Anger is a fact of life. People piss us off, we piss us off, life pisses us off. And that's actually great.
Because anger, when handled properly, can be good for us.
It's a motivating force giving us the energy reserves and power and adrenaline to do the difficult things we might otherwise not do.
It's a defensive reaction, a call to protect and stand up for oneself.
It can lead to conviction and become the seed that leads to great personal and societal change.
It can lead to optimism and increased levels of self-confidence.
Most importantly, it tells us that something is wrong in the first place and gets us to stop, check-in, take note, and take action.
Of course there are huge downsides of anger. If we let it control us instead of controlling it, if we leave it as our guiding force, if we ignore it, if we let it build up…and on and on…it can be devastating to our health, to our relationships, to our peace, and to society at large.
So as it arises - which for sure it well unless you're an enlightened Zen master - we need to do something with it.
When I need a quick fix to deal with situational anger - when it's affecting my heart rate, my ability to think straight, or leading me down a path of crazy bitch - I use this simple 3 minute Kundalini meditation to burn it up and go on about my day. It's quick, effective, energizing, cleansing, and empowering.
Quick Anger Release Exercise
Sitting Position: Easy Pose (or legs folded on the floor - make sure your hips are higher than your knees).
Eye Position: Eyes are closed and rolled up to the third eye point - the space between the brows.
Instructions: Immediately extend the arms parallel to the groound at a 60 degree angle to each other (a V-shape from your chest). The palms face each other and the elbows are straight. Inhale a slow, complete deep breath, clenching your fists as you inhale. Hold the breath in. Slowly bend the arms and bring the fists towards the chest. Create tremendous tension in all the arm and hand muscles. Pull as if you are dragging a thousand pound weight. When you finally touch the chest, release the breath with an explosive exhale. Repeat this cycle for 3 minutes. Maintain an emotional posture of anger and determination throughout the exercise. In other words, make the angriest face you can possibly make. When I teach this in class, I tell my students to think of the thing that makes them the most angry…to see it as they are pulling their fists in towards themselves, and to get MAD. To use up all their hate, all their anger, all their frustration and create a severe tension in their upper body.
To End: Bring the hands down to the knees, palm downs. Eyes remained closed. Let the breath regulate naturally. Sit in the silence and notice the shift in energy.