By Marge Roberts, BSN, MSHP, DAHom

Whenever I find a positive story, I am bothered by the comments that invariably express anger and hostility instead of embracing the good. A pilot safely lands a compromised plane, and as people express their gratefulness, someone has to comment that she was just doing the job she was trained to do and it was nothing special. Why not celebrate the skill and the lives saved?

Someone tells the story of a lost little girl protected in the woods in the cold and rain by her dog. Instead of rejoicing when she is found safe, someone has to lash out at the parents for allowing their child to wander off. Through social media, there is much more bullying and shaming others. Sometimes people on social media lash out at people they don’t even know.

Many comedians are no longer funny. They are sometimes mean or degrading. They lash out at a so-called enemy. It’s hard these days to find a show or performance to generate a good belly laugh. The Bob Hope’s and the I Love Lucy’s of the world are gone.

Unfounded charges of racism, sexism, homophobia and the like are thrown around without regard to truth. People are afraid to share their opinions because it may be misinterpreted, leading to an attack on their character, their family or their job. Protesters destroy property and attack innocent bystanders all while justifying their actions as freedom of expression.

Out-of-control anger, or is it fear?

Anger is the emotion associated with the liver and is the organ most affected by excess stress or emotions. With the prevalence of stress in today’s society, the majority of us experience stress not only in our lives but also with our livers. Fear is the emotion associated with the kidney. The liver and kidneys are our two main detoxifying organs. Could it be that the hostility today is somehow related to the toxic onslaught impacting our two detoxifying organs?

Does the “meanness” of today stem from a compromised liver and kidney leading to anger and fear? What happens when an animal is cornered and fearful – it attacks. What happens when a child is fearful from being bullied? The child may be violent, either against others or sometimes against themselves, engaging in self-destructive behavior.

We have become a drug-obsessed society. Our foods are filled with pesticides and chemicals. We continue to abuse our liver and kidneys with fatty foods, tobacco, and obesity. According to the American Liver Foundation, nearly 10% of Americans suffer from some form of liver disease. The overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the general population is approximately 14 percent; over 660,000 Americans have kidney failure.

Although I’m sure there is a multitude of reasons for anger and fear in our society, I hypothesize that a portion is related to the health of our kidneys and liver. I believe that just as liver and kidney disease contribute to anger and fear, so too, the expression of anger and fear contribute to the ill health of the liver and kidneys.

So, what can you do about it?

  • Avoid chemical drugs unless we absolutely need them; try natural alternatives instead, such as diet changes, massage, supplements, chiropractic, homeopathy, exercise, meditation, prayer or acupuncture.
  • If overweight, make a commitment to lose weight. Being overweight leads to the chronic diseases calling for pharmaceutical drugs, which in turn, increase the assault on the liver. Moderate your fat consumption.
  • Eat organic and unprocessed foods whenever possible; the more processed the food, the more chemicals. Also, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption or eliminate consumption.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives. If you must use these chemicals, wear gloves and make sure the area is well ventilated. The liver and kidneys are not only affected by what you ingest but also what you inhale and what is absorbed through your skin.

Think and act positive and happy until you are. You’ve heard the saying, “Fake it ‘till you make it.” When you feel your anger or fear rising and are tempted to say or do something negative, try to replace it with a positive affirmation or an act of kindness. Eventually, it will become second-nature, and you will nurture your liver and kidney rather than inflict damage.

It may be a far-fetched notion to relate the prevalence of anger and fear in today’s world to physical health. However, if you practice healthy habits, what’s the best that can happen? You just might feel better and have a happier outlook on life.