The most important thing you can do to manage your anger is to slow down your life and get in touch with the feelings in your body and heart. Anger thrives when we stay busy; the speedy mind is fertile ground for anger to continually perpetuate, as we race along avoiding what’s going on with us on the inside. At a most basic level anger really has nothing to do with outer conditions, it’s all about our relationship with our own body and heart and mind.
By learning to slow down we start to contact our feelings. We feel the anxiety and restlessness in our chest, the fear of uncertainty in our stomach, and we begin to relate with those, and eventually to relax. These feelings are scary at first, especially when we have been avoiding them for so long. But once we open to these edgy feelings, we realize that they are not a threat; they are natural, and come and go in their own natural rhythm.
There are a lot of ways to slow down. It’s not easy, because our habitual speed has tremendous momentum, so to make a change we need to interrupt that speed very deliberately. We need to change the way we go about our life. We need to slow down and allow time and space to develop a relationship with ourself, plain and simple. The key formula for success is commitment to doing it, and then taking action.
When you suffer problems managing your anger, you will be tempted to avoid being with yourself, there is a tendency to keep your body and mind busy so that you can avoid your feelings. Everyone has this tendency to some degree, and with anger management it’s definitely a part of the picture.
One of the most powerful things you can do to better manage anger is to learn to be more present with your experience. This includes your breathing, feelings of your body, and the energy moving in your body. Emotions, including anger, are a form of energy and the more we can access our own energetic feelings, the more confidence we will have in working with them skilfully.
This is not necessarily easy to do, but it is something we can become better at. Over time we can learn how to be with ourself more and more fully. The first step is a desire to do, and from there we can discover ways into our experience. Mindfulness practice is one particular method that is time tested and widely used, and is something we can practice on a daily basis.
Mindfulness is a simple practice of being present with our experience. By sitting quietly in a relaxed and upright posture, we place our attention lightly on the breath. Then when we notice our mind thinking about other things, we gently return our attention back to the sensations and movement of our breath in our body.
It’s a simple practice, but by no means an easy one. However if we do it, it has the power, or rather, it gives us the power, to change our deep seated tendency of avoiding our own experience.
Thanks to Mindfulness Anger Management for this blog. ~ Love & Laughter ~ John