Dealing with Anger Mindfully

Have you ever gotten angry at your friend for not listening to you? Or on your parents for not letting you go to the movies with your friends? You are not alone! 

Being angry is natural and we all experience it at some point. It can be a frustrating experience but the good news is you can gain some control over it with love and compassion. 

By being mindful and kind towards yourself , you can shift your attention inwards and away from the person or situation that is making you angry. 

Shifting focus mindfully allows you to let go of the constant thoughts that the mind creates. Here are some of the steps you can follow to shift focus, mindfully regulate anger, calm down and feel more in control.

The activity given below can also be remembered as the PNAS practice.

Activity:

Step 1: Pause

  • When you feel anger, recognize your habitual pattern of dealing with it. Do you want to shut down or do you overthink or you want to react? 
  • Instead of giving in to your habitual tendency, try to pause. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself and your body how you are feeling. Let the answer come from within you.

Step 2: Name it

  • You already have a name for your emotion. Tell yourself, ‘I am angry now. I will simply spend some time knowing my anger.’ 
  • Promise yourself that you will decide what to do with the person or situation later. For now, you will simply attend to this feeling of anger. 

Step 3: Accept it

  • You are angry is the reality of the present moment. It is okay to feel angry for now. 
  • There is no question about whether you should or should not feel angry. Instead, just simply accepting it will suffice. Maybe you can say to yourself, ‘I am angry now, and it is okay.’

Step 4: Support it

  • Remind yourself that you need your own affection and support now. Do a quick body scan. Notice where you might feel anger in your body.
  •  Your jaws may feel tight or you may feel heat on your face or elsewhere in the body. Anger is usually a high-energy emotion so you may feel like moving to express anger. Accept all the sensations in the body completely.
  • Now that you can sense what the body is going through, you can actively support it. Support means allowing the body to feel the anger and helping it through a difficult time. It does not mean trying to stop being angry.
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