This may be hard to believe but there was a time in my not so long ago life where I experienced many bouts with deep anger. When I found myself firmly planted in that space full of rage I felt completely outside of my own body. It was as if I was watching a slow motion film of my appalling behavior and found myself unable to stop it. When I would yell I could see the veins coming out of my neck and my blood would feel hot, my head light and foggy. I would throw fists and random objects at anything in my way and watch as hideous words escaped my lips.
The episodes where short but numerous, each one more draining than the last. I was left feeling empty and numb, in mental and physical pain and discomfort. Eventually I would break down mid-shower or while running an errand and experience guilt and shame and most of all, overwhelming disappointment. It was in one of these moments of numbness and shame that I decided to understand and overcome what it was that had a hold on me and my emotions.
Why did I feel so angry and out of control?
When our heads are rattling around in those dark, anger-filled places, finding your way out can seem almost impossible. But it is in this moment where we have the most power. When we connect with the harshest parts of ourselves we only have one great new place to go to, up and out.
Releasing our anger brings us an inner peace that allows us to create a more wholesome, joyful life. It is with one single, committed decision that we can prevail over this now tired habit. The moment you decide to live as your authentically happy self (I know you are in there) is the moment you set ourself free.
So, I know this sounds simple and you’re probably wondering how in the world you can move from wanting to lunge for the throat of those you love the most one minute to peacefully smiling and flowing. Well, like with everything else, there’s a process.
Start with this: let yourself off the hook. So you have memories of experiences that you aren’t necessarily proud of. So your family and friends have stories to tell about how insane you’ve behaved when angry in the past. The key to all this is accepting that all of those experiences and emotions and behaviors are in the past. Your power is in the here and now, not in the way-back-when. Bring your attention to the new, in the present, you. It definitely makes a big difference when you can forgive and feel compassion for yourself. This will not be a one time deal. You will become a master at self-forgiveness. Practice, practice, practice.
It’s time to take it to the next level: assessment. You want to get knee-deep and comfortable in what triggers your anger. Treat yourself to a notebook (for those of you who are paper-averse, the notes app on your phone works too). There is no need for a long winded, wordy, emotional journal entry. In fact, keep it short and sweet. You want to log three simple things:
- What triggered the anger
- At the moment you identified that you were angry, where in your body did you feel it?
- On a scale from 1-10, how intense was it?
You are keeping this as a way to understand where you are-not as a way to log how bad you are at not being angry (see above: let yourself off the hook). Seeing the patterns written out in front of you makes it easier to know where you are and where you are going.
Now that you have clarity of what’s triggering you, what do you do? Easy peasy: adopt a meditation routine that you are excited to implement on a daily basis. I know I just lost some of you but please come back. When many of us with few (or zero) meditation hours under our belt hear the word meditation we picture someone in a robe or at the very least, yoga pants, sitting cross legged under a tree, calmly breathing and floating three inches off the earth. I got two words for you: baby steps. Start with five minutes a day. Spend this time breathing into the parts of the body where you felt your anger that day, imagine letting it go-literally visualize anger leaving your body. Keep a 1-10 scale on the side of your mind and practice bringing that number all the way to one as you release the anger.
Lastly, remember you are not alone. Ask for help from people in your life. If you don’t have helpful and compassionate people in your life yet, go meet some. They are everywhere, many are online. Find a YouTube channel with meditation videos you like or look for an intro to meditation class. They are out there, many resources are free.
We are always here to help, just a phone call or comment away. Book your complimentary consultation or visit us at our free workshops. You can uncover the roots of the matter and recover a happy, successful you.