Greetings, Young One!
During a recent conversation we shared, I spoke of the Life-affirming benefits to be found in learning to dissipate and transmute your anger rather than turning it outward or, worse, turning it inward. You asked for any recommendations I might offer to help you process anger in a way that benefits rather than harms, whether you or others. Please consider the following –
Anger is a caustic. Never forget this. And like all caustics, it degrades and destabilizes everything organic that it touches. Anger is the product generally of misunderstanding or of fear as often as it is the result of righteous provocation. Regardless of its origin and its validity (or lack thereof), anger is best experienced quickly and released as soon as possible. Anger which festers or is improperly handled is an all-consuming fire which is an inverse multiplier, that is, anger which persists has exponentially negative effects that are further reaching and of greater impact than just the moment in which the anger initially arises. Unresolved anger is a ticking time bomb.
Now, I do not for a moment suggest that it is possible or even desirable to completely eliminate the experience of anger from your Life. Just like pain or any other discomfort, anger is an indicator that something is amiss and in need of your attention and, quite possibly, your corrective action. That said, anger cannot be allowed to linger or to become a constant traveling companion. It will bend your Spirit and age you far beyond your years. If there is any merit to be gained by its appearance in your Life, let it announce its presence, make you aware, and then be on its way as expeditiously as possible.
Before considering strategies to neutralize anger, I think it important to impress upon you the value in mitigating the triggers of and for anger in your Life. Start by taking an inventory of the persistent environmental conditions, circumstances, situations, and relationships which routinely lead you to experience anger. If you will identify the patterns that typically precede your anger, you can take steps to modify or even remove the offending provocateurs from your space. The less stimuli you have that predictably lead to an anger response, the less likely anger is to manifest in the first place. Better than resolving anger is to not have anger which requires resolution at all.
Another important factor: most of our emotional behaviors and triggers are learned which means that they can also be unlearned or, at the very least, altered if they are ones which do not serve us or promote our greater well-being. Just because a parent or other image-maker demonstrated a hot temper doesn’t mean you are destined to carry forward the tradition.
The preferred strategy many often employ to address their anger is to suppress it. There is no reason to even consider this as a viable strategy. Suppressed anger will destroy you from the inside out. Bottom line: don’t do it.
Which brings us to dissipation and transmutation.
Dissipation comes first through recognition followed by release. Anger, like all emotions, is experienced in the physical body owing to the release of chemical signals into the bloodstream. The quicker you can dilute or remove entirely those chemicals from your bloodstream, the quicker will the affects of anger be assuaged.
The most immediate connection we have with Life is our breath. The power of focused and controlled breathing cannot be emphasized too strongly. I suggest you research and learn a technique called Box Breathing. This technique can be done anywhere, anyTime, and in almost any circumstance. Directed breathing alone might well be enough to resolve anger-related distress.
If breathwork is surgical and immediate, bodily movement in the form of strenuous exercise is a potent analeptic of a generalist nature. To employ exercise as a remedy for anger has the triple benefit of functioning as a sort of meditative Time to examine and mentally process the anger and its causes while simultaneously clearing the bloodstream and even fueling the exercises themselves.
A surprisingly effective (if somewhat more esoteric) remedy is to hold a mental image of yourSelf standing tall, your legs slightly greater than shoulder width and your feet firmly anchored to The Mother Earth, your arms raised and spread wide overhead. Inhale deeply into your abdomen and then expel the anger up through your hands and out your spread wide fingers as you exhale steadily and powerfully. Do this several times to clear away the unwanted anger in its entirety. If the mental version of this exercise is effective (which it is), doing it for real in the physical is even more so.
Another tool is to establish what importance your anger will have in a hundred years. Or in twenty. Or next week. Getting worked up over something that is, in the grand scheme of things, of little or no real consequence is a waste of your Energy and your Time.
There are those who will state that anger can be a positive in that in can be a motivating force for change. Perhaps it is engaging in semantics on my part, but I maintain that anger is, itself, a net negative and should not be sought out, encouraged, or otherwise artificially sustained. Certainly, anger can be a catalyst for positive change, and this is where transmutation comes in.
Use your anger as a cue, an indicator that you are being provided with an opportunity to seek other, more Life-affirming situations and circumstances. Let anger be an agent of change, a motivating force that, when directed with positive and conscious intent, increases your agency rather than limits or weakens it. Be an alchemist and turn the lead of your anger into the gold of possibility.
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A more clinical analysis of anger and its causes would do little to help with the matter at hand, so I think I’ll end here. My final thought is as follows: though not something I take pleasure in saying, I must remind you that there is only one constant in your anger: you. The place to start is to change you.
It is my hope you have found benefit and merit in these words. Never forget –
There Is Always More,
Billy Red Horse
The Gentleman Mystic
©Billy Red Horse