Anger, Or How To Experience All Of Your Humanity
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my anger. It has come to my attention that I have a lot of negative energy stored inside me. Think of it this way: if you think about a person or an event and it causes you discomfort or a sharp pain in your chest, you have anger that has not been dealt with. The best way to deal with these emotions is to, of course, release them.
When you hold on to negative thoughts and emotions, they will have to eventually come to the surface. From headaches to cancer, most of the physical illnesses we encounter are psychosomatic, meaning, they are caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress.
There can be times when we get so angry with someone that we find ourselves imagining ways to seek revenge for the hurt they've caused us. Remember, however, that the thoughts you've just had are creations of your mind.
There is a quote from the Buddhist scriptures that I always remember that goes like this: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Thoughts of revenge create an energy of imbalance in your body and mind, often leaving you sad, tired, and overall in a state of hopelessness.
The best ways I have dealt with these emotions have been by journaling, meditating, and using the anger as a means to action. One does not have to be gym-obsessed to use exercise to release anger. As a matter of fact, physical activity has a preventive effect: a Yale study suggested that prolonged bouts of running before an upsetting experience may dampen the extremity of your emotional reaction.
With our minds cleared and the negative energy out of the way, we can remind ourselves that everything has a purpose. Consider that perhaps the actions of the other person or people may have had nothing to do with you, which might make it easier to forgive them.
A Course in Miracles says that a miracle is simply a shift in perception from fear to love. By practicing this active awareness whenever something unpleasant happens or when someone mistreats us, we are bringing a little peace to the world. Forgiveness is, after all, a gift we give to ourselves. We are not erasing what happened, or forgetting the actions of another person, rather, we are giving up the idea that the past could have been any different. That idea in and of itself is immensely freeing.
At the end of the day, it is 100% our responsibility to deal with our emotions: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even if you don’t have access to professional help, there are free resources we can use: release your anger by exercising, meditating, or writing a letter to the person that wronged you and then burning it. If none of these options sound appealing, create your own “free from anger” ritual now, and your future self will thank you for all the psychosomatic illnesses you dodged together. And what better gift is there than to lead a healthy life?