Don’t worry, be happy! Nomads told to keep cool

Published: March 2, 2015

New research has shown just how important it is that grey nomads keep their cool in the face of on-the-road ‘anger triggers’ such as bad driving, high caravan park prices, or a Happy Hour-monopolising know-it-all.

According to the study from the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, the risk of heart attack is more than eight times higher in the two hours after an angry outburst.

The research used a scale of one to seven and found anger ranked at level five or higher was dangerous … that is clenched-fist rage rather than just annoyance or irritation.

People were still at risk for about two hours after the outburst, the study found.

“We know that anger can induce physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and increased blood pressure,” the study’s lead author, Dr Thomas Buckley, told the ABC. “But we also know from laboratory-based studies that anger also induces inflammatory changes in the body and blood changes that are associated with clotting, coagulation changes. And so those changes are likely to take a while to reverse.”

Dt Buckley recommended people be aware of their anger triggers and try to control their thinking in emotional situations. Most heart attacks related to anger in the study were caused by ‘domestic’ arguments or from a driving incident.

Dr Buckley’s research examined the cases of hundreds of people admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

“In that sample, 2.2% had high-level anger,” he said. “If we extrapolate across the number of heart attacks that occur in Australia per year, that would equate to about 1,100 individuals having anger-triggered attacks.”

  • Do you find you get less angry when you are travelling than when you were ‘at home’? What gets you worked up when you are out on the road? How do you keep calm? Comment below.
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Doug jennings
7 years ago

when I was a younger age my ‘bark was worse than my bite’ Now in senior years, I’m calm at home as on the road. I learnt to do ‘Cortices Tapping’ and amazingly it keeps left/right brain balanced and a calming effect. Never had road rage in my system at any time. perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones able to control myself in most situations.


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