I have had multiple people ask me for help dealing with their anger recently. When that happens, I know there is a collective question that even more people need answered.
So, here, I’ll do my best to give you different ideas and tools for how to deal with anger that are useful, easy, and repeatable.
In many spiritual circles, especially those that follow ACIM (A course in Miracles), like Gabby Berstein, the focus is always fear vs. love. Choose love over fear and your life will get easier and better. They often claim that you can’t feel fear (or anger) when you are focused on love. This love that they refer to is an all-encompassing love that I feel has been experienced by those with near-death experiences. There’s no room for anger there, it’s pure love, joy, comfort. But the normal human experience is more complex than that.
According to Chinese Medicine, there are no ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ emotions. They are simply passing states of being and reacting to the world. They become harmful when they are on constant repeat; when they are not transformed; when they are stuck and start to control you more than you control them. Anger is top on the list of emotions that this happens to. When we react angrily, we often berate ourselves after for not being ‘in control’. Our reactions seem to be bigger than us, to be impossible to shift away from. BUT. Stuck emotions are just stuck energy.. And energy is easy to move 🙂
In that regard, I’ll give you the best anger energy moving exercise there is: breathing. Taking the time to do a deep breathing meditation daily is a practice in calmness that teaches your nervous system to live in a less reactive space. This is something that should be done ALL THE TIME as if you were training for the lessen anger Olympics.
Emotional management is practice and training. No one has ever gotten good at it by waiting for a situation to trigger them and then reacting. No, you’ve got to take this as an athlete would their discipline. Without practice, it’s impossible to be at your best. As with physical health, so it is with emotional health: prevention is better than cure.
Practicing breathing on a regular basis and lowering your reactivity level will mean that in the same situation that made you bananas a month ago, you might still feel frustrated but you won’t be out of your mind. The more you practice, the easier it gets. The breath keeps the clear energy moving through your body.
If you feel like you have more to move than the breath can handle – find yourself an acupuncturist, we’re pros at moving that stubborn angry energy!
If you’re flying off the handle and you can’t seem to stop, there’s probably short circuiting going on in your brain that’s rooted in trauma, so in addition to a breathing practice, you’ll need the one item that I believe is the most disarming when it comes to anger: curiosity.
This is why life coaching can be so helpful. A coach’s job is to ask good questions – the kind that get you thinking and noticing things differently. Your job when you’re busy coaching yourself is first to notice your anger (if you’re paying attention, it’ll happen way before you blow up ;)) and then to start asking questions.
The most well organized system that I’ve found for doing this is thanks to Byron Kate and it’s available for free here: http://thework.com/instruction-the-work-byron-katie/
The last thing I’ll offer is a chance for you to get curious about your whole life. A way to really take the time to dig into your patterns and disrupt a couple before the summer starts.
Introducing the Get Out Of Your Own Way Challenge!
A chance to get 2 weeks of personal coaching with me for the price of a latte day!
Here’s how it works: you sign up for 47 bucks and starting on June 16th you get an email a day for 14 days. 12 of those emails will have exercises designed to increase your curiosity and decrease your self-judgment and criticism. You respond to the email with your completed assignment and I will personally read through it and respond with deeper questions, guidance, and/or a giant high 5 for being an inner world superstar.
The last round? I watched people just like you get better-paid jobs, improve their relationships, increase their energy levels, and have clarity for what their next life moves were coming out of their ears!
If you need help and you’re not ready for individual coaching, this is the perfect way to commit a short amount of time to really shifting your inner world, consider it a gift to yourself for the summer.
Hope to see you in my inbox <3