Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

The Consequences of Our Anger

When I look back on my life and think about the different people I have known and the experiences I have had-one of the memory files contains┬átimes people have been angry with me. They may have been justified in their anger, but were they justified in the way they displayed it? Or was I?┬áMarcus Aurelius once wrote, “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” It is most common for us to feel hurt and frustrated with those we love and react out of the intense emotion of anger. After all we are human and we make mistakes. We hope we may learn from the times when we were the recipient of another’s anger and how it felt. Often this is not the case however, those of us who think before we act or react will more likely think of the consequences of our outburst and the damage it will do. Wisdom literature tells us that: A fool shows his annoyance the same day, But one who overlooks an insult is prudent. And He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who has a quick temper displays folly. If it isn’t enough to just highlight what our anger can do to others, what about what it can do to us? Mark Twain said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Anger has a negative effect from the inside out when we keep the memory alive by meditating on it. Not only does it affect our mind and keep us at a higher state of overall reactivity, but it also affects our body and blood pressure.Rather than grasping on to anger, we need to let it go because it does us no good. Plato once wrote, “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.”

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