Oakville Zen Meditation

#423 Anger: using mindfulness meditation to deal with 18 Dec -22

                          Anger management using mindfulness meditation

You’ve been hijacked by anger. Whether anger rises abruptly in a fiery explosion or burns slowly over time, it can effectively take over. Employing mindfulness can help you in managing angry feelings and protect you (and others) from their most damaging effects.                                                                          Acute or chronic anger is a complex negative emotion, mostly ego driven. It can be triggered by people including self or by events that may not be actual causes but still trigger an angry response. Anger is also often tied up with other negative emotions, such as hurt, guilt, shame, loneliness, and injustice, and linked to underlying conditions such as anxiety or depression. I will not describe the detrimental effects of anger on our body, on our mental functions, or on our relationships either familial or professional, simply to say that the negativity of anger is like an emotional black hole sucking most of our positive energy.                                

Applying mindfulness meditation to deal with anger.  

Under meditation, the best way to deal with anger is to recognize and accept it with a non-analytic approach Why?                                                                                                                                  Because trying to suppress your anger or push it away or playing the victim approach will make it stronger in intensity and duration.  So, acknowledge it, accept it, and don’t analyze it. You might even say, “Anger is here, I have anger”. In fact, just naming an emotion helps us to become observer of that emotion instead of being controlled by it.                                                                                                                                                                                 Mindfulness meditation helps control our emotional brain, making angry outbursts less common.  It is done via neuroplasticity generated by the practice of mindfulness meditation. How?                                                                                                                                       By strengthening and enhancing the activity of the areas of the brain responsible for rational thinking away from the emotional areas localized in our reptilian brain. It works like an electrical switch.                                                                                                                                                    Also, regular daily mindfulness meditation practice will quell the rumination that often fuels anger. It does that by 1) keeping attention in the present moment instead of dwelling on the past or anticipating the future, and 2) redirecting our attention away from these repetitive negative thoughts and storylines that make us angry.                                                                                                                                                       

From a broader perspective:

When we meditate, we learn to allow thoughts and feelings to rise and pass because they are often changing and transient as long as we don’t identify or be attached to them too strongly. We should apply this meditative skill of letting them go including anger in our day-to-day life.

Also: practicing regular mindfulness meditation cultivates a more relaxed state, where upsetting people and circumstances are less likely to trigger a negative emotion. If we recognize something is bubbling up, instead of overreacting, we deal with it in a more serene and efficient 3x way approach: awareness, acceptance, and non-analytic approach w/o feeling being a victim.  

Last word: being angry at yourself is a double hitter: being the culprit and the victim:  an opportunity to practice  forgiveness towards self  TX