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ShaChris23's avatar

How long does it take for the "angry hormones" to leave your body?

Asked by ShaChris23 (318 points ) September 18th, 2013

How long does it take for the “angry hormones” to leave your body?

Example situation: I was once honked at by a rude person, and I remembered becoming upset in a strange way. The angry thoughts came in waves. I’d ruminate over the situation, trying to intellectualize myself out of the anger. It didn’t work, and I became overall pessimistic and I sort of gave a lecture on morality to that person in my head. You know what I mean..

Oddly, a few hours later, the heaviness lifted, just by itself, and I was able to smile and keep light and enjoy myself again.

So it made me wonder if that had anything to do with hormones being worn out.

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It’s the fight or flight response and it’s adrenaline, rather than hormones. Hard to predict when the body will relax;; sometimes meditating for a few minutes will help you calm down.

If you read my link, you will see the amazing physiological responses of your body. It is not surprising that it takes a while to while to return to “normal.”

Neodarwinian's avatar

Adrenalin can be in it’s free state for many hours, even causing insomnia.

There are techniques to deal with this situation. Consult a physician if it bothers you too much.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds as if the situation triggered some long-held anger about something else (thus the anger out of proportion to the occasion nd coming in waves).

I am not sure it has anything to do with hormones more with feelings.

ShaChris23's avatar

OK I found an answer, somewhat… A short answer for now anyway:

source: http://www.quora.com/Stress-and-Coping/How-long-does-it-take-for-stress-hormones-cortisol-adrenaline-to-leave-the-body-after-a-single-acute-stress-event-like-an-accident-or-argument

Q: How long does it take for stress hormones (cortisol & adrenaline) to leave the body after a single acute stress event like an accident or argument?

I’m not thinking about chronic stress, but rather a reaction to an event. A dog trainer told me it is 48 hours for dogs. I wondered if it is similar for humans. Also, how much variation is there from one human to the next?

A: The event is important to the amount of epinephrine that the body releases and the half life of the amount varies from person to person.

” The half-life of plasma epinephrine in humans is approximately 1.2 minutes (15), the half-life of norepinephrine approximately 2.5 minutes.”

pleiades's avatar

Damn! This is nuts. Beacuse it’s hard for me to control my initial reaction I get mad easily. Cortisol… I guess the best way to counter is to exercise and get all that good stuff pumping through the veins.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ShaChris23 I think I have Super anger hormones then, usually 30 minutes to calm down if I’m really revved up..lol

Blondesjon's avatar

For me, personally, about three beers.

there are some outstanding answers posted above but i can only speak from personal experience

pleiades's avatar

Whoa look how I spelled “Because” up there… errr. Also to add to some info, another reason it’s bad to be angry is those chemicals are processed in the liver as a toxin.

mattbrowne's avatar

It depends on your conscious thoughts. Anger as such is an automatic primary emotion. But once you realize its presence consciously, you have a choice to let it linger or let it fade away.

ShaChris23's avatar

@mattbrowne Thank you.

I’m not sure if I was the one being in control, to the extent that I could tell the body to stop this fuming/restlessness. I wish! During those two hours, I occasionally got up and paced around my desk because that driver was extremely rude to me.

And, then…. it was gone. I didn’t have to try to forgive her.

That’s why it’s amazing to see what these hormones are doing to your body, and how I can learn more about it. If I can stop being restless as soon as cortisol/adrenaline exits my body, then.. more power to me.

Another way to describe this “hormone entering-leaving body” is like drinking coffee. Coffee gives me an instant boost of energy and, sometimes, optimism. The effects wear off in an hour or two.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ShaChris23 – In certain cases anger can lead to something good (which is the reason humans experience it), e.g. creating a plan against unjust things that are ongoing. However, reinforcing the anger unnecessarily with conscious thoughts harms our creativity.

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