Thought for the Day: Sorry for the delay today in posting the answer to Tuesday's Psychological Trivia Question. However, I am a bit tired following my trip to Washington DC. I will add a post later about my journey. The question posed was: True or false: Anger is bad for your health. The answer is that it is both true & false! Too much of a good thing can become bad. The same is even more true with anger. Either extreme, being out of touch with &/or repressing anger can be bad for your health, while acting out & fuming all the time can also be harmful to your health.
I do not like multiple choice questions. Sometimes, true or false questions bother me as well. This one is one of thise true or false questions that simply don't work. Psychology is far from an exact science. Most things that we study do not fall into simple black & white categories. Instead we explore the grey areas of human experience. Today's question & answer lie in the middle of one of those grey areas of life. Anger is a feeling. Feelings are not right or wrong, good or bad. They simply are what we feel. They help us cope with both good & bad experiences in our lives.
Anger, which helps us cope with difficult negative feelings, often gets a bad rap. Anger is seen as negative or bad, since it is often confused with acting out of angry feelings. When people are angry they may act out & hurt others or break things. Acting out of anger is negative. If you get angry & put your fist through a wall, you raise your blood pressure. In addition, you not only will damage the wall & your hand, but you may feel ashamed of your outburst. So acting out of anger, i.e., hitting the wall, is bad for your physical & emotional health.
On the other hand, I can be angry with you & never do any harm to you, a wall, or anyone else. My thoughts & feelings can not not hurt another person. Anger turned inwards, however, can hurt the person who is repressing their anger. Anger turned inwards over time can lead to depression or physical symptoms like headaches, ulcers, heart conditions, high blood pressure or strokes.
Therefore, expressing anger can be good&/or bad for your health, while holding anger in can be good, if it calms you down some, or bad if it leads to internal physical symptoms. Finding acceptable ways to express anger is key to making anger good for your health. Taking action following the anger people feel about gun violence or bullying can be a way of feeling empowered instead of helpless. Using the anger to bully someone else, on the other hand may lead to negative implications for your health as well as legal implications if you do harm to someone else.