You're not as clever as you think you are so here's….why bottling up anger is actually good for you
00:14 GMT, 19 November 2012
When you are driven demented with fury, a loud and florid outburst can feel fantastic, and for centuries experts believed that the release of tension (the catharsis) was good for you.
But studies now show venting your anger doesn’t help.
Similarly, if you bottle things up but worry it’s going to gnaw away at you inside, you’d be wrong too.
According to self-help author, David Raney, bottling up your anger can be seriously bad for your health
Studies show giving in to an angry outburst can make things much worse. Instead of relieving your simmering frustration, reacting to anger has been shown to sustain a foul mood, making the destructive feelings more intense and long-lasting.
Psychologists have discovered that expressing anger releases a short blast of ‘feelgood’ chemicals in the brain, but that these chemicals can become addictive, increasing the chance that you unconsciously look for a reason to kick-off again.
People who do express their anger are more likely to behave aggressively in other situations: 'If you get accustomed to blowing off steam, you become dependent on it,' says You Are Not So Smart author David McRaney.
'The more effective approach is 'Take your anger off the stove', he says.
'Distract yourself, with something pleasant, passive and calm (plug in to some gentle music, go for a walk, stroke a pet).'
Extracted from You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney. (Oneworld). 2012. To order a copy for 7.99 (inc P&P), call 0843 382 0000.