We have different types of emotions every day, out of which anger is an emotion which is naturally believed to be detrimental to the mental health. Aggression is kind of an impulsive reaction to any situation which is dissatisfying. This can create a lot of stress and negativity in a person and we speak in detail about how we can control this anger; how can we give our reactions selectively and many more.
However, till date it was never known, that anger and aggression can actually alter the brain and its functions.
Neuropsychopharmacology, neuroscientists from the University of Chicago show that white matter in a region of the brain called the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) has less integrity and density in people with IED than in healthy individuals and those with other psychiatric disorders.
Too much of the anger component in a person can vary serotonin levels in the brain which is responsible for stress management, calmness and happiness.
This restructuring of the brain makes a person even more violent.
An experimental set up was established pathologically in the lab, where rats and mice were permitted to physically assault other rodents repeatedly, and it was observed that the initial mild aggression transformed gradually into a more violent behaviour.
Researchers found that levels of serotonin, particularly in the prefrontal cortex, decreased in animals perpetrating repeated victorious episodes of aggression but not as a result of performing normal, functional acts of aggression. These ﬁndings are consistent with studies in humans showing that serotonin deﬁciency is associated with escalated rather than more functional forms of aggression.
The serotonin component of the brain, is helpful to people with anger problems, and those suffering from depression, hence we often discuss about dietary plan and meditative practices for increasing serotonin level in the brain; when this part is affected, we become vulnerable to stress causing stimulus.
Teenagers show aggression even to mild situational threats and this can hamper their cognitive abilities. However, research also implicates brain circuits involved in moral judgments in violent behaviour. The researchers found that people with antisocial, violent, or psychopathic tendencies tended to have overlapping damage in brain structures involved in making moral judgments. In normal, healthy individuals, moral decision-making activates the dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex, the amygdala(important in emotions, fear, and stress), and the angular gyrus (involved in language and cognition). Antisocial individuals tended to show more damage in these brain regions than did control subjects.
Unlike other behavioural traits, aggression and anger are more prominent reactions in an individual which creates a negative aura around the person, which not only affects his/her mental health but also the society, family and people around him/her. It is imperative for everyone to practice anger management for better physical and mental health.
- Meditate for 15 minutes every morning. Let the thoughts pass on their own; you cannot control them, but do not get engaged in them.
- Whenever, you are angry, enter a room, close the door and chant “OM” in long breath, the word means universal, and it has a positive vibe which helps in increasing the level of serotonin in the brain and calms you down.
- Drink a glass of cold water, when you are feeling restless or aggressive at something.
- Counselling with Cognitive Behavioural therapy is a proven way to deal with anger in a positive way.