What’s the first thought you have in reaction to the word “anger?” Most people would say that anger is a negative emotion, something they would like to avoid and purge from their lives. Though the goal is to let go of anger, and experience life from a perspective of joy, the first step is to recognize and embrace your anger. What is it telling you?
Don’t fear anger – face it and feel it, and then let it go.
If we ignore anger and shove it aside, we’ll miss a true opportunity to go deeper into ourselves. If we are afraid of these feelings, no matter how uncomfortable it is to sit with them, they will only rise again, misunderstood and toxic to our health, happiness and the energy we put out into the world.
Anger emerges with a thought. It all starts there. It feels as if anger forms within us, but in reality, we attract negativity from the outside world. Positive thoughts and outlooks reside within ourselves. That is our natural, true state. The key is to tap into this inherent potential and shift our understanding. External forces impact us and we develop our thoughts about them. We have the choice as to how they will affect us. When a thought sets off anger, and that chemical reaction kicks in, we are in a spiral of negative thinking. If we know how to stay in our enlightened energy, our thoughts can’t take us down that destructive path. Meditation is a great way to learn how to keep our thoughts positive. Anger rises and falls away when you use meditation as a tool for changing your perspective. Becoming a loving person, an important goal in your spiritual journey, creates a state of mind that anger can’t hold on to. When you are not in touch with the human fundamental goodness and ability to love – that we all have – the chemical reactions that are triggered by anger will dictate your feelings and actions.
Along with the impact that anger can have on your well-being and happiness, the projection of anger out into the world has far-reaching effects. When you are processing your anger and learning to let it go, be aware of how it can touch others.
Your anger belongs to you. You are the creator of everything you feel and every reaction you have.
When you displace anger externally, it can manifest in a direction that causes hurt and confusion.
In the case of someone being the catalyst for your anger, realize that this person has come to enlighten you. You can learn from the feelings that arise when your buttons are pushed. The next time somebody pisses you off, don’t blame him or her, just thank them. As strange or uncomfortable as that seems, you can be grateful for this person showing you the way to your enlightenment. You can only hurt yourself with a lack of understanding of this dynamic. Anger is an opportunity for happiness and emotional release.
How can we better handle anger in our romantic relationships? When two people join together it’s a mistake for them to look at each other. Instead, they should look in the same direction. What do I mean by this? We need to value ourselves as individuals in order to have a happy and healthy relationship. If two people look only at one another, they’ll lose sight of the bigger picture and will suffer. Anger goes hand in hand with the misguided expectations we have of other people. Looking inward, then out into the world, together, is how to keep anger in check. Once we stop scrutinizing one another, and take responsibility for ourselves, we can feel joy in a relationship.
There are many effective breathing exercises we can utilize to alleviate anger, combatting it when it arises. Our bodies react to anger, triggering very real and distracting sensations. The mind cannot think clearly when anger is present, and the body feels vulnerable. Proper breathing helps to balance us. It is a source of calmness and happiness. Problems, both psychological and physical, result from not breathing properly. This is often overlooked. Fear, anger, depression, and negative emotions can begin with, or be intensified by, improper breathing. Try this one:
Using the thumb of your left hand, press where the V of the index finger and thumb meet on the right hand. Press gently and hold for 10 deep breaths. Then let go and closing your left nostril, breathe into the right nostril 3 times and out 3 times to a count of 10. Repeat with the other nostril.