I am writing this entry on the eve of the Presidential election. I do not write any of my personal political leanings in these entries, as my role is to help and support our patients’ weight control efforts, and what Posner thinks politically has zero to do with this mission. However, I do believe that almost all of us can agree that there has never been more anger in our country. Ranging from social issues to political issues to the pandemic’s impact: Anger is a prominent sentiment among our citizens.
Anger is not a healthy emotion on many fronts, including health-wise. Anger tends to increase blood pressure and pulse via the release of the “fight or flight” hormones. This, in turn, leads to higher risks of stroke, heart attack and abnormal heart rhythms. Anger will also negatively impact sleep., which in turn, also is detrimental to overall health. Anger will provoke mood issues such as depression and anxiety.
Focusing on weight control, anger will often compel people to eat/drink derailing sources. In the quest to offset the negative effects of anger, almost in a reflex-like manner, we will reach for high caloric/high carb foods and/or alcohol to simmer down the anger. The consumption of these items will lead to weight gain. The inability to control weight even further advances our anger…this time internally at ourselves.
The first step is to recognize the extent of your anger and take the steps needed to diffuse this as best as possible. If watching the news angers you, stop watching the news. If watching your favorite football team that sucks always lose, find something else to do on Sunday (any Giants fans like me out there that have never felt more angry with the state of this miserable team?).
Anger reduction may include meditation, yoga, exercise and other much more healthier pursuits than heading to your pantry, freezer or fridge for a derailing food/drink source.
And no matter what happens on Election Day, try to always prioritize you and your family’s health. Being angry will not help anything.