by Betsy Wetzig
Ancient wisdom tells us not to hold onto anger. Science tells us that prolonged anger or holding onto anger is bad for our biochemistry, joints, and general well-being. So why do we do it?
The multiple reasons why we hold onto anger are many, including:
- in part we are incorrect/ we contributed to the wrong
- inability to fix the situation
- confusing anger with old hurts
- using anger to control others or the situation, and
- dealing with anger in a purely cognitive or emotional way, failing to realize that anger is a physical and mental behavior
Here are some basic, physical tools for loosening and releasing anger’s physicality. Play with these and you will discover more.
- Loosen your joints by shaking, and wiggling. Ye old, “Shake it off” works. Make sure you don’t hold your head or shoulders still as you shake.
- Sigh and let yourself feel like you are melting. Let your hands open up. Feel the sense of letting go physically.
- Hit something soft like a pillow as you vent. Express your venting verbally, and even use sounds such as a pirate’s “arrgg” or a sob. Don’t try to edit what you are speaking. Get it out. You can speak to a trusted person or do it by yourself.
- Breathe at whatever your comfort level speed is for your actions #1-3. Then start to slow your breath, let yourself feel heavy and relax more, and more, as you add in occasional sighs. The heavier you feel, the more relaxed you are.
- As you relax, feel heavy and physically let go at the end of every exhale, and then begin to ponder about your “goodies”… “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy… at this moment in your life…especially for you.”
- AND THEN allow thankfulness beginning to move you any way you want…. Maybe walk, run, sit and write, perhaps sigh and shake off some more. Just let yourself be physical. You might try letting in some music. Repeat anything from #1-5 until you feel a bit calm.
- Now you can add to the calmness the more mental, cognitive side of justice, solutions and your own spiritual dimensions. As you do, you can let in and blend the physical tools numbers 1-6…as you like, in your own time.
Practice these tools and the physicality of releasing anger.