Mindfulness Towards Anger
Our feelings are messages from within on how we perceive everything that goes on in our external surroundings, and should therefore be respected. You cannot escape your feelings, even if you pretend not to pay attention to them. It’s therefore better to listen to the messages your feelings put across– if you have taken time to master yourself, then depending on your values and belief system, you’ll know how to deal with whatever feelings arise.
I want you to think about a moment something or someone got you angry. How did it make you feel when you started to notice the temper rising within you to a degree you could not control? Go back to that moment as an observer who wants to gain insight into how it all unfolded– were you unable to remove yourself from that cycle of negative thoughts about how you were wronged? Anger tends to be blinding most times; it is like a virus that develops in your mind and spreads throughout the body hastily, and before you know it, it’s consumed the whole of you.
Think about a moment you were really happy, then suddenly something that upset you happened, and the energy within you shifted from high to low like how an agile animal shifts motion. So, where did all that good energy disappear to? You did not even notice it shift– well, that is because you did not give yourself inner space to pause, and process; you reacted almost instantly.
Say it’s a situation where someone is throwing hurtful words at you, and at that moment, all you can think of is attacking back because you’re hurt. That is the exact moment where you are required to be mindful– does retaliating with hurtful words align with your peace? Are you going to allow the bad energy to consume you? It is important to walk through life mindful of the self. You may not be able to control other people’s actions, but you can certainly control your reactions, by giving yourself inner space to process the situation at hand and what outcome aligns with you. Is it a peaceful outcome you want, or do you want to wreak havoc?
How to give yourself inner space to process when anger arises:
- Reserve your comments
- Acknowledge the anger– it can be an internal or outward acknowledgment depending on the situation.
- Take deep breaths in, and out.
- If around people, take a step back to be alone if you need to.
- Ask yourself introspective questions– why is the situation at hand getting you so angry? Are there any deeper reasons why the situation at hand is evoking anger? What other emotions have been triggered? Sadness? Regret? Fear? Did the situation trigger any insecurities or uncover a trauma?
- Explore why you’re angry as deeply as you can, but while you’re doing so, look into the emotional patterns that are happening inside of you.
- Be compassionate.
- Work through it– intentionally work towards finding a resolution.
- Consciously decide to let go of the anger– working through it can take a few minutes, a day, or months, but you mustn’t retain the feeling of anger as you work towards healing and/or forgiveness.
What you must understand is that anger consumes YOU, it wears YOU out, and not the thing or person you are angry at.
As a person I rarely get angry but this one time it happened, I snapped and went verbally apeshit on the guy that had pissed me off blocked him and completely deleted him from my life, all the photos, all the videos, all socials even Gmail walahi😅…. In my mind I thought that was it, am free of this person.
Months go by and we end up working together again… Somewhere in the confines of my head the red character from the animation Inside Out release the anger and frustration I had towards this guy.
Long story short, I hadn’t worked out all the anger and blocking and cutting him off didn’t make all those feelings go away they were just shelved in storage. I am gonna try these mindful steps toward letting go cause I don’t wanna be consumed by my hatred… Cause I felt it sipping through during a work presentation we had together
I appreciate you sharing, and I absolutely relate with your story. Sometimes we suppress our anger, act irrationally, and wish that feeling away without necessarily having to work through it- but a friend of mine once told me that,”you have to go through it, to get through it,” and I am trying to live by that, because, unresolved negative feelings will always come back to bite; if anger is bottled up, it will erupt eventually.
I am happy to hear that you want to work on moving past the anger, because life is so much brighter without that kind of baggage. I also hope you give yourself some grace as you work towards letting go, it may not happen overnight, but as you continue to intentionally work towards it, it will happen, for sure!