Fear and anger are rampant in this post-election world. People are taking to the streets, families are divided, strangers are accosted in restaurants, and each side blames the other. Is there a price we pay, when emotions are out of control? How do we survive?
I recently received a call from an old client, asking to see me because she felt so much hatred that it was making her ill. For over a week now, I’ve been working to process my own feelings. I’m keenly aware of how emotional overwhelm affects me. Strong emotion is stressful. When emotions are high and out of control, so is your stress level.
Last month I wrote about anger, and I didn’t expect to revisit it quite so soon. This time, I want to take a brief look at the health consequences of anger and its root cause, fear.
Salivary immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) is an antibody secreted by mucous membranes. IgA levels show the ability of the immune system to fight infection, and it has been connected to lower incidents of disease. It’s been shown that anger reduces IgA levels for one to five hours.
Anger lowers your immune system for one to five hours!
With prolonged fear comes high cortisol levels, which raise blood pressure, can cause cravings, destroy healthy muscle tissue, and lots more. Our bodies are meant to deal with the chemicals of fear, stress and anger for only a brief period of time, and then return to balance. Here are a few tips to get your balance back more quickly.
Don’t let the outside world take over.
Take frequent and lengthy breaks from the news. You can stay informed without consuming every drop of information out there. Take action, when you feel the need to express your concerns.
Set limits with friends who go on and on about what is wrong with everything. There is a line between venting and ruminating. We all need to express our feelings, at times. Repeating the same thing over and over is worse than useless. The chronic beta brainwave state of rumination sets us up for depression.
Take mental vacations, often.
Breathe, and find a life-affirming phrase to meditate on for a few minutes, several times a day.
Focus on what really matters.
Think of someone you care about. See that person, and imagine the best in life for them. Now let a smile fill your heart and let it radiate up into your face. Love is stronger than fear and anger. Feel love.
Look for the positive.
We see what we look for; the brain is biased that way. So, look for the good stuff. There is plenty of it in the world. Expect to find it.
Develop emotional resilience.
If some uncomfortable feelings have become habitual, or you just can’t shake a certain feeling, learn and practice EFT meridian tapping daily. Life will keep on turning; stuff will keep on happening and becoming emotionally charged is inevitable. What you do next makes the difference between health and harm.