Staying Angry is Too Much Work! (5/20/22)
Anger is a normal human emotion, and we all get angry once in a while. There are certainly justifiable reasons for anger that give us the energy to make positive changes, fight against injustice, right a wrong, confront a bully or take a stand. It can give us the strength to walk away from a job that’s exhausting our hopes and dreams, or from a relationship that’s depleting our spirit and draining the life out of us. Some people, however, spend their lives being angry for no reason at all. I’m sure you know a few. They’ve been angry for a long time and it has nothing to do with you.
What are you angry about today? Do you still get angry thinking about something that happened a long time ago? Staying angry is definitely not part of your plan for taking care of YOU! Medical research has documented that the physical effects of anger on our bodies can include headaches, skin problems, digestive problems, insomnia, increased anxiety, acid reflux, depression, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
I know one angry person who suffers from seven of these nine maladies. She’s smart enough to see the correlation, but still won’t let go of her anger. She told me she LIKES being angry! It seems to me that experiencing any one of those symptoms is a pretty high price to pay for holding on to such a negative emotion.
Think about it this way. If you knew you were allergic to blueberries and they made you break out in a rash every time you ate them, you would avoid blueberries. That’s common sense. Holding on to your anger – when it can lead to more serious health conditions than a rash – makes no sense at all. And that also applies to spending time with angry people who try to pass their anger on to you. Anger is a very contagious emotion, so you must make sure you don’t “catch” someone else’s anger. (You could picture them as a giant blueberry… or whatever works for you!)
We can’t change other people. We can only change our own attitudes and behaviors. What can you change when it comes to “catching” someone else’s anger or holding on to your own? What damage do you risk to your physical and mental health, as well as your relationships, by holding onto anger that can harm you? What can you do about it? I’ll give you the answers in next Friday’s blog, so stay tuned!