Sociologist Peggy Thoits, described emotions as “involving physiological components, cultural or emotional labels (e.g., anger, surprise etc.), expressive body actions, and the evaluation of situations and contexts” . Emotions are often associated with ones mood, temperament, personality and motivation .
An interesting fact, which I’m sure most of you are aware of, is that emotions are also influenced by hormones and neurotransmitters, for instance, dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol etc. Therefore, non of us will be surprised of the alternative definition of emotion, “ a positive or negative experience that is associated with a particular pattern of physiological activity” .
So, I’m sure it’s a bummer being sad or angry.
And other than the lousy felling we have while experiencing those kinds of emotions, they have a huge impact on our physiological status a health.
And let me tell you one thing, you can be sure it is not a positive impact.
Anger causes many physiological problems, such as increasing blood pressure, threat of a stroke, heart disease, depression, anxiety disorders, and, in general, depresses the immune system.
And it doesn’t end there, in order to find relief, angry people use other health endangering habits such as smoking or drinking, or via compulsive behavior habits such as workaholism and perfectionism .
According to a recent study, anger, anxiety, happiness, and relaxation have either a positive or negative impact on a patient’s health depending on the type of emotion and its duration . Moreover, an additional study showed that “anger is bad for your health” .
According to a recent study, anger, anxiety, happiness, and relaxation have either a positive or negative impact on a patient’s health depending on the type of emotion and its duration .
Moreover, an additional study showed that “anger is bad for your health” .
According to the study, anger, which depresses the immune system causes the body to be more exposed to viruses.
What was interesting to see in the study is how IgA decreased as a result of stress and anger, causing us to be more vulnerable to respiratory problem such as colds or flu, while on the other hand increased as a result to feelings such as care and compassion .
Lets use the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) as an example.
When a person is angry, he is creating a right environment for latent viruses due to suppressed immune system, which may cause EBV to reactivate , and when the virus is reactivated in replicates and can cause many different symptoms.
As Alberts Schweitzer once said, “Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”
Anger, sadness and stress are common feelings which we experience on an everyday basis.
They cannot be ignored, and are an important component of our lives. However, we need to focus on moderating these feelings, taking whatever caused them in perspective, in order to avoid unpleasant health problems in the future.
1. Thoits, P. A. (1989). The sociology of emotions. Annual Review of Sociology, 15, 317-342.
2. “Theories of Emotion”. Psychology.about.com. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2013-11-11.
3. Schacter, Daniel L. (2011).Psychology Second Edition. 41 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010: Worth Publishers. p. 310.
4. Brod S1, Rattazzi L, Piras G, D’Acquisto F. “As above, so below” Examining the interplay between emotion and the Immune System. Immunology. 2014 Jun 18.
5. Why anger is bad for you. Published on March 14, 2014.
6. CompassionPower – Anger and Health.compassionpower.com/AngerandHealth.php
7. Anger suppresses your immune system. Published April 14, 2011. aetiology.co.nz/14/anger-suppresses-your-immune-system/
8. Microbiology and Immunology On-Line – University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Virology – Chapter Eleven – Herpes Viruses. Last updated May 24, 2011.