In a recent study published in the journal “Hormones and Behavior,” researchers were able to show that in addition to altering a person’s mental state, anger alters their physical state as well. Thirty men were tested both before and after being made angry through inflammatory phrases. The results were increased heart rate, increased testosterone levels, and increased arterial tension, as well as asymmetric brain activity. That last part, the brain activity, showed that while we perceive anger as provoking withdrawal, it actually stimulates parts of the brain that corresponded with emotional closeness. The study’s researchers see this as a sign that our natural urge is not to avoid the source of our anger, but to resolve it.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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