The mindful way to befriend your anger

Photo by Xevi Casanovas

Recently I was reading a book by Sharon Salzberg, Real love. In this book, she writes about loving-kindness. I want to share with you one of her perspectives on coping with anger.

Begin with the inner enemy.

Our inner enemy is this internal energy that moves us to act when we feel uncomfortable. This enemy is the one that we can contact when we are angry or experience other challenging emotions. Anger can make us feel like we need to act promptly to protect ourselves.

Usually, when we are angry, the hidden cause is fear. Anger connects us with our basic instinct of protection and ensuring our survival. Whether we feel physically or emotionally threatened, fear is mostly related to our anger.

When anger overtakes us and our inner impulses react, it could feel like an uncontrollable force. We can experience this force in our body when our body temperatures rise, our digestion stops, and our heartbeat increases.

Being angry frequently can create destructive forces inside of you that act as an internal enemy. Mindfulness can help us understand and find ways to resolve our inner enemy’s battles in a more tolerant approach.

Building a mindful awareness of our fears can give us a great tool to reduce our anger and help us make better decisions. Our inner enemy can be tamed if we understand better the forces acting inside us when we let anger take over.

How to befriend your anger?

The mindful way to become a friend with anger is to learn to observe your anger. Follow these mindfulness perspectives to open up to anew relationship with your anger.

Anger is created by our perception.

When you get angry about a situation is all created by how you perceive the situation. The things that you have learned in your past determine your immediate reactions to your emotional impulses. Spend time observing the conditions, people, and events that trigger anger in you. Explore the beliefs that you have that are related to your anger.

Anger is felt in the body.

When you feel anger, and it turns into rage, there are a bunch of sensations that you can feel in your body. When was the last time that felt really angry? What do you remember feeling in your body?
When rage takes over, it is an extreme version of anger. If you begin to pay attention to more gentle episodes of anger, you will start to realize that you have milder sensations that arise with different degrees of anger and frustration.

Anger can be embraced in meditation.

You can use meditation as a strategy to befriend your anger. You can meditate and change your relationship with your anger. Instead of being an enemy, it can become a friend that you don’t like to visit frequently.

In meditation, You can connect with a memory of a situation that makes you feel angry and observe what happens in your body. As you watch the sensation, you focus on the changes and slowing your breathing.

One quote

“ All the imperfections that I perceive have to do with my faulty vision”

Sharon Salzberg

One question

How will your life be better if you were able to understand and tame your anger?

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