Tag: let go

Taming Anger

Do you find yourself feeling increasingly resentful or filled with frustration over little incidents, like someone bumping into your grocery cart? Do you secretly fear that the simmering rage within is driving a wedge between your relationships and sabotaging your self-esteem?   Anger, obviously, is a human reaction with a unique purpose in life, but when it dominates all other emotions, it tarnishes our mind, body and spirit.  Overzealous chronic anger colors the way we live and influences our choices, negatively. How can you tame the anger beast and put it in check?

Let go of lingering resentment over something or someone in your past.  Resentment enslaves us to the insult of what someone did or did not do to us, it handcuffs our being to negative hurtful feelings.  Psychology Today used the quote; “Living with resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other guy to get sick.”  Rather than ruminating on the injury, divert your thoughts to pleasant, joyful memories. Mindfully disengage from poring over polluted judgements that over time grow large and cloud your vision.  Avoid looking through old photos that stir up negative reminders.

Be kind to yourself. Set aside time to nurture yourself, this is not being selfish. Quite the contrary, it is giving permission to love yourself. Rather than routinely ignoring your needs, indulge a bit.  Take time to exercise, to luxuriate in a bath or to close your eyes for a twenty-minute nap when you’re tired. Listen to your physical, mental, and spiritual cues

Allow yourself time to simmer down.  When your temper flares, use breathing to diffuse the fire and take a walk, whenever possible. Physiologically it takes twenty minutes to an hour for the fight or flight hormones to dissipate so give yourself time to flush them out.

Recognize what infuriates you and consider if the reason that these behaviors infuriate you is that you act in similar ways; and are unconsciously pretending that you don’t. Perhaps by owning these behaviors your reaction will be defused; allowing you to have compassion and empathy towards others that display those behaviors. Surround yourself with positive people, their energy will permeate your sense of well-being and improve your overall moods. Sleep enough so that you feel rested, as a lack of sleep can cause tempers to flare.  Fluctuating blood sugar levels can also set us on edge.  If you suffer from hypoglycemia, eat small meals throughout the day. Exercise is excellent for stabilizing your moods so get enough to work off pent up frustration. Our bodies were meant to move, when we sit too long too often, it can affect how we feel.

Laugh more, nothing like a little dose of funny to turn an angry frown into a smile.  When we find humor in life and don’t take everything as if it is a personal affront, our lives are more satisfying.  Try letting go, seek hilarity and enjoy a big belly laugh.  Watch a comedian or hang out more with friends who like to laugh. It has been proven that people with a sense of humor, heal faster and are happier.

Cultivating healthy alternatives to anger has the power to uplift your life.  Not that you’ll never get angry, but you’ll be the one in charge, to dictate when to call it quits, rather than the anger, resentment, or frustration being the boss.  We all get miffed at times, when a toe gets stubbed or when we experience a serious slight, but we do have the choice to react with a clear head, to breathe, and to move on.


A Case for Loving-Kindness Meditation

We’ve all been there—we’re having a conversation that we don’t necessarily want to have and we begin to feel defensive.  Our mind may start racing or our palms may start sweating. Anger starts rising up hot on our necks, and we’ve hit the point of either shutting down and tuning out or getting upset. Usually it’s with someone that we’ve been down this road with before.

It’s true, right? We all find ourselves falling into the cycle of washing and rinsing out one issue, yet, before we’ve even finished ironing it out, we could already be facing more trouble from the same source.  Our immediate response may be to act out of frustration or anger instead of a calm, collected place. That’s were loving kindness-meditation comes in.

As Harvard Business Review explains it:

“To understand why we get clumsy in difficult relationships, consider that habitual patterns of thinking and behavior are like the deep grooves that get carved into a dirt road by the repeated passage of tires. The deeper the grooves, the more likely we are to get stuck in them. This is why we tend to have the same argument repeatedly with certain people, and find ourselves unable to free ourselves from the familiar script. Loving-kindness meditation improves our ability to see those grooves more clearly, to lift ourselves out of them, and to intentionally choose a better, more effective pathway.”

The key is to assuage this issue before it arises internally, and we can only do that by being cool and collected—and most importantly, comfortable within ourselves.  As HBR notes, “without self-compassion it’s hard to find compassion for others.”

Now—start the practice by cultivating someone in your mind that you’re close to. One that loves, honors, and respects you for who you are. They will be the guided thought for your meditation.

Create a mantra based on that idea—and as you’re beginning to feel frustrated with a tough conversation, turn to that to help you make it through. Channel love within your mind and allow it to come through your thoughts and into your words.

Next, set your intentions on the person you’re having the conflict with—Affirmations you can use to assist in setting your intentions into compassion are:

Om, Compassion

You are love, as am I

Compassion is all

The Universe loves you

As you continue this mantra of love for yourself and love for others—you are beginning to set yourself free from the pain of difficult relationships. Changing your heart space to let light in instead of harboring darkness.

Once we find peace in ourselves, the conflicts that we have with others will seem less important to our days, and soon our lives. We learn that through self-control we can create our own existence of harmony instead of discord.

Our lives are short and precious; too short to allow others to negatively impact our days. Give yourself the opportunity to flourish through positive energy; you will change in many incredible ways.