“You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger” Buddha.
If we really understood what getting angry did to our bodies and how much it hurt us, we would take drastic steps to make sure we never got angry again. As a child we learnt pretty fast that when we touched something really hot, it burned and hurt, so we didn’t do it again. The truth is, every time we get angry we are hurting ourselves at such a deep level, that we can’t see it. We might vaguely have some idea about how getting angry or stressed plays a role in the health of the body, but generally people see this as some kind of emotional hurt we are inflicting upon ourselves. While this is partly true, what we can’t see is the physical damage we are doing to ourselves – to our heart, liver and gall bladder, arteries and lungs, as well as our muscles and cells and brain – all from getting angry.All of us know first hand what happens in our bodies when we experience anger, frustration, annoyance, stress or whatever your preferred synonym for anger is. Some people go red in the face, others experience shortness of breath, headaches, tension in the body, tight neck and shoulders, sore or tight throat, increased heart rate and the list goes on. What you might not know is that the symptoms don’t just end there and ongoing behaviour demonstrating symptoms like this can lead to something much more serious than just a headache.
In an article published in the New York Times titled The Lethal Effects of Anger it stated the results of a study in the journal Circulation found men who explode with anger are at greater risk of having a stroke or dying. The study showed that angry men had a 10 percent greater risk of developing a heart flutter called atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk of stroke. Men who unleashed their anger were also 20 percent more likely to have died from any cause during the study.
So how does this happen? As your heart rate increases, you breathe faster and start to get tension in your muscles. Your body senses danger and starts to prepare to protect itself. When you are in survival mode the body anticipates injury and therefore releases chemicals to clot the blood. However due to the fact that there is no ‘real’ danger – the cause of this incident is all in the mind – the clots in the blood don’t have anywhere in particular to go and may flow to the heart or brain resulting in a stroke or heart attack. This is a straight western medicine view on anger and the body, but it doesn’t stop there.
Energetically when we get angry, we often create congestion in the area around our throats and almost always our hearts. This in turn can affect many organs in the body, specifically the liver and gall bladder from its connection to the throat and the lungs, large intestine, small intestine, pericardium and triple heater from the heart congestion.
The liver and gall bladder are the organs typically associated with anger. When the liver and gallbladder are congested a person may experience pain or tenderness in the area of the liver/gall bladder, as well as producing gallstones and problems with digestion and detoxifying the body. Congestion in the liver/gall bladder meridian can show itself in many different forms from inflexibility and headaches to back and hip pain, eye problems and tightness in the neck and shoulders.
However it’s not just these organs that become compromised when anger strikes. Congesting the heart through anger can affect the whole body. In addition to creating chest pains from closing the heart directly, it also affects the breathing via the lung meridian, circulation via the pericardium and triple heater meridians, meaning lack of oxygen to the body and possible damage to cells. People also experience constipation and digestive disorders, as well as other forms of inflammation in the body as a result of getting angry.
All in all it’s pretty conclusive no matter what your background – western medicine, eastern medicine or other alternate therapies – anger harms the body. So what to do about it? Well there are loads of anger management places around but to be honest, I think the best first step towards letting go of your anger is to learn to sit down and still your mind. Everything we get upset and angry about is because of our opinions, attitudes and judgements in our minds – and because our hearts are not really very open. If we can learn to still our minds – and the best way is through daily meditation – then we can avoid getting caught up in all the mind garbage that causes us to think something is right or wrong and react to it. Also, when we make a commitment to opening our hearts every day, then the powerful love energy that resides in the heart will help us to stay feeling good. With your heart wide open you’ll soon find that things that used to bother you just don’t trigger you in the same way anymore. It’s really important that we all realize the damage that anger does to us every time we get even a little frustrated – we need to remember that story about getting burnt as a child and remember that when we start to feel the anger creeping in. None of us are perfect angels and of course there may be times you lose it, but as soon as you realise what you are doing, stop that instant and let it go. No matter what is making you angry, it’s just not worth it. If that’s not enough, remind yourself of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks and that should do the job.
Rochelle is the General Manager of AcuEnergetics®, as well as a Senior AcuEnergetics® Practitioner and Teacher. She has been practicing AcuEnergetics® since 2005 and is fully qualified to teach AcuEnergetics® Level 1 and AcuEnergetics® Level 2. She is currently a co-teacher for AcuEnergetics® Level 3 and the AcuEnergetics® Practitioner Training.
By Rochelle Taylor