5 Anger Control Tips to Help Adrenal Gland Fatigue

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD


Anger Control Tips for AFS

Getting angry is normal, but it can cloud your judgment and cause you to say and do things you may later regret. Here are five things to avoid when you’re angry, and five anger control tips to do instead.

Don’t:

  1. Anger control tips to fight stressEat – When anger drives you to eat, you aren’t likely to reach for healthy food. Rather, you’re more likely reaching for foods that are high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates. In addition, stress hormones cause the digestive system to function ineffectively, potentially leading to diarrhea or constipation.
  2. Drive – Research shows that anger causes people to take more risks, and to experience diminished peripheral vision. When you’re behind the wheel, this translates to an increased risk of getting into an accident. If you cannot avoid driving when you’re angry, be extra cautious and be sure to look around to compensate for possible tunnel vision.
  3. Continue to argue – When you’re angry, you’re more likely to say things you don’t necessarily mean and will regret later. If possible, take a time-out until you can approach the situation more rationally.
  4. Write emails – Writing about your anger is healthy, but it’s too easy to send an angry rant. If you prefer to use your keyboard to write, do it in a Word document so you don’t send out something that could be hurtful.
  5. Go to bed – While it may be tempting to try to sleep it off, going to sleep while angry may serve to actually reinforce your feelings. Besides, it’s hard to sleep well when overwhelmed with negative emotions, anyway.

Do:

  1. Count – Counting, to ten, twenty, a hundred, whatever it takes, can help you bring your heart rate and blood pressure under control and help you avoid saying something you may regret.
  2. Distract yourself – In the same vein, try engaging in an activity that gives you something else to think about.
  3. Breathe – People who are angry tend to breathe more shallowly than they do otherwise, depriving themselves of oxygen. Stopping and doing the Adrenal Breathing Exercise for three minutes will do wonders to calm your nervous system. Make sure you do not take deep breaths which can make anxiety worse.
  4. Exercise – When you’re angry, your body is flooded with stress hormones. Exercise, especially vigorous exercise, helps burn off the stress hormones and releases endorphins to help you manage your anger. This is appropriate for normal healthy people. Those who have adrenal fatigue may crash, so strenuous exercise is not recommended. Instead, do the Adrenal Restorative or Adrenal Yoga Exercise.
  5. Pay attention to your body – Studies show that heart attacks and strokes are more likely to happen after an angry outburst. If you feel like your blood pressure is starting to rise, it probably is. Taking time to calm yourself could save your life.

Dr. Lam’s Health Perspective on Anger Control Tips

Anger control tips can help the bodyGetting angry is a stressful event for the mind and body. While getting angry and releasing or managing it in a constructive manner can be healthy, staying angry and keeping it inside can have negative effects on health. Many of the physiological effects of anger are mediated through the adrenal glands, the body’s stress control center. In fact, the adrenal glands are responsible for producing over 50 hormones. The most important of these in regard to anger is cortisol, which is known for its anti-stress properties. Anger triggers a complex process that promotes an increase of cortisol and epinephrine by way of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) system, known as the body’s natural defense mechanism against stress that retains health.

If we get angry or stay angry too often, on top of having other sources of stress, we risk adrenal gland fatigue and dysfunction.

This is why for adrenal health, properly controlling stress is important; the adrenal glands work every day to keep the body in balance, and they get to rest and recuperate when there are no stressors throwing the body out of equilibrium. If we have long lasting chronic stress, such as holding onto a grudge and staying angry, the body never gets back to a proper balance, the adrenals are forced to work continuously and never get the rest they need.

Anger control tips can be simple. Do consider this advice, keep your adrenals healthy, and look after yourself. Don’t hold onto your negative emotions. Be thankful and grateful for what you have. Simplify your life and lower your expectations. It should not be surprising then that the first and most important step in AFS recovery is the removal of all stressors – or in other words, whatever is causing you to be angry in the first place.


Anger control tips