Aaron Seal, Professor of Psychology and Criminology at Heidelberg University, Germany, for the BBC’s Oliver Berkmandi programme Angry women age slower.
According to their research, bad character has health benefits, even in terms of survival.
“Anger is a very sophisticated system… In a slightly dramatic expression, it is like a mind control device. It is a way to get into someone else’s head and make them value you more. It is a way to win conflict. Others to change their mind.”
You can read: Mayrin Villanueva even shows angina when riding a bike
Sell describes in the show how an important part of “mind control” comes from a purely physiological component: the “angry face”. According to the expert, when one is angry, the eyebrows become more pronounced, the jaw thickens and the nostrils widen.
“Both of these anger-induced changes make you appear physically stronger in front of others,” he says.
Moreover, it is not something we learn. The angry face is inherited by Seal, who argues that children who are born blind “have angry faces like everyone else.”
A criminology professor goes to our ancestors to explain it. According to him, the logical thing is that those who did not get angry or quarrelled had a higher survival rate than other humans. Various studies show that this is not the case.
What happens to our angry body?
But in order to understand anger, we have to know what happens to our bodies when we get angry. This is how we understand evolutionary advantage.
The BBC spoke with Professor Ryan Martin, Head of the Psychology Program at University of Wisconsin Green Bay (US) who offers a podcast focused exclusively on anger.
“Your sympathetic nervous system and the fight-and-flight system are activated [cuando te enojas]. Your heart rate increases, your breathing increases, and you start to sweat. It also slows down the digestive system.”
All of this, Martin says, is a physiological reaction of the body that seeks to provide you with energy so you know how to respond to any situation that comes your way.
The brain does its part, too.
“We know that when people feel something very strong, their thoughts tend to be a little more fragmented,” Martin says. They focus more on survival or revenge.
It’s a way of adapting to a situation that’s making you angry because you don’t want to think about other things if you’re trying to respond to what’s making you angry.
Use anger to your advantage
Therefore, anger can make us more aggressive physically, verbally, and even on social networks…but we must learn to control it and use it to our advantage, say the experts featured on Burkmande’s Show.
We can use it to focus our mind and give us the energy to act when we need it.
Anger is not bad in itself, we just need to control these powerful and impractical emotions to channel them effectively. This way we avoid getting sucked into an endless cycle of anger and aggression.
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