If you have a short fuse, there might be some scientific basis for it. Scientists have discovered a genetic variation in some people that makes them more prone to risk taking, aggression and violence. Dubbed “the warrior gene,” it makes some people more likely to be aggressive, angry and prone to violence.
This isn’t to say that people with this gene are going to turn green and grow 10 sizes bigger, but it’s proven to make them a little angrier than the rest of us.
Being angry because someone just cut you off on the freeway doesn’t suggest that you’re part of the one-third—it just means you’re human. Just because you get angry sometimes doesn’t mean you have “the mean gene.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that we can leave this anger unchecked.
By submitting to these types of behaviors or feelings, we are disrupting the precarious balance within our relationships, and we’re also adversely impacting our bodies. Negative emotions, especially anger, disrupt our natural flow of energy, causing a physiological change that kicks us into “fight or flight.” These constant changes affect our heart, immune system, digestion and hormone production.
These stresses even damage our adrenal gland and immune system. For women, prolonged stress on the adrenal gland can even affect the reproductive organs (uterus, ovaries), potentially resulting in sterility. That’s why it is so important that we practice overall wellness.
Let’s talk about three ways we can interrupt negative behavioral patterns by staying positive.
- Visualize what you want to gain from a situation and change your thoughts to match positive behaviors.
- Alter the way you’re presenting yourself. If you’re angry, you’re not likely expressing yourself in a positive, well-formed way. Take a moment to reflect and “hear” what you are saying
- Change your physical position. If you find yourself standing aggressively (too close, leaning forward, balled fists), your target audience has probably shut you out entirely. Take a seat and give them a sense of control — while you get time to gain composure.
So, while the “warrior gene” may sound cool, it’s one gene that we must rise against in order to protect the harmonious function of our bodies and minds, as well as keep healthy relationships with others.
No matter what our genes may tell us, they can’t choose how we act or who we want to become. If you’re a naturally angry person, like me, I challenge you to stop making excuses for negative behavior and start making the right choices for a positive life.
How do you make positive choices?
Photo courtesy of Krista Baltroka.