We have covered already the effects on a body of hate, vindictiveness, anger, worry, guilt and fear. Well, guess what! We’re going to look at them a little more!
Perhaps you are one of those who catch a cold a lot. Do you notice a pattern between when you catch your cold and an event in your life acting as the trigger, like an argument, for instance? Do you think about a dreaded event that is pending and then perhaps find yourself on the way to the doctor’s office seeking aid in getting rid of a full blown fever, or worse, the hospital? Perhaps you are suffering from lack of energy a lot of the time and having difficulty in maintaining the creativity you once had.
But, it doesn’t stop there! Are your children getting sick a lot? Is there a lot of stress and tension in the household in which they live? This chapter suggests that there just might be a link there, too.
If your answer is yes to some or all of the above, than Peale has some good news for you! There is a cure in the house that can greatly improve your physical condition!
Peale explains to us that these things are a result of holding on to negative feelings of ill will or even guilt over misdeeds you’ve performed. He tells us that the only real solution is to be honest with yourself about what it is that you are really feeling and to cast the negative stuff out. He tells us to ask God, or Our Higher Power, for assistance and even forgiveness if you feel you need it during this process of letting the negative thoughts and feelings you are harboring go.
Peale offers some really good recommendations about how to manage anger. He explains the physiological symptoms that can happen when you become angry – the tensing of the body, hands curling into fists, the raised tones of voice and the adrenalin that shoots through our body. Yup, even in modern times the good old caveman survival tool of fight or flight kicks in!
To counter balance anger your action must be deliberate. He didn’t say it would be easy. However, he contends that if you make it a point to keep your fingers extended, your tone lowered to a whisper (if need be) and your overall body relaxed than you can maintain control over your anger, minimizing the negative physiological side effects. Also, telling yourself that it is pointless to get angry and to skip it can contribute to your being able to override the emotion of anger, especially if you tell yourself these things out loud, too.
Counting to ten works for some folks. Saying out loud the first ten words of the Lord’s Prayer may prove more effective for others. Holding a mental image of someone we know who never gets angry no matter what and trying to picture that individual as being angry may work best for others. Because you’ve never seen that person angry you won’t be able to picture it. This in turn can put the brakes on your own feelings of anger.
Writing a list down of everything that irritates you can help to control your anger. You can then take each item on the list and pray or meditate on it so as to neutralize the item so it is no longer an irritation to you. He explains that you will have better chances of controlling your anger if you pick away at it a little at a time.
Take time during the day to affirm to yourself that anger is not worth the damage that it does to yourself. He is not saying that, if a problem arises not to do something about it. He is suggesting that the resolution to a problem or conflict is far more achievable from a position of calm objectiveness rather than one of anger.
Also, when problems arise, do something about them! Peale tells us that if we do not take swift action to resolve the problem we face than it will cost us more emotionally and physically than it is worth because it is on our minds for longer than it needs to be.