We all feel angry sometimes. That’s part of being human. Feeling angry isn’t a sin. However, we need to be cautious if it happens frequently. If we have made anger a lifestyle, we are in real danger.
I’ll hold my hands up – I’ve been angry for a long time about the death of my son. It was no one’s fault. It was just a serious health issue he was born with. Those who tried to help did miracles. For the three years he was with us, we are very thankful. But small children should not die. That is just wrong.
I was never sure what to do with those feelings of frustration and hurt. For the most part I tried to block them out. I can think of times when I felt really angry about things that really didn’t matter. I’m sure I was projecting my frustration and anger onto those petty situations.
The word ‘anger’ is one letter removed from ‘danger’ If you fly into a rage, you can be sure of a bad landing. When our emotions are out of control, so is our life. Anger makes our mouth work faster than our mind. We end up saying and doing things we will regret later.
Anger is like a theatre curtain ready to part for the first act of the play. Behind the curtain stand all our lonely feelings – the actors ready to perform – guilt projection, discontentment, discouragement, abandonment, despair, unending feelings of inadequacy. Anger is the curtain that hides all these feelings from the outside world.
It’s easier to be angry than to deal with the real feelings because then people won’t see how much you’re really hurting because anger keeps people away.
Getting into a rage doesn’t make us ‘big’ or clever. In fact, the opposite is true.
Anger and rage are really unpleasant for those around you. If you are just an angry person, who takes things out on your family and those around you instead of dealing with the real issue, you will soon be without friends and your family will look for ways to avoid you.
Anger never accomplishes what you want it to.
In addition to all of that, anger is actually dangerous for your physical health.
Emotional stress and anger trigger the release of stress hormone cortisol in the body. Small releases of cortisol can give the body a quick burst of energy.
However, higher and more prolonged increases can cause lots of negative effects.
Cortisol is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease. The list goes on and on.
Anger does kill. A study in the journal ‘Circulation’ finds that those who explode with anger are at a greater risk of strokes and sudden death.
Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels also increase risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy.
So what can we do?
If we don’t deal with the cause of our anger, we end up projecting that anger onto other people and situations.
After years of feeling overwhelmed by past hurts I think I have somehow come to terms with my grief and anger. Life is a bit poo sometimes. That’s just how it is. Time to move on.
Better to make some new happy memories with those we still have than waste our life with rage.
We do have a choice. We don’t have to be angry. We can change.
What is the root of your biggest frustration? Does it come out as anger to those around you sometimes?
If so, what are you going to do about it?
My friend Paul McGee has a lot of helpful advice on this issue. Check out his books or watch his short videos at SUMO (Shut Up Move On).
Whatever you do, do something! Don’t let anger become a lifestyle!
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