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How to Manage Anger through a Higher Power

Support is essential to human survival, including efforts at anger management. And for most of us, that support comes from other human beings with whom we’re closely connected — your spouse, family members, friends, children, members of your church or temple.

But what if those usual sources of support aren’t readily available for some reason? What do you do in situations where you’ve exhausted all the supportive resources at your disposal? What do you do if the people who typically support you are angry at you? In other words, what do you do when you can’t reach out for help when you need it the most?

You reach up instead. You turn your thoughts to a higher power. You pray. You take respite from the burdens of the world by turning your problems over to that unseen, invisible, spiritual entity in whose hands you now feel safe and secure. Then you can relax. You no longer need to defend yourself against adversity — which means you don’t need to carry around all that fear and anger.

According to the New Testament, even Jesus reached up to his heavenly father, when faced with the ultimate destiny of his painful crucifixion, by praying: “Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me; nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14:36).

Don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm means “having a godly spirit within.” Try to remain especially enthusiastic when you’re faced with life’s many problems.

If you want to minimize the odds that you’ll suffer from the health problems in which anger plays a significant role, attend a religious service at least once a week.

Medical studies have repeatedly shown, for example, that churchgoers have about half the risk for coronary heart disease as do non-churchgoers. As a group, churchgoers also have lower blood pressure — regardless of their age, whether they smoke, their weight, and their socioeconomic circumstances.

Apparently, participating in religious activities can be the remedy for what the great psychologist William James called the “sick soul” of mankind.

Remember: There is no evidence to suggest that one religion — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and so on — conveys more health protection than any other, so it really doesn’t matter where you go — just that you show up somewhere!

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