Four Mindful Ways To Transform Your Anger
In 2016, a survey was conducted on the rage in America. It demonstrated that 68 percent of people got angry at least once a day because of what they read or saw in the media. Commonly stemming from frustrations and disappointments, a majority of Americans are angrier than they were a year ago!
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with negative issues, anger is always the go-to behavioral response when our world seems like it is falling apart. But, we do it to our detriment.
Over time with a considerable amount of anger engagement, we produce chronic stress. This stress leads to a plethora of health issues- from high blood pressure to heart diseases. In addition, the anger alienates you from time to time from family, friends, even pets!
Anger has a tendency to switch our logical thinking part of the brain so that seems to become an “acceptable” behavior and reaction when things get disturbingly serious.
To protect ourselves from imminent danger from anger, our brain reacts by responding in fight-or-flight mode. This causes your body to be surged with stress hormones thereby affecting our immune system by reducing the T-cells, our body’s ‘Immuno-soliders.’
On a positive note, there are methods to address the anger and transform it so that it better serves you and your health. Here are four steps you can do to dissect the behaviors, move out your anger and swap it with some positivity:
1. Become eagerly inquisitive about the root of the anger in a situation.
Take a moment and look within yourself to determine what made you angry in the place. Figure out what triggered your anger; was it the guy or gal who cut you off in traffic for no reason? Was the degree of your reaction warranted for the situation? Was it appropriate? Finally, ask yourself this: Five years from now, would the situation matter?
2. Relax your body and your attitude will follow through.
I’m sure you heard of the breathing technique where you walk away and take a deep breath following an explosive argument. But, there is more to the technique: First, calm your body with thoroughly cleansing breaths, and then relax your posture to ease the tension. Your mind will follow through by being still which is crucial towards making sound resolutions.
Take a deep breath with both your hands clasp behind your head and hold it for three seconds, then exhale slowly. Be mindful of the areas where you experience tension. Now, stretch your arms up towards the sky and think of a happy thought that causes you to smile.
3. Assess your anger by observation and transformation.
As you evaluate and assess your anger, you have productively distance yourself from the theatrical toxicity. Become an observer rather than an emotional participant. When you shift your focus on anger as you would assess the size of an object, you can shift the anger away from you in minutes and come up with creative solutions.
For instance, look at the following situations from both extremes of the spectrum. Which size (small, medium or large) would you designate each situation?
A. An anger that causes you to lose control. You shout, scream and throw something across the room.
B. An anger where you are waiting in traffic and the car in from of you is driving slow for no reason.
C. An anger where you are in the checkout line and the customer in front of you seems to be counting endless pennies from their coin purse.
Answers may vary across the board based on our differences in temperament. However, each situation garners some type of anger no matter the size of it. How we resolve each situation comes from our awareness to use the best judgment.
4. Explore the origins of your anger and take on a new course towards progression.
Consider where your anger came from. Was it a learned trait? Growing up as a teen, I remember being scolded for being short temper. I was often told that I am just like my mother (which is not entirely true, by the way!). But with this idea, came consequences as I found myself living up to the quality. It was as though I was long associated with being easily irritable all the time that I adopted the behavior.
If you cannot find the origins of your anger, don’t fret. The fact that you acknowledge the behavior can lead you to greater self- awareness.
Now that you have centered yourself, consider the option on how to best respond in the moment. You can call up a supportive and understanding friend to talk or watch a comedy stand-up show on T.V. to enjoy some laughter.
It was once a common practice to punch a punching bag to release the anger vibes but this behavior leads to more anger. The best method to ease anger and its tension is to do the opposite: use calm mindfulness.
Remaining calm is the best reaction towards anger because it doesn't see it coming!