Using Mindfulness to Reduce Anger

I have a friend who’s angry at her ex. No big surprise there—if she liked him, they probably wouldn’t be exes right now. No, the problem isn’t that she’s mad at her ex, but that the guy has been her ex for about three years now. It’s been three years since they broke up and the anger is still a fresh wound to her because instead of allowing herself to heal, she’s constantly picking at the scab of what might have been.

Anger is a perfectly normal feeling, but it’s one that most of us have a hard time coping with. Avoidance of anger can come out in other sneaky ways and have a negative effect on our health, but we can also get mired in anger too, focusing on wrongs and slights that are long over and hurting no one but ourselves.

If you’re bogged down with anger, the good news is that it’s possible to come back to a more balanced life. However, it does take some effort. If you’ve been angry for a very long time, chances are good that it’s become a habit. And like any habit, it’s going to take some work to change.

Being Honest With Yourself

17/365 War Face

The first step to overcoming anger is to perform what recovering alcoholics refer to as a “searching and fearless moral inventory.” Schedule some time to be all alone with your thoughts, perhaps while you’re going for a walk and then give yourself permission to think about everything that’s making you angry. This may be an uncomfortable process, but allow yourself to feel all of the anger and rage you’re experiencing.

Once you’ve addressed what’s making you angry, challenge the thought. Is your boss specifically trying to make you miserable or could they be under pressure too? Could the gossip you overheard be the result of miscommunication?

Are you hung up on fairness? Many times we work ourselves up into a righteous indignation because of outcomes that we feel aren’t “fair.” However, what seems fair to us is completely unfair to others. In my friend’s case, she was angry that her ex-boyfriend began dating a woman three months after their breakup. She felt as if he had caused her pain and therefore didn’t deserve to find another love. However, most people would feel that his reaction was a perfectly just one.

Lastly, you have to learn to let go for your own sake. The anger and resentment that you may be carrying around have a much greater effect on you than the person you’re angry with. In many cases, they have absolutely no idea you even carry the resentment around. Life is sometimes ugly and unfair things happen to good people. It’s how you cope with the challenges that dictate what kind of person you really are.

Your chiropractic team knows that stress and anger are poison to the human body. They also know that it’s possible to break the anger habit. Contact your chiropractor to work on positive ways that you can improve your outlook and reduce the stress and anger in your life. It is possible to break away from anger with mindfulness, understanding and love. Treat yourself well and you’ll be surprised how much better the world will look. 

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

Video credit, Photo credit: 17/365 War Face by smileham. Used under a Creative Commons license.

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.