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Toxic Emotions Can Lead to Serious Health Problems

02/04/2014 05:21 pm ET | Updated Apr 06, 2014

Anger and hatred are natural, but they are also some of the most toxic emotions that we can have. Feelings of rage and hatred build up in the mind, body and soul, affecting the body's organs and natural processes and breeding even more negative emotions. Expressing anger in reasonable ways can be healthy, but explosive people who hurl objects and yell at others frequently may be at greater risk for heart disease. Prolonged bouts of anger can take the toll on the body in the form of high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, headaches and poor circulation. Research also shows that even one five-minute episode of anger is so stressful that it can impair your immune system for more than six hours. All of these health issues can lead to more serious problems such as heart attacks and stroke. Anger and hatred can be directed at yourself or at other people, but either way you lose when you allow these negative foods for the soul to take over. Fortunately, there are some ways to overcome anger and hatred in your life.

How to Overcome Anger and Hatred

1. Acknowledge your anger. Instead of pushing your anger into the recesses of your mind or refusing to admit it is there, be mindful of what you are feeling. If you can admit that you are angry, then you can begin to tackle those emotions and find a solution to the problem.

2. Realize why you are angry or feeling hateful. Look deep within yourself and ask yourself why you are upset. Many times, anger and hatred come from a place of fear, insecurity or self-defense. Once you find the root of your anger, ask yourself if your physical and mental health are worth the struggle.

3. Step back for a moment. In the heat of the moment it can be hard to make rational decisions. Take a break, go for a walk or practice meditation until you have calmed down a bit. Take deep breaths and allow yourself to relax. Once your mind is calm, you can will be able to control your emotions in a more efficient manner.

4. Deal with the issue. Unresolved anger can seriously affect your health and happiness. Instead of ignoring the issue, try to find a solution to the problem. If the situation is beyond your control, try to resolve it in your head by shifting your mindset. You may not be able to change a particular person or situation, but you can change how you think about them.

5. Talk to people about what's on your mind. Sometimes just talking to a close friend, family member or even a therapist about something that is making you angry can help to alleviate the negative feelings you are having. Moreover, other people can often offer valuable advice that comes from an objective perspective.

6. Let go of unhealthy thought patterns. If you find yourself always thinking the worst about others and/or yourself, try to retrain your mind to think more positively. If you can let negative thought patterns go and start to appreciate the good in life, you will find that you have less to be angry about, better health and a happier disposition.

We all experience anger and hatred at some point in our lives. It is natural to feel angry about something, as long as you know how to deal with your anger so that it doesn't negatively affect your health and well-being. Remember that anger comes from within, and it can be just as easy to eliminate anger as to suppress it or hold on to it. In fact, sometimes it is easier to just let something go than to carry on being upset. If you can learn to tackle your anger at its root and resolve your negative feelings without lashing out at yourself or others, you will already be one step further on the path to optimal health and happiness.

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