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Overcoming anger and achieving mental and physical health


Yahya Abdul Rahman - Sept 9, 2008



In the course of our daily lives we experience a host of disappointments and annoyances. We plan a picnic and then it rains. We eat dinner at a restaurant and we receive mediocre service and the food is of sub-standard quality. Someone looks at or addresses us in a certain way and we interpret their action as an insult or rudeness. We cannot find a parking space at the mall and we are in a rush. Our boss places more demands on us but demonstrates little or no appreciation for our work. The list goes on and on of the daily aggravations that are part and parcel of everyday living.


No matter how spiritual or meditative we strive to be, these aggravations will occur on a regular basis and it is crucial to see them as average situations and not exceptions which only happen to you alone. The question is how do we deal with them? Many people possess the proclivity to work themselves up into a outburst of temper and become all flustered. For some people, over time, these continual outbursts can have drastic consequences. Not only can these angry outbursts have an impact on how we deal with others or how we are perceived by them, ie loss of friends and respect, they can also affect our physical health and mental well-being. A host of disturbances - way too numerous to list here- can manifest themselves in the body and even lead to complete physical and mental disability. If you Google "Health and Anger" on the internet you fill find a host of articles related to how anger impacts upon human health as the link between the two is well documented and is not considered a controversial issue. A lot of research actually suggests that how we react to other people and the minor and major irritants of daily living can influence our risk of dying from cancer and heart disease.


For the purposes of this article, there are two forms of temper which include "angry temper" and "fearful temper." We exhibit angry temper when we place the blame on someone else for something they said, did, or did not do. Underlying this form of temper is the belief that "I am right and they are wrong."


Fearful temper, on the other hand, which is a bit more subtle, is when one judges themselves to be wrong for something they said or thought; they did or did not do; thinking they are not up to par with the rest of humanity. Associated with this is the feeling of low self-worth and self-pity. "Poor little me, why does that have to happen to me," is the cry of the one with fearful temper.


As I stated earlier, for many people, giving into this temper can cause a host of emotional and physical problems, including acute anxiety. If one wishes to reverse the symptoms associated with temper one must make real changes in their lives or they will become even more ill to the point of disability.


I recommend a few resources to deal with this problem. The first resource are two books by the late Abraham Low, MD called "Mental Health Through Will-Training: A System of Self-Help in Psychotherapy as Practiced by Recovery, Incorporated" and "Manage Your Fears Manage Your Anger: A Psychiatrist Speaks." In these two books, especially the first one, Dr. Low demonstrates how anger is our worst enemy and how, via the act of the will, one can consciously curtail these episodes of angry and fearful temper and lead ourselves back on the road to mental and physical well-being. The books can be ordered online at: <> .


I also recommend "Peace of Body, Peace of Mind," by Rose VanSickle. In this book VanSickle outlines, in a warm and conversational manner, how she successfully applied Dr. Low's teachings to her life in order overcome her anxiety and a host of distressing physical symptoms which almost totally destroyed her life. That book can be ordered at: <> . She is also a beautiful person to speak with.


The second resource is an excellent Alberta based website run Jim Folk at: <> . Jim Folk suffered with anxiety disorder including debilitating panic attacks, from 1974 to 1986 until he finally recovered and he shares his knowledge of how he did so on his website. You have to pay to get full access to the resources but I can tell you right now that the price - $29.95/ year - is worth every penny. Folk's website will provide you will practical tools regarding how to deal with anxiety and stress as well as an extensive list of the physical symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorder conditions.


Any efforts one takes to improve their mental and physical health and reduce stress and temperamental outbursts in their life is well worth it, and these resources will assist in achieving this worthy goal.


Yahya Abdul Rahman can be reached online at:


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