Forgiveness and Your Health
Updated: Aug 14, 2019
by an anonymous health care professional
ANGRY, NOT ME!?
As Christians we often deny our feelings of anger, maybe because
we think that if we really have faith we won't or shouldn't ever be angry.
So we stuff it down and carry it around and think no one can tell---except
we have outbursts over minor situations and and we begin to have health
We don't want to connect serious health problems with anger, oh, we'll
admit to tight neck muscles or maybe a tension headache now and then,
insomnia, but not serious stuff!
Studies have shown that a blood pressure of 120/70 can increase to
220/130 (stroke level) with an outburst of anger.
This happens because when we get angry our bodies go into "fight or flight"
syndrome. The adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenalin which is a little
like having 40 cups of coffee at the same time. This can give a surge of
energy at times when it's really needed, but imagine being in this state all the
time. We've heard of the heroic efforts of having a person lift a car off
another which is the " emergency" hormones in action. But when the adrenal
glands are in the "on" position all the time it's like asking the body to hold up
the car 24 hours a day. When this happens something's gotta give, and it does,
inside the body.
The human body is amazing and it will try to function as it's supposed to
no matter how we abuse it, but it has to adjust because it only has a certain
amount with which to work. When we don't deal with anger, the body
constantly has to "give" in one area in order for it to maintain balance with
the chemicals required in anger. We begin to suffer headaches, migraines,
and muscle spasms. We seem to get sick more often, we can't find the words
we want to speak, we forget commitments and lose things all the time. Then
things start to get serious! It has been shown that stress (think anger) can
cause neurons to shrink, disconnect and die which can explain why stress is
the leading cause of depression. Anger can decrease thyroid function,
decrease metabolism, decrease oxygen level which can cause chest pains,
releases clotting chemicals which increases stroke risk, decreases bone
density, and suppresses the immune system which leads to chronic
inflammation. Basically anger kills.
So how do we handle anger? We hear it chirped to " just let it go", but to
those of us who have dealt with chronic anger, that's just insulting. It takes
real effort to: A. find the source and B. begin to let it go. Forgiveness is most
important for your sake! A statement that has helped me is" holding onto
anger is like taking poison and expecting the offender to die". If your anger is
old, deep and justified, forgiveness rarely (never) can be attained without
God's help. Really getting into the Word especially related to forgiveness can
be so helpful!