Managing Anger

Anger is one of the most destructive among human emotions. It creates problems in relationship, especially in the family. It also affects one’s soundness of judgment. It is the cause of most homicidal crimes. It is the emotion that prevents one’s capacity to love.

Many people don’t realize that when they are angry, they cannot love. The reason is simple: what do you want to do to someone whom you are angry with? You want to hurt him or her. It does not matter if the person is your husband, wife, child or parent. You want to hurt them either physically, emotionally or psychologically. How can we love someone whom we want to hurt? At the moment of anger, we are incapable of loving.

This tendency to want to hurt has instinctive roots. Animals feel this surge of aggressive energy throughout its body when it has to defend itself or to attack. We will notice that when we are angry, we too feel an energy surge within us. It is felt in the head as heat. In the body, arms and legs, the energy surge wants to come out, sometimes causing the body to tremble. The arms and hands want to hit something. That’s why some people punch the wall or kick a table because they need to release the energy. When they speak they tend to raise their voice or shout because of the need to express this energy.

Unfortunately, this instinctive reaction, while important for survival among animals, is highly destructive in human beings. It prevents us from being rational in the way we handle conflicts and problems. By being aggressive, we create more conflicts and problems in our family, workplace and relationships. It also harms our health because anger produces toxic substances within our system that lowers our immune system.

How do we handle this energy called anger? There are two aspects to it: past accumulated anger, and present anger. The latter is often the triggering of the former. So it is important to remove past accumulated anger. Since the ancient times, many people have known how to release this in a non-destructive manner. It is done this way.
When you think of a person or event that had caused you anger before, you will notice this surge of energy within you. Your heartbeat may become faster, your chest may feel heavy (like a ball or a flat board), or you may feel pressure in your head. When you feel these, go into deep abdominal breathing (about 5 seconds breathing in, and 6 seconds breathing out). When you breathe in, feel the pressure on your chest or head or any other uncomfortable sensation that you may feel. When you breathe out, feel or be aware of your arms and legs. Do not try to remove or push away the discomfort. Just feel it. You will notice that the energy begins to flow by itself and then you may feel tingling sensations or numbness on your fingers or feet. This means it is now releasing. It may take 5 minutes or 30 minutes to release this fully, depending upon the situation. While doing the deep breathing, do not think of the person or event anymore. Just be aware of your bodily sensations, until the entire discomfort disappears. This brings you back to a restful or relaxed state after it is released. You may feel sleepy or tired after you have released it, then just rest. You can repeat this exercise until you don’t feel any uncomfortable reaction anymore when you think of the person or event.


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