Anger arises from within our conscious awareness. When we choose to notice it, we can take a step back into conscious awareness, and away from being fixated in the feeling of anger itself. When we transform anger in this way, instead of avoiding it, anger becomes a beautiful divine quality: compassion for ourselves and others.
Anger is almost always a defense for more vulnerable feelings pain, hurt, and especially fear. But being insightful and mindful about anger can be extremely hard, especially when we seem to be bursting with it. This is why it’s important to do a release exercise.
There is a difference between venting anger and expressing it. To vent is simply to blow off steam, e.g. going to the gym, screaming, breaking things. This form of release can release some tension, but it is far from a complete response to the emotion. To express your anger, on the other hand, is to openly show your anger about a particular situation or condition, letting yourself and the other person know how you feel.
Expressing your anger can be done through self-awareness and using the questions above (“What exactly has happened? Why am I angry?“), while also exploring your contributing self-belief systems and existing core wounds. The release exercise below is about letting out any existing emotions already built up inside of you.
Venting helps us to lower the “voltage” of anger locked in our mind-bodies, creating enough space so that we can begin to see the patterns causing our problems. You can use the release exercises once a day for a week, and anytime you find yourself feeling especially stressed out, frustrated, disappointed, depressed, misunderstood, etc.
With practice, you’ll feel lighter, more authentic, more empowered, and less reactive to other people. Releasing is not the complete remedy, it will only allow you to see clearer and deeper into the dysfunctional patterns of your life.
Find a space where you won’t be disturbed for at least 10 minutes.
You’ll need to find something that you can strike without hurting yourself or damaging the object, e.g. your bed, or a couch, mattress, punching bag, etc. Using your fists, give yourself permission to pound this object for at least ten minutes.
If you can, try yelling into a pillow for a minute or so (making sure to mufﬂe your sounds if in earshot to anyone else). Another method is lying on your back on a mattress and kicking your legs scissors style while pounding your fists at the same time. Using a stick or tennis racket is also effective.
It might help to remember the stories of injustice done to you. Or you might want to find a new reason for being angry, for channeling the rage you feel into a cause worthy of your emotion (notice that you are not trying to “get rid of” your anger here, but you’re instead giving your anger a purpose for existing).
In the beginning, you’ll feel silly and uncomfortable doing this. This is normal, and it is a result of the old conditioning we have of feeling shameful for expressing our passion, which certainly includes anger. After a few practices, you will feel more at ease doing this exercise.
Anger is often misunderstood, but it is Spirit thundering through us letting us know that something is in its way.
By owning the power of anger, and by letting it flow through us – from the tip of suffering in our awareness to the grounded compassion in our actions – can our anger be entirely expressed.
If you are someone who has always struggled with anger issues, then hopefully this release method will help you channel it in a much healthier manner. Remember to not be too hard on yourself, otherwise, it will just make things worse. Be patient and kind to yourself, and see how much that actually helps you.