I recently read a book first published in 1796, entitled “The Immortal Mentor.” The preface was written by George Washington, praising the author’s work. The first section was about health, and the premise that our extremes of lifestyle shorten our lives by many years, while moderation in all things could bring happiness, good health and a long life.

The author was 83 when the book was first published. He described himself as a person of weak constitution, who was near death at age 35, when the best doctor he could find told him that a life of moderation could reverse his situation, while continuing on the same path would soon place him beyond any help and bring certain death. He reported that for almost a year, he worked diligently to moderate his entire lifestyle. The changes were difficult to achieve, but easy to maintain, once reached.

Remember that this author wrote the book I mention at age 83. It is interesting to note that he lived to the age of 104, remaining healthy, vital and happy, and dying painlessly in his sleep at an age few people achieve to this day. I recommend this book to you, and include a short passage here:

BUT to return. Besides the two fore-going important rules about eating and drinking, that is, not to take of any thing, but as much as my stomach could easily digest, and to use those things only which agreed with me. I have very carefully avoided all extremes of heat and cold, excessive fatigue, interruption of my usual time of rest, late hours, and too close and intense thinking. I am likewise greatly indebted for the excellent health I enjoy, to that calm and temperate state in which I have been careful to keep my passions.

THE influence of the passions on the nerves and health of our bodies is so great, that none can possibly be ignorant of it. He therefore who seriously wishes to enjoy good health, must, above all things, learn to conquer his passions, and keep them in subjection to reason.

For let a man be never so temperate in diet, or regular in exercise, yet still some unhappy passion, if indulged to excess will prevail over all his regularity, and prevent the good effects of his temperance; no words, therefore, can adequately express the wisdom of guarding against an influence so destructive. Fear, anger, grief, envy, hatred, malice, revenge and despair, are known by eternal experience, to weaken the nerves, disorder the circulation, impair digestion, and often to bring on a long train of hysterical and hypochondriacal disorders; and extreme sudden fright, has often occasioned immediate death.

On the other hand, moderate joy, and all those affections of the mind which partake of its nature, as cheerfulness, contentment, hope, virtuous and mutual
love, and courage in doing good, invigorate the nerves, give a healthy motion to the fluids, promote perspiration, and assist digestion; but violent anger (which differs from madness only in duration) throws the whole frame into tempest and convulsion, the countenance blackens, the eyes glare, the mouth foams, and in place of the most gentle and amiable, it makes a man the most frightful and terrible of all animals. The effects of this dreadful passion do not stop here; it never fails to create bilious, inflammatory, convulsive, and sometimes apoplectic disorders, and sudden death.

SOLOMON was thoroughly sensible of the destructive tendencies of ungoverned passions, and has, in many places, cautioned us against them. He emphatically styles "envy a rottenness of the bones;" and says, that "wrath slayeth the angry man, and envy killeth "the silly one;" and, "that the wicked shall not live out half their days."

If you feel you need help with your anger, speak with someone about it. Often, a family member, close friend or minister can provide useful advice that will set you on the right path. If your concerns seem more serious or urgent, speak with your family doctor or a local mental health provider. You might consider online anger management classes. A site offering free classes is www.successwithlogan.com. There is help available, and you are absolutely not alone.

Author's Bio: 

William Smith is a master’s level psychologist, certified by the State of Tennessee as a Social Counselor since 1989. He is the CEO of The Logan Group International, a leading provider of anger management courses for court and employers. To learn more about his company and what it offers, visit http://www.successwithlogan.com.