
Wilson, meanwhile, added that channeling anger into something positive to achieve a specific goal is also a way to realize some good from it.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.