Emotions paint life in different colors: happiness or love are the light ones, anger or disappointment give the dark shades. Occasionally, the palette of life becomes uneven and gets too gloomy. Meditation is a transforming agent that brightens up your life with self-acceptance and forgiveness.
The mechanism of disarming negative emotions through meditation is more or less the same for any undesired feeling and anger with awareness or forgiveness as antidotes provide a vivid example.
Is Anger Any Good?
Anger is a negative emotion that has a useful purpose – reporting that something in the environment is not in line with your values or standards. However, for the feeling to serve this purpose, it is enough to experience it only for the 90 seconds that emotion lives naturally. Why do you then stay angry for hours sometimes?
Because we perpetuate anger by the constant replay of thoughts: as the emotion naturally subsides, we go “how could he/she…?” or “it was so terrible of them…!”. That sets the spark of ire on fire again. Such prolonged negative emotions indeed become destructive for the body, psyche, and relationships.
Meditation provides a two-step way of dealing with anger. First, you learn to acknowledge and allow yourself to feel it. Then become an impartial observer of your state to decide if you want to bolster anger or let it go out.
Acknowledge and Honor Your Anger
Many hear as children that being overly expressive with any emotions, let alone negative ones, is bad manners. Thus allowing yourself to feel anger as an adult might not be an easy task.
In that case, use guided meditation, which, unlike a self-guided practice, lets the mind relax completely and gets access to the subconscious. There the destructive belief that feeling anger is incorrect goes instinct gradually. If you are just starting on the journey to acknowledge your ire, try this meditation for reducing temper.
Stop Feeding Your Anger
Overtime when you can acknowledge and accept your anger, continue working with it though a visualization meditation adopted from Dalai Lama’s teachings.
- Start by visualizing a person that annoys you or causes you many problems. Then imagine a situation where this person triggers you, does something offensive.
- Next, observe your reaction, as if you are watching a movie. Allow yourself to be realistic and natural in words and body language.
- Analyze your condition as an impartial observer: did your heartbeat get higher? Did you feel comfort or discomfort, peace, or disturbance? Explore yourself.
- Finish the meditation by answering a question: was your anger worth it?
Play around with this practice for five-six minutes, and the results will surprise you. By repeating this meditation consistently, practitioners conclude that there is no point in sacrificing inner peace for the anger to grow.
Forgiveness to Heal the Past
You have worked with the awareness to be less reactive and get on good terms with your anger. But although intense ire does not darken your life anymore, there is still no feeling of peace you expected. Why so?
It happens that we are affected by our past unresolved emotions as much as by the present. Perhaps you were too reactive and offended a loved one or did not speak up when your feelings were hurt. These unresolved “pockets” of anger at oneself or others foster disease in the physical body and keep distracting you mentally.
If you blame yourself for the anger you expressed overly in the past, it is time for a guided meditation for forgiveness. No matter where you are in personal evolution, everyone makes mistakes, and they are nothing but a natural part of growth.
By cultivating acceptance through forgiveness meditation, we let go of self-hatred, and pitty allowing ourselves to make new choices based on the past learned lessons and not the past resentments.
Find Resolution through Sensation
For the times when you were hurt but did not have a chance to give your feeling a proper resolution, try meditation described below. It helps to locate the anger in your physical body and by focused attention dissolves it slowly:
- Remember the situation that hurt you and sparked the ire.
- Locate this feeling of anger in your body: where do you feel the ire and hurt the most?
- Describe how these emotions feel in the body: do they cause pressure or pain, feel cold or hot, what color are they?
- Once you establish a connection with the emotion, begin to breathe deeply, keeping the focus on the spot in the body where anger resides. With every exhale, release a little bit of it from the body. Try to live through the emotion, experience without expressing it by complaining or getting hysterical.
- When you feel that the emotion is no longer present, observe the freed space in the body. You can also think about a positive feeling to fill it with instead. Take a couple of slow natural breaths before leaving the meditation.
Have you ever tried meditation to master your temper? If not, what helps you to find the calm in annoying situations? Share with us in the comments.