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Pattern of Arguments & Anger May Impact Future Health

From the Show: HER
Summary: How you argue today may affect your future health.
Air Date: 6/30/16
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Robert Levenson, PhD
Dr. Robert LevensonRobert W. Levenson received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in clinical psychology. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California—Berkeley where he is a member of the Clinical Science; Plasticity, Change, and Development; and Social/Personality programs. He currently serves as Director of the Institute for Personality and Social Research and is the past director of the Clinical Science Program and the Bay Area Predoctoral Training Program in Affective Science. His research program is in the area of human emotion, studying the organization of physiological, behavioral and subjective systems; the ways that these systems are impacted by neuropathology, normal aging, and culture; and the role that emotions play in the maintenance and disruption of committed relationships. His research has been supported by NIMH and NIA (including a MERIT award from NIA). He is past President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, past President of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and current President of the Board of Directors of the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System. He received the inaugural Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement from APS in 2013, the William James award for Lifetime Achievement in Basic Research from APS in 2014, and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychophysiology from the Society for Psychophysiological Research in 2015.
Pattern of Arguments & Anger May Impact Future Health
We all get angry at someone from time to time. But, could anger be impacting your health and wellness?

Dr. Robert Levenson conducted a 20-year study on anger at the University of California at Berkeley. This study showed that how you argue can affect your future health.

Having 20 years to conduct the study allowed observation of the subjects in mid- to late-life when they were more susceptible to physical illness. Couples were observed in 15 minute intervals, with researchers hoping these slices of life were representative of their outside lives. Arguing is defined as four moments of anger per minute, resulting in 60 little expressions of anger per session.

The people who showed lots of anger had heart issues later in life. Those who stonewalled, refusing to communicate, had more aches and pains, back and muscle problems.

Having short bursts of anger didn't seem to cause chronic problems. It's the constant expressions of displeasure that added up to physical issues later in life.

If you're in a relationship where you can't express your anger or you over-express it, it's time to reconsider some things about that relationship.

Listen in as Dr. Levenson shares his findings from the study.
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