You make me sick

H-Bombs went off this past weekend in North America; three of them.

Two exploded in the United States and one in Canada. These ones weren’t atomic in nature, but their effect is devastating.

H-Bombs (explosions of hatred) caught our attention as many innocent people died or were hurt because of hatred.

H-Bombs, fed by blame, fear, and pain distort the rational mind, causing pain and suffering around the world. Hatred motivates horrendous actions.

Anger and hate are normal human emotions when they happen occasionally. But feed hatred and it will grow and breed further negative emotions. It becomes toxic.

Society suffers because of hatred; this is evidenced by these recent mass shootings. A day shopping or an evening out can be fatal. People are injured or they die, families are forever changed. People feel less safe and the sense of freedom is lost.

Hatred is an intense emotion that’s like a magnet, causing us to be drawn back to the object of our distaste again and again. Its powerful energy brings with it a destructive power when it’s turned inward or outward.

Hatred of others has dangerous consequences, even if we don’t act on them, and self-hatred makes us sick and depressed.

I’ve known some hate-addicts in my life.

They’ve always got new and expanded reasons to hate, adding new causes or people to the list of enemies.

Who pays the biggest price for hatred, the hater or the hated?

Hatred and associated anger may feel powerful to one who loathes another, but it’s expensive to their mental, emotional, and physical health, as well as relationships. They’re hard to be around.

Hatred is addictive. As feelings of hatred and rage build up in the mind, we are kept attached to the object of our hatred, and we get stuck in a negative loop. We don’t think clearly.

Two hate researchers, Semir Zeki and John Paul Romaya, discovered a hate circuit in the brain. When this circuit is engaged, it decreases self-awareness, perception, and judgment.

An activated hate circuit keeps us prepared for attack, stuck in the stress response, and increases the development of obsessive-compulsive behaviours. We laugh less often and do irrational things.

Hatred addicts spend more time pre-planning, becoming obsessed and paranoid. Their world is coloured by the dark lenses they wear by habit.

What you practise grows stronger.

Hatred causes elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels, depleting the adrenal glands, and harming the immune system.

The risk of stroke, heart attack, insomnia, anxiety, depression and weight-gain increase. Compromised immunity lingers for six hours following a five-minute experience of holding hatred.

To break the addictive quality of hatred, we have to stop feeding it.

To overcome hatred and anger, it’s important to:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. Don’t just push them down or pretend they’re not there.
  • Step back for a moment. Take some deep breaths or go for a walk to calm the mind.
  • Realize why you’re feeling this way.
  • Recognize fear, insecurity or feeling unsafe are often the seeds of the more toxic emotions.
  • Consider whether it’s worth your mental and physical health to stay engaged with the person or issue.
  • Deal with the issue. Try to find a solution to the problem.
  • Talk to a friend or family member to help gain clarity and alleviate the negative feelings. They may have good advice and help put things in perspective.
  • Let go of unhealthy thought patterns. This takes awareness and self-discipline.
  • It’s important to recognize the seeds of hate as they are being planted, and dislodge them before they take root and grow.
  • Seek professional assistance if necessary.

If we can’t change the person or situation, we can change how we think about them. Making a conscious decision to detach from troublesome situations or people can help us restore balance and harmony in our own lives.

Everyone experiences anger or hatred from time to time. Learning how to restore harmony, happiness, and health to our own lives puts us back in the driver’s seat of our lives.

The opposite of hate isn’t love, it’s detachment. We’ve got to make a conscious decision to not stay attached to the object of our dismay.

Why would we give something or someone we dislike so much of our precious mental and emotional coin? What we feed grows stronger, and our health bears the effects.


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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

Corinne, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Health Science, is a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, and a hospice volunteer. She is an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan, and is currently teaching smartUBC, a unique Mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. She is an invited speaker and presenter.

From diverse experience and knowledge, personally and professionally, Corinne has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people to gain a new perspective, awaken, and to recognize that we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts or to life; we are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 41 years, and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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