Anger, is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored, than to anything on which it is poured.”
― Mark Twain
What are the benefits of getting angry?
Scientists at Harvard University have recently published research, citing the benefits of anger. In principle they agree with Mark Twain in as much as there are definitely negative effects of anger, but conversely, there are also positives attribute gained from getting angry.
The Harvard university study, that gathered information on emotions of almost 1000 people, nine days after the 9/11 terrorist attack, and came to the conclusion that those interviewed who felt outrage and angered, by the terrorist attack, felt more optimistic about the future, than those who expressed fear of more terrorism. In this context, anger is seen as a positive, inasmuch as, it unites people under a common cause in this case feeling outraged at the terrorist attack. Male participants of the study were shown to have more anger than women, but again were generally found to be more optimistic.
The research found that media coverage of the terrorist attack was reported from a standpoint that would make people angry, and thus less afraid of being hurt by another terrorist attack.
How anger affects your well-being
Psychologist working at the University of California, Berkeley Dr Brett Ford, whilst studying anger responses in the laboratory found that if research participant was made angry, rather than stress and anxious, they showed a lower biological response, in terms of blood pressure and levels of stress hormones. Ford’s research was added to by Dr Maya Tamir, at the University of Jerusalem. Her findings found that people who tend to feel angry rather than happy, when confronting, someone in a stressful situation, tend to have a higher well-being.
Tamir’s, research revealed that participants who got angry, generally had a higher emotional intelligence; this is counterintuitive to what one would naturally think.
How getting angry can activate change.
Anger can be looked as a positive force if one considers people such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. A good example of this is Rosa Parks, who was ordered to give up her seat in a coloured section of the bus she was riding on in Montgomery, Alabama, by the bus driver, in order to give it to a white person, because a segregated seating on the bus in the white area was full. Refusing to obey the driver she was arrested. Thus giving birth to the Montgomery bus boycott, which became a symbol of the modern human rights movement. If Rosa Parks had not become angry this may not have happened.