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Forgiveness and Your Health

Updated: Aug 15, 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

problems.

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!




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© 2020 Kelli Westmark