Have you ever been so angry that your body launches into a full-blown flare?
Is there a connection between anger and physical pain? The answer is a resounding YES! That being the case, what are the effects of anger on those of us with FMS and other chronic illnesses that are characterized by chronic pain?
We’ve all been there. In fact, many of us struggle with ‘going there’ every day. I have struggled with anger issues all of my life. Those who know me, know that my ‘default’ position in any situation is emotion. Seriously, my mind’s immediate reaction is never one of logic and rationality. I ‘feel’ (intensely) first and foremost, then I have to use all the skills I’ve amassed over 49 years to organize my thoughts into a reasoning pattern. So, I know what it is like to deal with intense anger (even rage).
What exactly does anger do to the physical body? Below is a quick video that explains the effect ‘short-term’ anger has on the body. If this is what anger does on a ‘lower’ level, imagine what high-level, suppressed anger must do to the body over time!Connection between anger and physical pain? The answer is a resounding YES! Click To Tweet
Most of us know the long-term effects of stress. For instance, cortisol levels are increased, creating pysiological havoc (see my article “Chronic Stress Changes The Brain Over Time~5 Steps To Lowering Cortisol Levels“).
Anger obviously causes stress on the body. It is an emotion, and like all negative/painful emotions, it will take its toll on the body eventually. An article on emotional/physical pain connection in Psychology Today states that, “Often, physical pain functions to warn a person that there is still emotional work to be done, and it can also be a sign of unresolved trauma in the nervous system.Even if one has grieved and processed the emotional impact of a trauma, the nervous system might still unwittingly be in survival mode.”.
The Connection Between Anger And Physical Pain
Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of an over-taxed Central Nervous System
Anger is an emotion that stresses the CNS, and over time can cause damage to this system
Anger tenses and tightens the body’s muscles, and FMS is characterized by chronic pain in the muscle tissue
Anger that is not correctly dealt with & released, turns to bitterness... Click To Tweet
In conclusion, as FMS patients, we must:
Control anger as much as it is up to us.
Use your God-given frontal cortex to control your emotions, rather that let them control you.
Consciously release the tension in your muscles as you feel them tightening. Deep/calming breaths, and intentional muscle relaxation.
Deal with any lingering un-resolved emotions. Anger that is not correctly dealt with and released, turns to bitterness, and bitterness rots away at the body and mind.