Anger – this word alone makes me downright angry, again. Sometimes I know why I am angry but there are times when I don’t even have an idea. I’m sad then angry, then mad. Really mad. I get an instant inflow of blood, forget all mercy and whoever the victim of my anger is, it doesn’t matter. Even if it’s the nicest person in the whole planet, I’ll probably shout out loud “I don’t care! You screwed me, now I am mad at you”. Anger as all human defects has several stages as I have observed myself:
- 1st stage: I am mad about something but I don’t express or show my anger.
- 2nd stage: I am mad and I express it verbally through loud speaking or shouting.
- 3rd stage: I am so angry that I start hitting various objects. If something goes broken, so much the better. It means it wasn’t with good quality. After all, they said, destruction is the seed of all creativity. Do you remember Tyler Durden’s line: “Self-improvement is masturbation. Now self-destruction is the answer”?
- 4th stage: I am furious and I think I can kill somebody. Wait! Maybe I already killed somebody but I have no memory of it.
- 5th stage: I am so furious, I lose my mind for a while.
Yes, we all have passed through these various phases of anger. Most of us have experienced anger. The problem is that our modern society doesn’t approve of anger. Who cares about the society when you’re angry? Remember how Jesus was teaching: “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also”. But we are imperfect, we have our passions and weaknesses. Actually, anger is not totally a bad quality, people with anger have the potential to achieve goals and be successful but one must know how to use one’s anger.
As Aristotle said a long time ago: “Anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy.”
My usual experience with anger has always been almost the same – releasing my negative energy and afterwards feeling guilty. But being guilty doesn’t help, in fact, suppressing the anger doesn’t help us either.
What is the solution? Awareness, awareness and again awareness. Simply we have to observe our behavior, thoughts, emotions and reactions. That’s what all yogis and gurus advise us. Don’t change your thinking process. Simply befriend it. That’s the ultimate goal.
But then how to achieve it?
All self-help books offer wonderful formulas and advice but they have one shortcoming: they lack easy to follow, concrete practical steps. Whenever I have opened a self-help book, it reads: “Identify the problem and get rid of it”. Of course, the problem is the anger but how to deal with it?
Here’s where yoga comes. I myself decided to come in terms with my anger and here is a strategy list I came up with in order to do it. If the anger is between stage 1 and 2, I recommend these practises:
– Bhujangasana (cobra pose) – Hands and feet are in place and slide the chest forward. Raise first the head, the shoulders, then, straightening the elbows, arch the back into cobra pose. Thus, the buttocks and hips will lower on the floor. Bend the head back and direct the gaze upward to the eyebrow center. The awareness is on swadishtana chakra. Spend as much time as you like in this pose.
– The whole set of Surya Namaskar (salutations to the sun) performed at least 2 or 3 rounds, followed by sitting in the lotus pose and observing one’s thoughts. The main thing is to allow your thoughts to flow and not to interact with them, simply release them. Just like we go to the toilet, we also need to dump our mental and emotional rubbish without hurting others. This is the main thing: don’t let your anger make you hurt the people around you. Once I was emotionally affected by some events and performing this practise helped me immediately.
– Yoga nidra or any relaxation practise. The short version is around 10-15 minutes, the longer – up to 40 minutes. It can be performed right after waking up, before going to bed or at any other time.
If your anger is above stage 2, then you might consider going to an anger room. If you have organizational abilities, forming an evening fight club is a very good alternative too. In case you’re shy or if you’re a girl like me, then a tennis ball can be a substitute. The main point is that once the anger goes beyond 2nd stage, rage grows more and more and you really need to stop in time, otherwise you’ll be devastated and those around you as well. I believe any yoga practise can help you if you’re highly motivated. Still, the best way to deal with raging anger is chanting mantras – high frequency sounds. It is no coincidence that when we’re angry we relieve our anger through shouting which is also a type of sound. I am committed to learn how to control my anger and to share any experience I gain along the way.
One thing I notice in all day-to-day situations is that our behavior follows a pattern. If we become aware of the patterns we subconsciously follow, then we’ll be more likely to change them. Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear your experiences with anger and how you manage it.
Picture by A Syn
Follow me on Twitter