Month: November 2016

Would you rather spiral up or spiral down?

The choices: Spiral up to enhanced relationships, decreased worry, decreased anxiety, and less depression. Or, spiral down into a world filled with anger, knowing that anger focused inward is depression. 

Anger is an interesting emotion. It is built into our nature, just like love. In psalm 7:11 anger is used to denote God’s displeasure with sin. However, in James 1:20 it states that the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Anger can help us to see where change is necessary. However, the stronger our anger becomes, the more we focus on protecting ourselves and the less we see any good at all. The stronger our anger becomes, the more our logic turns off because we are only focused on protecting ourselves. Therefore, intense anger hurts our abilities to come up with high-quality decisions. Intense anger simply does not bring about the changes that we long to see. It’s propose is to hurt other people and tear them apart.

The most interesting thing about anger is this. The more we feed the anger that we all naturally feel, the greater our anger will grow. Like any muscle, the more it’s used, the more it grows. And, the greater our anger grows, the more it tears our minds and our body’s apart. Causeless, excessive, or protracted anger increases our worry and anxiety and decreases our ability to have a balanced viewpoint. Worry and anxiety are killers. Intense anger does not solve our problems, or anyone else’s problems.

The bottom line is this. Choosing to let our anger grow is choosing to spiral down into a negative life. Having unchecked anger is liking drinking poison. The only thing our unchecked anger is doing is destroying ourselves. 

What can we do? Choose to change. Choose to spiral up.

Alex Korb, PHD in his book The Upward Spiral states, “It turns out that positive life changes actually cause positive neural changes—in the brain’s electrical activity, its chemical composition, even its ability to produce new neurons. These brain changes alter the tuning of your brain’s circuitry and lead to further positive life changes. For example, exercise changes the electrical activity in your brain during sleep, which then reduces anxiety, improves mood, and gives you more energy to exercise. Similarly, expressing gratitude activates serotonin production, which improves your mood and allows you to overcome bad habits, giving you more to be grateful for. Any tiny change can be just the push your brain needs to start spiraling upward.”

Therefore, instead of spewing out anger like a raging volcano … 

Why can’t we walk around where we live, and purposefully look for the good and be thankful for it?
Why can’t we find the things that we are grateful for and build on those things? 

Why can’t we use the talents that we have been gifted with and build something beautiful in our own neighborhoods?

Why can’t we be the change that we long to see? After all, that IS the example that Christ set for us.