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.