Anger has always been experienced by man as a negative feeling , from which it is necessary to defend oneself and escape as much as possible. We always try to avoid both experiencing it firsthand and suffering that of others. But are we really sure that anger is in itself just a negative emotion? In fact, if well managed and directed , even anger can prove useful and we are sure that, if you think about it, you can find examples in your lives too. How many times have you cleaned your house from top to bottom to vent your anger against your partner? Or how many goals have you achieved after failing attempts and getting angry about it?
Anger can therefore also have positive implications and science now reveals to us that these benefits are also reflected in our mind . Let’s find out how.
The benefits of anger that you don’t expect
A recent study from the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) revealed that getting angry for up to 30 minutes a day can bring important benefits to our brain . These benefits are due to the production of important hormones in our nervous system, which determine the “fight or flight” reaction . “ Anger is a reaction that the central nervous system must demonstrate, to face or avoid some type of discomfort and obtain some benefit. Indeed, if done correctly, it makes us competitive, and that is why it is beneficial ” explains Professor Eduardo Calixto Gonzalez , academic of the psychology faculty of UNAM and author of the research.
Anger releases two hormones in the brain: norepinephrine , responsible for an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and dopamine , a hormone associated with reward and pleasure. At the same time, serotonin and vasopressin levels are reduced. These biochemical changes are immediate and result in increased memory and concentration .
But be careful not to overdo it
But that is not all. According to Professor Calixto, in fact, ” at the same time, we are less easily deceived and we pay more attention to some objects that under normal circumstances we would not notice .” Anger is therefore welcome , as it makes us more competitive and more attentive . But be careful not to overdo it.
In fact, after 40 minutes , cortisol comes into play , with all the resulting symptoms of discomfort. For this reason, anger is self-limiting and tends to decrease naturally after 30-40 minutes. ” Whoever stays angry the longest is acting or has a learning process whereby it is useful for him to be angry to get what he wants ” concludes Professor Calixto.
Alternatives to anger.
The study has an irreverent and satirical note that perhaps takes aim a bit at the lifestyle of modern man, in which it seems that anger is impossible to avoid. However, generating a negative reaction in the body to try to obtain benefits does not make much sense. You might as well find alternatives that don’t have side effects: specifically, here are alternatives to anger that have the same effect of stimulating the production of dopamine and norepinephrine:
- Physical exercise: sporting activity or training increases the concentration of norepinephrine, because the body perceives them as stressful situations.
- Listening to music : turning up the volume of a track that makes us feel good stimulates the production of dopamine in the body.
- Meditation or prayer: these practices have been shown to maintain good levels of dopamine.
- Shopping : a shopping experience, even better in good company, increases the concentration of dopamine.
It has therefore been seen how anger can also have beneficial effects on the body , as long as it is contained in time and intensity. Get angry then, but be careful not to do it for too long! But if you really want to do yourself some good, don’t get angry at all – or at least try not to – and dedicate yourself to far more pleasant activities.