My Anger or My Health?
WHO does not get angry? It happens to all of us. At times a degree of anger may be justified. But, honestly, is it not true that often our anger (or its intensity) is unjustified?
The Bible tells us: “Let anger alone and leave rage; do not show yourself heated up only to do evil.” (Psalm 37:8) How wise is such counsel? Could it affect your long-term health?
In its “Health” section, The New York Times noted:
“People who often explode in hostile rages or who sit around fuming over every perceived slight may be doing more than making themselves unpleasant. They may be killing themselves.
“Researchers have gathered a wealth of data lately suggesting that chronic anger is so damaging to the body that it ranks with, or even exceeds, cigarette smoking, obesity and a high-fat diet as a powerful risk factor for early death.
“‘Our studies indicate that hostile, suspicious anger is right up there with any other health hazard we know about,’ said Dr. Redford Williams, a researcher in behavioral medicine at the Duke University Medical Center.”
Studies indicate that those overreacting to common bumps on the road of life produce more stress hormones. Their frequent outbursts can cause an imbalance between the protective and the harmful forms of cholesterol, putting them at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some may respond, ‘But that’s just the way I am’ or, ‘That’s how I grew up.’ Nonetheless, that does not mean you cannot change, by sincerely trying to apply God’s counsel. In your own Bible, check his counsel about anger and rage recorded at Proverbs 14:29, 30; 22:24, 25; Ephesians 4:26; James 1:19, 20.
Applying that divine wisdom may improve your health and extend your life. The Times noted: “Many researchers said anger-prone people could reduce the risk of early mortality by changing knee-jerk, hostile responses.”