Have you seen the new trend in dealing with feelings? Anger rooms. When the gringa first saw these advertised I got a kick out of the thought of unleashing all the destructive forces within me. What a hoot to smash some bottles or tear up a sofa. But then, as so often happens, I had a shower epiphany. The shower is where I do some of my deepest thinking. And as I soaked I began to be sad as to why we even need places like anger rooms. And, according to medical studies of what anger does to the brain, they could be the worst idea ever.
Think about it. We can’t afford to indulge the base instinct of anger. The human body does not indulge disease, giving it a safe place to wreak havoc. Instead, white blood cells gather the troops and wage war until the disease is eradicated. Indulging anger doesn’t just make us sick with all sorts of stress related health problems like high blood pressure. Indulging anger also makes us dumber. And judging by conditions today, the world really can’t afford an influx of dumbness into society.
What exactly happens to the brain when we let ourselves rage and scream and break things and slam doors? First of all, at the root of anger, is a desire to inflict harm upon another person, whether it be through word or deed. But anger isn’t just a character destroyer. It also destroys your physical and mental health.
- Anger calls every organ and muscle group into action. This is nature responding to a threat.
- This heightened state of arousal is draining, exhausting and creates a brain chemistry by-product of depression.
- Chronic anger is a natural resource depleter that shortens your life span and compromises your immune system as T-cells are destroyed.
- Heart rate accelerates.
- Pupils dilate.
- Digestion comes to a standstill. This can result in vomiting or extremely high acid content in the stomach. This is natural survival mode as the body attempts to empty a stomach because a full stomach impedes fighting for your life.
- Pain receptors block signals which can result in imprudent behavior that causes severe injury to self and/or others.
- Throat nerves and muscles are stimulated making it difficult to do anything but scream.
- Energy surges through your body.
- As the sympathetic nervous system jumps into high gear, sensitivity heightens which can lead to irrational conclusions of what is going on around you.
- Brain chemistry changes result in problem-solving skills being suppressed as energy reserves are redirected to muscle groups key to physically fighting.
- Chronic anger causes damage to brain structure and connectivity due to high levels of cortisol frequently flooding the brain.
- Elevated levels of cortisol overproduce cells that create myelin rather than functional neurons.
- Myelin is the brain’s “white matter”. As opposed to the higher functioning gray matter, it is the material that encases axons and controls the communication flow of electrical signals.
- Too much myelin, in essence, “strangles” the wiring of the brain, impeding the flow of electrical signals.
- As myelin increases, so do episodes of anger.
So, in a nutshell, giving sway to anger makes you sick, dumb and more prone to be angry again. Give sway to anger habitually and you basically become an anger drone unable to think rationally, get along with others and destined to live a miserable, shorter existence of paranoia. So, no, the gringa is no fan of anger rooms. Rather than be a safe space for people to vent their anger, they are the recruitment centers for the future zombie apocalypse.
People, we need to promote positive thinking and mindful meditation if we want society to evolve as a more civilized people. Humoring angry people will drag us back to a time of dungeons and cave dwelling. Promote positivity and mindful meditation for the well-being and survival of our species and planet.
Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Don’t worry. Be happy. When concerned, take a deep breath and think your way through. If you find you are getting mad, detach from the person or situation if possible. Meditate until you feel your body relaxing and returning to a state of control. Then begin the process of changing your perspective. Rather than look at the situation from your own point of view, approach it from every angle. How is the other person perceiving things? What might the perspective be of an objective, uninvolved third party? And be open to every perspective. You may discover a truth that is difficult to accept but still true. Accept it. You may also discover that every perspective is legitimate. Life and humanity is almost always complex and extremely nuanced. Don’t let anger keep you focused only through your own lens. And, for heaven’s sakes, stay away from those anger rooms!
Image Credit: www.hdwallpapers.in