People cope with anger in all kinds of ways, some healthy, some not. Some people yell and get abusive; some people show anger but use it to motivate them to do constructive things. Some people hide their anger or even try to ignore it. Society often tells us to ignore our anger and that it will go away. But that isn’t exactly what happens if you ignore it. In fact, ignoring your anger can actually make things worse. Here’s how.
Anger is an emotion that everyone has. It’s a strong emotion that runs deeply in humans as well as other animals. It’s a normal emotion and often points toward something that needs to be changed. Think of it as a warning sign for something going wrong. Your anger may be based on faulty information, or may be spot on, but it is a sign that something needs to be noticed and attended to.
As tempting as it might be to ignore your anger, you shouldn’t. You wouldn’t ignore warning signs on a street telling you the road is closed. Ignoring the warning signs that anger brings up can cause bigger problems if you don’t address it.
If you get angry and ignore it, you may think that your anger is gone. But it’s not. You may bury your anger, but you are simply burying it alive where it can smolder and fester. Eventually it’s going to come back one way or another. People who bury their anger and don’t address the cause are found to suffer more health problems than those who do not. One study points out that you’re twice as likely to die of heart disease if you suppress your anger as oppose to those who figured out healthy ways of dealing with and expressing their anger. What’s more, people who have problems with their anger are 600 percent more likely to die before they reach 50 than those who do not. You are more likely to see your health suffer, mentally and physically, than those who express their anger appropriately.
It’s normal to think that anger is bad because that’s what society tells us. Harmful displays of anger are not appropriate, but anger is a normal and a strong emotion. Ignoring your anger can be just as bad as losing your cool. Next time when you’re angry, consider other options that are far healthier than burying it.