It’s a normal human emotion. No matter how spiritual one is (or professes to be!), anger will come calling. It’s just part and parcel of what makes us human.
Some folks just hate it. And will do almost anything not to feel it. But all that does is stuff it down, ensuring it will stay percolating in the dark to arise when you least expect it. We know what stuffing emotions does—it causes anything from lowered immune systems to full-blown inflammatory effects such as heart attacks and strokes. Eeeekk!
And other people seem to get off on it, you know? All those adrenaline-producing hormones flooding through. Not to mention feeling somewhat righteous. I mean, that ego will say, “I’m right, damn it!” And we like to be right J But staying in that flood of hormones causes the same things that stuffing it does.
So whichever path your inclination tends to take, you still have to deal with anger, up front and center. Or it’ll eat your lunch.
Here are 4 foolproof ways to slay that demon:
1). Feelings. Giving full attention to the feelings involved lets those little buggers out. Whether you love the surges of anger or hate them, the first part of this process is feeling the emotions involved. Let them scream like a two-year-old in full voice. I’m a big proponent of Right Use of Will , which recommends going out and literally shaking your fist at the sky, if that’s what it takes. See the anger in red. Taste the bitter metallic spice. Hear its roar. Let it out.
2). Thoughts. Wallow in all the reasons why your anger is justified. Of course it is! Whether that’s about someone’s actions, something laid at your doorstep, a malignant action by the gods—whatever caused it, piece it all out.
But give yourself a set amount of time to do so. Otherwise you’ll be mad all day! Because the funny thing about this particular emotion: In order to stay mad, you have to keep feeding the anger. It’s a physical impossibility to remain in that state without continuing to hash out all the reasons your anger is justified. And after awhile, you’re just giving voice to the same thoughts over and over. That’s when you know you’re becoming insane and it’s time to move on.
3). Resolution. Take that anger and turn it on its head into energy. Anger is quite energizing, no? It’s one of those emotions that take you from calm seas into roiling ones, and that requires tons of energy to white-cap the water.
I think of this as a yin-yang circle. You might have been really in the yin when that thing occurs that turns you all yang. But instead of feeding the anger with thoughts that keep you there, spin that circle sideways until you can just feel the pure energy. Ah, that’s better!
4). Action. Do something. Taking some sort of action gets the rest of that energy moving in the right direction. Whether it’s about the cause of your anger or not doesn’t really matter, although that usually helps. Write that letter to the transgressor (you don’t have to mail it, and absolutely don’t do so while you’re still mad!). Talk to a friend. Go for a run. Chop that tree into firewood that you’ve been putting off for so long. Clean out the cupboard.
Just do something. That gives outlet to the remaining hormones and their emotional impact.
And breathe. Never forget to breathe. By that time you feel the cleansing waves of calm roll over you, and you can get back to the important parts of your day.
It always helps me to remember author Napoleon Hill’s words: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
So see, even that pesky old anger comes with a boon!
How do you deal with anger?