Everyone wants to be beautiful, young, healthy and fit. There is no end to the diets, workouts and health plans. Yet the most important diet of all has been overlooked. This is a diet that releases stress, relaxes muscles, offers sound sleep, diminishes appetite, and makes you look and feel younger; it brings you new friends, a happy work environment, good relationships, and adds years to your life. This is the diet from anger’ one of the worst plagues facing our nation.
Anger is a serious problem for one in every five Americans. Road rage, workplace violence, school shootings, domestic abuse and addiction are just a few of its many outlets. The reason such a huge proportion of our nation is on anti-depressants, involved in alcohol, and drug addiction, overweight, in broken relationships and involved in all kinds of destructive behavior, can be directly traced back to the effects of anger, particularly the hidden kind. It has also been well documented that anger strongly affects physical health and is directly related to heart attacks, blood pressure, back pain and many other physical disorders. This is called symptom substitution.
We also turn our anger against ourselves in other ways. We become depressed or experience mood disorders, hopelessness, passive aggressive behavior, promiscuity, domestic abuse and many other forms of general misery. Sometimes anger converts itself into obsessive-compulsive disorders and individuals become unable to make decisions or choices about their lives.
Anger is ruthless in the course it takes, attacking and disrupting our body, minds and spirits. As school and workplace shootings rise, the divorce rate climbs, people are on increasing anti-depressants. Many are increasingly unable to deal with the stress of 9-11 and an everyday terrorist threat. It is clear that anger is a societal problem, which is only growing worse. It is time we paid attention to the #1 terrorist we face: the anger we live with every day.
At the present time many of individuals in our society are dependent upon medication of all kinds. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, weight loss supplements, low blood pressure medication, blood thinners and anti-bionics of many kinds are taken to ease the many symptoms of unhappiness, unbalance and disease we suffer from. On the face of it the symptoms seem to differ from one another. If we look a little deeper, however, we can see that beneath the various forms of distress that appear, anger is quietly smoldering.
Today we fear many external enemies. It is not so easy to realize, however, that the worst enemy we face is this anger that resides within, the terror it causes us, and the ways in which this poison dictates so much of our lives.
Anger has many faces. It appears in many forms and creates different consequences. Anger that is overt and clear cut is the simplest to deal with and understand. When we or someone we know is openly angry, we know what we are up against and can directly address the cause.
Most anger lurks beneath the surface, however. It often does not even come to our awareness and manifests in endless, hidden ways – as depression, anxiety, apathy, hopelessness, and in many, many other forms.
It is crucial that we recognize anger for what it is, realize when it is appearing and notice the devastation it creates. Then we have an opportunity to root out this underground stream feeds our misery, and the misery we cause others. When anger is allowed to remain camouflaged it holds us in its grip and easily erodes the entire quality of our lives.
What To Do:
Just as we work out daily in the gym to strengthen muscles and attain flexibility, it is necessary to work out and strengthen the parts of ourselves that can recognize and release anger easily. We must learn to give up the various forms of anger and replace them with a healthy antidote. Some healthy antidotes to anger include: letting go of blame, forgiveness, generosity, seeing the best in others, letting the other be right, (just for today), giving others the benefit of the doubt.
Choose one antidote and work with it for an entire day. Then choose another. You will begin to feel so good, you won’t want to go back to the old ways. As we daily eliminate the toxicity anger provides to our systems, not only will the results be reflected in our mental and emotional well-being, but in our environment and physical health as well. Eventually it will become impossible for anger to maintain the hold it once had upon them.
All teachings encourage us to be forgiving, but there is little actual instruction on how to accomplish this. Each of the antidotes listed above will help you along the way. Anger is the great impediment to forgiveness. When anger is rooted out, love and forgiveness arise naturally. Our lives and the lives of those around us then become hallowed and become all they are meant to be.