Connection of High Blood Pressure with Anger

Friday, May 1, 2020

/ by Dr Vishal Zahra

In this article, we are going to find out the connection between anger and high blood pressure. It is commonly observed that people with high blood pressure tend to get angry quickly or when people become angry their blood pressure increases. It is real or just a coincidence! What does medical science say about this? We will have to take a more in-depth look at its physiology. Firstly, we should know what high blood pressure and anger really are in terms of science.
Anger
Anger is a fundamental human emotion, and it can not be removed from our personality. It is a very reasonable and healthy emotion. Anger has many benefits for us, and it helps in our survival too. Problems arise when it gets out of control. To protect ourselves with its dangers, we have to learn how to control this emotion. Otherwise, it will affect not only our mental state but also our bodies physically. The anger impacts our personal as well as our work lives. Sometimes it turns out to be destructive for both lives. You should learn to control anger; otherwise, it will control you and leave you with regrets for life. Anger is basically an emotional state that varies from mild to severe.

Blood Pressure
Arteries are the vessels that carry blood throughout our body. Blood pressure is the force of the blood against these arteries. The push that blood exerts on the walls of arteries when it is pumped through the body is measured in terms of blood pressure.
Normal value: 120/80mmhg
At-risk value: 120-139mmhg
High blood pressure: 140/90 mmHg or higher
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a severe condition, and if it remains untreated, it will cause harm to our bodies in many ways and ultimately leads to heart diseases and death.

Physiology behind anger
Anger comes along with physiological and mental effects. How it affects our bodies physically in terms of it’s functioning can be called as physiological responses of anger. It is a compelling emotion and usually unpredictable. It mostly comes suddenly. Anger is generated in a part of our brain, known as the amygdala. This part of the brain warns us about threats and makes us respond to them effectively. It is necessary for our survival. The quick response is to save us, but because it is so quick that we cannot correctly think before we act in anger.
Fight or flight response generated
Stress hormones flood up
Heart rate increases
Breathing becomes faster
Blood pressure increases
Body temperature rises
Mind becomes alert
Muscles tense up

The connection!
Anger is an emotion that occurs in response to something unwanted, irritating, or extremely unacceptable. It is in the form of aggression. When this type of unwanted event occurs, our body goes into a ‘fight or flight situation.’ That means our sympathetic nervous system becomes active. It causes the rush of different chemicals from the brain to our bloodstream. These chemical are known as hormones (esp. stress hormones).  Adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol are some examples. This outpouring of stress hormones causes our heart to beat faster, and our breathing accelerates. As a result, blood pressure increases. This spike is usually temporary and harmless if it occurs once in a while and for the short-term. Because when the stressful event passes, the blood pressure and other changes go back to normal within a small amount of time. The danger increases when there are repeated episodes of anger, or our body is in a chronic state of stress. In this case, anger can prove deadly. With constant high blood pressure and rush of stress hormones in our blood due to anger, our arteries, which are generally elastic and flexible, becomes narrow, less flexible, and hard. Our blood tends to clot quickly, and these changes can lead to a heart attack.
Managing Your Anger
Anger management is critical if you want to keep your blood pressure healthy and prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular events. First of all, you should know on which level your anger lies.
1.       Mild irritation
2.       Facial flushing
3.       Redness of eyes
4.       Yelling and crying
5.       Throwing objects
Anger itself is not bad. How we respond to it makes the difference. If we have command on our emotions, we can live freely. If our emotions overpower us, then we will always be their slaves. How your body deals with certain emotions such as anger also depends upon your genetics. Responding to different chemicals in our body, for example, stress hormones, depends on your genes at some level. But there are personal and environmental factors too. To control your anger, you have to work on your body from inside. Clear your mind from negativity. Try to calm yourself. Think before you respond to any situation. Joining health and fitness programs have a good impact on your overall health, and they help you manage anger and keep your blood pressure within normal limits. Knowing what triggers your anger can help you plan accordingly. Stepping away from those situations or circumstances that makes you lose your temper is also a good option. It doesn’t mean you have to suppress your anger but to express it in a healthy way!


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