Feeling extremely annoyed, mad, pissed off or angry at someone means you are believing your ego and most likely blaming the other. And the same thing goes for when you just feel slightly bothered. If that is the case the practice is always to try to wake up as soon as you can and see the situation from a new perspective. Bring mindfulness to what is happening and try to observe what is going on, instead on engaging and/or judging
Here are some recommendations to get you out of madness town as soon as you are able to recognize you are in it:
- Start writing as soon as possible. You can start typing an email or write on a journal. If you aren’t fond of writing use the recorder in your phone to record yourself talking. The idea is to dump in this space EVERYTHING you feel. Don’t worry about saying it nicely or in an organized way, just let it ALL out as it comes.
- Call a friend. Give your friend a heads up of what is coming. Your friend just needs to hold the trash can for you while you dump vomit all your thoughts. You are looking for someone that can listen. No fixing, victimizing with you or criticizing allowed.
- Distract yourself. We are not trying to be in denial or ignore the situation here, this is just a technique to shift your focus quick. The best situation here is to engage in activities that will require your full attention and that you love. This could be a hobby, playing an instrument, painting, doing a sport, meditating, etc. It’s even better if you do these activities with a new group, or in a new place or have a new circumstance around it. Our minds get easily attracted to new things letting go of old things that have been holding us up.
- Recognize you are believing in your ego. Try to see yourself in one of these options stated in this helpful blog post by Zen master Leo Babauta
- I am very ignorant of what the person is going through.
- I don’t understand the situation.
- I have unrealistic expectations of people.
- I think I’m superior to other people.
- I’m not grateful.
- I’m being self-centered.
- I’m not being curious, but instead I close off all learning.
- I can’t really help the situation from a place of judgment.
- Use a Mantra. “I accept you. I love you even now when I disagree with your actions. I’m willing to restore love” Sometimes when I’m not there yet, I use an easier mantra like “I honor who you are even now that I disagree with your actions. I’m willing and open to bring mindfulness and stay away from my ego”. When I have achieved an advanced level of this practice I’ve been able to say this inside my head while a confrontation or argument is happening. Remember this mantra is for ALL cases of anger even when felt with extrengers.
When you are angry make sure you don’t do any of the following
- Stay in denial about your feelings and ignored them.
- If you are angry you are in fear. And the only thing that vanishes fear is confronting it. Acting as if it’s not there wont make fear or anger go away. It will just make it dormant. Untreated fears will wake up again (even 30 years later) when another trigger comes along. Remember fear is a time traveler emotion.
- Blow off, threaten or act out your anger to others and especially not to the person or collective you are angry about. As much as it feels so tempting to set boundaries when we are angry, do whatever you can to refrain from it. Speaking and acting under the influence of anger will only poison yourself by attracting more of that energy into your own being, keep you further away from forgiveness and peace of mind. And most importantly words that come from anger (no matter how calm you are when you say them or type them) are always an invitation for war and a step towards feeling more separated and less into our own loving nature.
I takes a long spiritual practice to break your own patterns and wake up in the middle of an angry storm. Know that you wont feel like doing any of these recommendations when you are angry, however the practice is to do them anyways. Remember an evolve being doesn’t depend on feelings to do what it needs to do.
What do you do when you get angry? Do you have recommendations to share with us? Remember, what we share can be medicine for someone else and for sure a step closer to a stronger vida!