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How Does Anger Affect Health?

Anger can be one of the most powerful emotions we have. When we feel offended or resentful, it may be difficult to control our anger and we lash out, causing even more harm to ourselves and others. Anger, resentment, and a lack of emotional control are all symptoms of addiction and alcoholism. Through sobriety, we can become much more effective in managing our anger and letting go of resentment. Without working on our anger issues, our feelings of resentment can build until we feel overwhelmed and seek solace in a drink or a drug.

The main text of Alcoholics Anonymous, often referred to as “The Big Book”, explains, “Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stems all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.” Incredibly, as we focus on correcting our spiritual health, we find that our entire reaction to life changes and we no longer feel as though we are at the whims of strong emotions like anger.

Anger has three components: physical, cognitive, and behavioral. According to the Mental Health Foundation, “physical reactions normally begin with a rush of adrenaline and responses can include an increased heart rate, blood pressure, and tightening of muscles. This is often known as the ‘flight or fight’ response.” The cognitive component refers to how we think about what is angering us, and the behavioral component constituted “ any behaviour that signals anger, which may include raising one’s voice, slamming doors or storming away.” Once we change the cognitive component and alter the way that we perceive what is angering us, the more capable we will be of avoiding the unproductive physical and behavioral reactions.

If our anger reaches levels where it is affecting our relationships and quality of life, it may be helpful to try anger management therapy. According to the Institute of Mental Health, “The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can’t get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.” Through enhancing our spiritual lives and, if necessary, engaging in therapy designed to manage our anger, we can discover a beautiful life of happiness and serenity in our sobriety.

Resilient House is an addiction treatment facility in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana that brings a new approach to the journey of recovery. Through gender-specific programs that offer individual and group therapy as well as a host of additional treatment modalities, we prepare our clients for a life that is rich and full without the chains of addiction to hold them back. Even after treatment, Resilient House offers ongoing support to ensure that all clients have the tools necessary to maintain happiness, joyousness, and freedom in their sobriety. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431