Hatred hurts – The Effects of hatred on the Body and Mind

Of late, there has been a significant increase in religious and political hatred. Several forces are trying to normalise hatred for their selfish interests. Unfortunately, the spread of hatred is countered with hatred from the other side and thus increasing the intensity of hatred in the society. It is sad to see youngsters and even kids sucked into this dangerous spectrum of hatred. 

Hatred must be taken seriously as it not only harms society but also causes serious harm to the individual who carries it for a prolonged time. 

Hatred can cause Cancer, Diabetes, Hypertension, Cholesterol – Dr. B M Hegde

Hatred has harmful effects on the body and mind

Numerous studies have been conducted on how hatred impacts us physiologically and psychologically. These studies all revealed that before hatred affects any part of our body, it affects our brain first. The brain is our internal alarm system.

When you hate someone, the brain interprets it as a threat or harm and millions of nerve fibres within our brain release chemicals throughout the body to every organ. The chemicals released are cortisol (stress hormone), adrenaline and noradrenaline. This prepares us to act aggressively when feeling hateful, either to defend or as an attack. 

When the hatred continues on a regular basis, the chemicals are more frequently released. This depletes the adrenals and contributes to weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression and chronic illness. With time, reaction to chemicals released takes a toll on the nervous, immune and the endocrine system leading to various illnesses like: diabetes, hypertension, cancer and auto-immune disorders.

Hatred and Human Psychology

Hatred creates a mirror effect and it attracts the person back to what he / she hates. This causes the hate to increase which in turn triggers another mirror effect. This becomes a vicious cycle causing more damage to your body and mind. The cycle cannot be broken until the person decides to consciously intervene to stop it.

Save yourself from hatred

1. Be conscious of “hatred” and acknowledge it as soon as you recognize it.

2. Identify the triggers of hatred. Example: misunderstanding, propaganda, bias, stereotypes etc.

3. Try to address the triggers. Example: remove the misunderstanding, do a fact check if it is a propaganda, correct your bias and stereotypes

4. Focus on the positive (Every situation, every person, every community has a positive side)

5. Refocus your mind and fill it with constructive habits like: reading, exercise, charity etc.

6. Try mind relaxation techniques and breathing exercises