Anger Weakens Immune System

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

Laughter boosts the immune system and anger weakens it.

In one study, Harvard University scientists found that in healthy people, simply recalling an angry experience from their past caused a six-hour dip in levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, the cells’ first line of defense against infection.

Anger is also associated with heart disease. One study found that people who were prone to anger had twice the risk of coronary disease.

Anger also increases your stroke risk. A study found there was three times higher risk of having a stroke during the two hours after an angry outburst.

Anger is also linked to depression. Numerous studies have linked depression to repressed anger.

In order to release anger, you need to identify what you are really feeling by identifying your triggers. Anger is a secondary emotion. Most people who are angry are feeling fearful, hurt, ashamed, powerless, disrespected, unloved, etc.

You can release past hurts and learn how to express anger in an appropriate way. You can use nonviolent communication tools to express what you are really feeling and to ask for what you need.


Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

When we take things personally we are giving people more power over us than they deserve or should ever be allowed to have.

You are trusting someone else to tell you who you are, instead of relying on what you know to be true about yourself.

I remember when I was co-directing a preschool, when one of our students said to her grandmother (my co-director), “Mariah said I am not a princess.” Her grandmother said, “Is that true?” She thought about it for awhile and responded, “No, it’s not true. I am a princess!” And her grandmother’s response was classic, “Always remember who you are.” 😀

Withholding Love

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

When we’ve been hurt, we put up walls around our hearts to protect them. When we have a “heart wall,” we cannot give or receive love fully.

If you go through the healing process, you can release the pain of the past and choose to open your heart and love without fear.

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. (Philippians 1:9)

Emotional Stress

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

Dr. Maté, MD, teaches that emotional stress is a major cause of physical illness, from cancer to autoimmune conditions and many other chronic diseases.

The brain and body systems that process emotions are intimately connected with the hormonal apparatus, the nervous system, and in particular the immune system.

This is why it is imperative that we do not shut down our emotions, but learn to process them in a healthy and productive way.

“Yearn to Better Understand”

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

Another pastor, Jarrid Wilson, committed suicide on Monday.

This is a picture of Jarrid with his wife and their two sons. He was 30 years old.

In reading some friends’ posts and comments about this, it reminded me that many in the Church don’t understand mental health and the need for inner healing.

They blame “the enemy,” “sin,” etc., instead of seeing the need to address the root causes of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. And they think the cure is just loving Jesus.

Before he died, Jarrid posted on Twitter:

“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression. 
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD. 
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that.”

Jarrid once wrote: “We must do better at educating people on things they have a hard time wrapping their heads around. And mental health is definitely a topic Christians around the world must yearn to better understand.”

It’s time to talk about these issues and it’s time to yearn to better understand. ❤️

Repetition Compulsion

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

We are often drawn to unsafe connections because they feel familiar. There is a psychological theory for this called “repetition compulsion.” This is where we have a tendency to repeat situations that feel familiar.

For example, if someone grew up with a parent who verbally abused them, they may subconsciously seek out relationships with abusive people.

By doing healing work, you can stop the “repetition compulsion.”

Healing the Wounded Child Within

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

In 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter), Paul talks about putting away childish ways. In order to do that, we often need to heal the wounded child within.

These are some signs that you may have a wounded inner child:

You feel that there is something wrong with you.

You often experience anxiety.

You’re a people-pleaser.

You don’t have a strong sense of identity.

You feel inadequate.

You constantly criticize yourself.

You’re unforgiving to yourself, rigid and a perfectionist.

You have a hard time committing and trusting.

You have deep abandonment issues and stay in toxic relationships.

Seen and Heard

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

We all have a need to be seen and heard.

If you were neglected or ignored in childhood, you may believe that you are not worthy of love, not important, and not valued.

This belief gets reinforced later in life in relationships where you don’t feel seen or heard. You may even attract people who will ignore you or neglect you because it is familiar.

You are worthy of love. You are important. You are valued.

Come to the Table

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

Let’s make room at our tables for those different than us.

Let’s choose to love instead of fear.

Let’s choose to embrace instead of exclude.

You are worthy of being loved well.

You are worthy of being seen and known.

You are worthy of belonging.

If you don’t feel loved and accepted at the table, maybe you need to find another table. 💥

Heard and Validated

Kari BrowningBlog, Healing

We feel invalidated and unheard when we are ignored or judged when we express our emotions.

If you want to validate someone and help them in their healing process:

Show that you are attentive and present by giving verbal responses and using body language to show you are listening.

Focus on listening. Avoid interrupting or interjecting.

Repeat their words back to them, so they know you have heard them. For example, “What I heard you saying is…..”

Ask clarifying questions and help them elaborate on what they are feeling.

Avoid giving advice or sharing cliches.

Ask how you can help.