Why does Bangalore get angry?
Why does Bangalore get angry?
When you are faced with stress on a daily basis, the result is increased emotions of anger.

Bangalore: Don’t angry me’. When Akshay Kumar’s Rowdy Rathore character punched his way and struck a chord with the masses, it unconsciously amplified the inner feelings of many a million. Today, stress is considered to be a common physical reaction to the multiple frustrations and pressures of daily life. Anger is often the emotional expression of that stress. How your body reacts to physical and emotional stress is very similar to aging, according to Deepak Chopra in his classic book, 'Ageless Body, Timeless Mind'.

When you are faced with stress on a daily basis, the result is increased emotions of anger. One of the universal triggers of ‘anger’ as described in Emotions Revealed by Dr Paul Ekman, is called ‘interference’. Which means that you are ‘restrained or inhibited’ in some way. So when Bangalore is growing at a pace that has surprised many analysts in the past, the city’s population has been constantly been facing several of such restrain. Right from being stuck in a traffic jam, to being diagnosed with an illness to having trouble in love, to not being able to say what’s on the mind, to rising debts to healthcare issues to feeling the tug-of-war between work and home responsibilities to experiencing computer crashes, cell phone failures, etc.

The population density in Bangalore has risen 47 per cent in the past decade as job opportunities and economic growth have lured people from across the nation to India’s ‘Silicon Valley’, the latest census data shows. The number of people living per square kilometre in the city has increased to 4,378 in 2011 from 2,985 in 2001, according to the census data. So, the increase in aspirations have also doubled. And the stress levels have expanded.

Highest suicide cases: Today, in the city, stress finds an escape for many in a tragic manner — Suicide. Bangalore continues to figure among the top four cities in the country with a large number of suicides. The city recorded 1,778 suicides in 2010, the highest for any city. The number has come down to 1,717 in 2011. It was 2,167 in 2009.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in New Delhi, Bangalore follows Chennai, which recorded 2,438 suicides, the highest in the country. While Delhi recorded 1,385 suicides, 1,162 were reported from Mumbai. Experts say most suicide cases in the city are related to stress; its citizens are unable to cope with Bangalore’s quick growth. If you walk into Bangalore’s leading hospitals, you will find a large number of patients suffering from stress-related ailments.

“Bangalore as a city is rated among the top for attempted suicide cases. The main reason for this is rapid urbanisation and as a result increased migration. When there is a loss, there is anger. The imaginary world is shattered. And when the person gets angry on himself or herself is when the suicidal tendency builds up,” says Dr Thomas M J, Consultant Psychiatrist, a Fellow of Indian Psychiatric Society and Member of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India).

The cause of anger have many other roots. With a city like Bangalore, where there are multitude of expectations and ambitions, it could be either internal or external.

Internal anger: It is caused because of personal issues, which isolate people and bring a tendency to keep to themselves. It is like a pressure cooker. External is more obvious caused by a specific person or an occurrence. It coul d be work-related or environment related, so the anger could be targeted at your boss or colleague or a traffic jam or even an inability to get a bus or an auto.

According to Shankar Upadhyaya, a psychologist practicing in the city, cases of stress related anger and high blood pressure are more prevalent in a city like Bangalore and less prevalent in a town like say Mandya or even Mysore. “For a city like Bangalore, I usually suggest people to ‘deal’ with anger in an assertive manner and not in an aggressive manner. One needs to express anger, but in a healthy way,” he adds.

Another mode through which one can deal with anger is by suppressing it, says Upadhyaya. “One needs to control the angry emotions and start thinking of positive aspects of life or the situation. It is often difficult, but once a person can tactfully control his emotions, especially anger, it can transform in a constructive personality on the whole. It is popularly known that the goal of anger management is to control emotional feelings and the physiological effects of anger. So the best way to deal with it is to control your inner emotions,” he says.

According to Jerry Deffenbacher, PhD, a psychologist who specialises in anger management, some people really are more ‘hotheaded’ than others are; they get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person does. There are also those who don’t show their anger in loud spectacular ways but are chronically irritable and grumpy. Easily angered people don’t always curse and throw things; sometimes they withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically ill.

Effect of stress: Stress is the body’s reaction to any stimuli that disturb its equilibrium. When the equilibrium of various hormones is altered the effect of these changes can be detrimental to the immune system. Much research has shown a negative effect stress has on the immune system, mostly through studies where participants were subjected to a variety of viruses.

In one study, individuals caring for a spouse with dementia, representing the stress group, saw a significant decrease in immune response when given an influenza- virus vaccine compared to a non-stressed control group. A similar study was conducted using a respiratory virus. Participants were infected with the virus and given a stress index. Results showed that an increase in score on the stress index correlated with greater severity of cold symptoms. Studies with HIV have also shown stress to speed up viral progression. Men with HIV were 2-3 times more likely to develop AIDS when under above average stress.

Effects of chronic stress: Chronic stress is defined as a “state of prolonged tension from internal or external stressors, which may cause various physical manifestations - e.g. asthma, back pain, arrhythmias, fatigue, headaches, HTN, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and suppress the immune system.”

Chronic stress takes a more significant toll on your body than acute stress does. It can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, increase vulnerability to anxiety and depression, contribute to infertility, and hasten the aging process. For example, results of one study demonstrated that individuals who reported relationship conflict lasting one month or longer have a greater risk of developing illness and show slower wound healing.

Stress Prevention: Although many techniques have traditionally been developed to deal with the consequences of stress, considerable research has also been conducted on the prevention of stress, a subject closely related to psychological resilience-building. A number of self-help approaches to stress-prevention and resilience-building have been developed, drawing mainly on the theory and practice of cognitive-behavioural therapy. The ideal way to keep anger healthy is to experiment on yourself and find out as to what triggers it and then working on ways to control it.

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