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The Wages of Rage Are Costly

If you frequently fly off the handle, you can land up with serious health problems

Did someone do something stupid recently that made you really angry?

If so, you might want to forget about that particular incident and look at the rest of your life. According to an article from ABCNews, when a small incident sets you off, it's probably because you have stress and anger that has built up over time. That's a problem, and not only because it can make you fly into a rage at small things. Stress and anger that is not addressed can, over the long run, kill you.

Uncontrolled anger, for example, can double your risk of having a stroke, according to a study from the University of Michigan School of Medicine. The study evaluated 2,110 middle-age men. Those who were better at dealing with their anger had half the number of strokes over a seven-year period than those who were always "blowing off steam," the article says.

This doesn't mean you should suppress or ignore your anger. Anger usually means you need to do something about whatever it is that made you angry. The goal, however, is to manage your anger rather than indulge in temper tantrums. The first step is to get your facts straight concerning the incident that set you off. Then ask yourself if the issue is really important enough to get angry about and whether your anger is in proportion to the problem. Then find out if there's anything you can do to change the situation. Finally, ask yourself whether it would be worth it to take the steps needed to make the changes.

Just going through those steps can give you the time you need to react reasonably, say stress experts. And, if you can't remember all those steps, there's a simpler approach. Just count to 10 before you respond.

But anger isn't all bad. To find out more, you can read this article from USA TODAY. And to learn more about how denial and anger can contribute to heart disease, read this article from Prevention magazine.

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