What Happens when you are Angry

There was a time when anger was an emotion bubbling under the surface for me. The triggers that could evoke the emotion were manifold and my self-restraint, not something that would win me a medal anytime soon. I recall losing my temper because someone had parked their car such that I was unable to back out. Since then, I would like to believe that I have climbed many mountains in exercising restraint and self-control. Have you ever wondered what happens to you when you lose your temper?

It is your amygdala that controls your emotions. The same part of your brain also controls your “fight or flight” response. Your response is the choice you make about how to respond to an external aggression for example. If you chose to fight, blood would rush to your brain often clouding your judgment. You experience this as “losing your temper” which is nothing but a loss of control over both your emotions and behavior. Your body would undergo chain reactions as your adrenal glands would flood your body with stress hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. Your blood pressure would rise, your pulse would race, your eyes would get dilated, and the muscles in your body would stiffen.

Your body would seek instant energy and release both fatty acids and blood sugar to meet these energy needs. If you are thinking – what an excellent way to lose weight, perish the thought, the cost you pay far outweighs any benefits in expended stored fat. Repeated emotional outbursts can lead to depression, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and even indigestion, not to forget the possibility of losing all your friends. After all, who wants to continually be harangued by someone who is unable to control their own emotions?

In my case, I realized that there is nothing to be angry about. Nothing!


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.