How To Be Mindful In Anger

How To Be Mindful In Anger

Let's take a deep breath.
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The media and recent events have much of the nation appalled and fueled with an unpleasant emotion. In the midst of all the scandals and accusations, I present to you, How To Be Mindful When You Are Angry.

Anger is an interesting emotion. Anger lets us know when a boundary has been crossed. We tend to result to anger in order to protect ourselves or cover up vulnerable feelings.

Anger is natural. It can spark and catch fire quickly within our brain. When misdirected, anger can harm our physical health or damage our relationships.

Mindfulness helps train our attention to be present in the moment, free from judgment. In turn, allowing us to be greater in control of the depth in our actions. Instead of just simply reacting to a situation when angry, mindfulness helps create space between our thoughts and our actions.

That moment of space created can help prevent us from reacting out of spite.

How many times have you said or done something because you were angry that you wish you could take back? We've all made impulsive decisions in the moment, only to regret it later.

Being mindful in anger is not suppressing it. Instead, it is trying to connect with the direct experience of anger and find its root. Then decide what action you want to take next.

1. Stop fueling the anger: Cut off the stories you tell yourself about how you were wronged or why you should be angry. Instead, shift your attention to your body.

2. Notice the sensations in your stomach, chest, and face. Become aware of your heartbeat, notice if it is racing faster.

A lot of times when we are angry we tend to hold our breath and clench our teeth or our fists. Try to be mindful in your body position.

3. Feed your brain some oxygen. Anger typically generates a lot of pent-up energy within people. This makes us want to yell, scream, or punch a wall. Take a breath and try to release the tensions in your body.

4. Investigate the anger: Where do you feel it? What does the anger feel life? Notice how the sensations of anger change as you pay attention to them. What does your anger need? What do you need?

5. Continue to pace your breathing during this mindful exercise. Feel the power of your breath in calming the tension in your brain. Flowing oxygen to your brain will help you think with greater clarity.

6. Before you make any decisions out of spite, ask yourself: What outcome will result out of my decision? Is this really what I want? How can I clarify what my desires are in a manner that is going to make a difference and cause the least harm?

Cultivating mindfulness in anger is a skill that anyone at any age or position can benefit from.

Imagine if our world leaders took some time to take a deep breath before making a decision that could affect millions of people.

The moment of space between our thoughts and actions created by mindfulness, is a powerful tool in making decisions that will be beneficial for the most people.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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How My Diabetes Taught Me That Worry Is Pointless

My life is in the hands of the Creator.
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I am slowly running out of test strips.

Funny story about my prescription: It only ever refills once a month. So I'm attempting to make them stretch. Here's the problem with that one, though: I'm a paranoid diabetic.

My insulin dosage changed about a month ago. I was taking my long-lasting stuff right before I went to bed, so I was used to waking up in the middle of the night in the sixties or fifties. So, every time I woke up, I'd take my blood sugar, just to make sure. Since then, I've gone back to taking the long-lasting insulin in the morning, and my numbers have, overall, gotten better. I'm usually fairly solidly in the middle zone I need to be.

But I still check my blood sugar constantly.

See, the other day, I took a two-hour nap after one of my classes. I was at 204 when I went down (so not good, but also not really likely I'm going to slip low while I'm asleep). I woke up at 48. For those of you who aren't familiar with proper numbers for diabetes, that's really flipping low. In fact, I haven't been that low yet in the two years I've been diabetic.

Ever since I've been paranoid. I take my blood sugar every time I feel the slightest twinge of a weird feeling. It can be the exact opposite of what I remember being low feeling like. I'll still take it. While this isn't necessarily a bad idea, it's also kind of causing me to lose sleep at night and go through canisters of test strips at record speed when it's not necessary.

I felt like I was living on borrowed time.

After a few days of walking around feeling like maybe I wasn't supposed to wake up from that low and jumping at the slightest wind, convinced the nearest university vehicle was going to bowl me over in the next five seconds, I finally sat still and prayed.

God, I'm scared. I feel like I dodged a bullet. What if I wasn't supposed to dodge it? What am I supposed to do here?

And I felt this strange assurance: Rachel, I'm God. If you were meant to be home with me, you would be.

Some might call that threatening, but I call it relaxing. It means I can go day to day with the knowledge that the God of the universe holds my life in His hands, and as long as He still has something for me to accomplish on this earth, I'll be here. I can screw up daily, and He will still take me back and love me. He'll give me a second chance.

So, no, I haven't quite gotten to the point where I don't use my test strips generously. But I know there's a reason why I'm still here. And therefore, why should I worry? What should I fear?

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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When I Look At My Life Now, I Forget I Used To Be Suicidal

I used to want to kill myself over what people said. Now I am much stronger.
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I was reading someone’s post celebrating how they haven’t self-harmed in years. I realized I haven’t self-harmed in years but I can’t remember the last time I celebrated it. It’s like I have almost completely forgotten that I used to be suicidal. I know it sounds awful, but I don’t know if I have blocked it out myself or if other people have done that for me.

Life used to be so hard and almost impossible. I remember crying myself to sleep every single night and wishing I was dead or that I was never born. I remember carving “worthless,” “crazy,” and “dramatic” into my legs because that was how everyone around me thought of me.

I remember being forced to go to therapy knowing what she was telling me would be pointless when my session was up and I had to go home. I remember trying to kill myself three times.

I still have scars, both visible and internal. I will never be able to love or trust anyone the way most people do. I will never be able to feel at home in my own house. I will never be able to get my childhood back. These open wounds will forever change my relationship with my family even if it’s just in my head.

But I don’t totally regret it. I reached the lowest point of my life as a child and now it can only get better. I am now so much stronger. I learned how to stand up for myself. I learned how to be who I am and not worry about what my family would think.

I was willing to kill myself over what people said to me and about me. I was trapped in my own body, in my own house, and in my own town and now I am free. I brush off what anyone thinks of me because it is my life, not theirs.

I left everything that was weighing me down and moved to a city where I didn't know anyone. This was everything I needed to forget that I was once suicidal. Now I am able to be myself and do what I love. I am surrounded by the greatest people who believe in me and push me to be a better version of my self every single day.

Life is so great and it seems like another person was suicidal, not me.

But it was me. I will have to work every day to overcome my depression and anxiety. But some days are better than others and so I am able to grow stronger and fight back harder.

Nothing that happens to me now could be as bad as what I faced growing up. So I laugh. I look my enemies in the face and laugh. Because they have no power.

National Suicide Prevention LifelineCall 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Akash Desai

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