There are so many external factors that affect us today. It takes a few seconds for anger to come to the surface and even boil over. Whether it is traffic jams, a difficult boss, unexpected delays, or anything that doesn’t go our way - anger is a common emotional reaction to many situations.
However, anger can affect our state of mind, our relationships, jobs and ultimately our entire lives. Anger management is increasingly becoming a much-needed form of therapy for many. So, you might ask whether there are yogic ways to manage anger. Does meditation help with anger? How can you control anger immediately?
According to yoga philosophy, anger is caused due to sensory desires (Kama) because we all have cravings and when these desires are not met or when we cannot control this, we get angry and upset. This anger is projected on the people we love or meet every other day. The second cause is ego (Krodha), which comes to the surface when a desire remains unfulfilled. We start to defend ourselves and one thing leads to another, and eventually we’re boiling with anger. The third cause is attachment (Lobha), which is related to our sensory desires. When something goes out of our control or is not within our reach, once again we get defensive, irritable and angry. And the fourth is fear (Bhaya), which is connected to all of the above three. Fear of losing someone or something subconsciously plays on our minds. This stresses us out, making us behave in an impatient, irritable manner.
In this article, we’ll explore how meditation is an effective practice in anger-management.
How can meditation helps you deal with anger
Staying calm and centered
Many practices, like breathing exercises and meditation can help us stay calm and centered. Practices like alternate nostril breathing keep the mind and body in a relaxed state. They are soothing and help battle irritation. When your body is calm, there is a less likelihood of you reacting in anger.
Lowers cortisol levels
Meditation keeps cortisol levels in-check. It lowers and balances the hormone popularly known for cousin stress and extreme reactions in situations. This helps the mind and body stay calm and focused, and helps you deal with a situation with clarity.
Better oxygen supply
Meditation induces better flow of oxygen in the blood and to the brain. This helps the body stay in an optimal state and does not instantly trigger the fight-or-flight response in unwanted situations.
Releases happy hormones
Meditation releases more happy hormones into your system. More serotonin makes it harder to get angry or to stay angry for long.
Improves mental strength
Meditation improves your mental strength, making it possible to change thought patterns, behaviors, attitudes and habits. This helps let go of desires and attachments that could be the root cause of anger. It also promotes positive habits and reduces toxic behaviors.
Promotes a better state of mind
Meditation allows the mind to remain stable and balanced. During the practice the mind goes to deeper realms of consciousness that enables one to let go of the old and invite the new. This gradually allows anger and imprinted notions to fade away.
Emotional balance and stability
The mental strength gained through meditation helps balance emotions in various situations. This allows one to stay calm, rather than react. It makes you more aware and mindful, which will enable you to find peaceful solutions rather than angry reactions.
Types of meditation for anger management
Several types of meditation are particularly helpful in managing anger. A few of these are:
Mantras like Om will shift the vibrations around you. It will promote positive vibes and a calm environment, allowing the mind to retreat and heal and even address the root cause of a problem.
This technique particularly helps you be aware of your emotions and reactions. The process of fully being aware and in the present moment is mindfulness meditation. Being mindful means being aware of where you are and what you’re doing.
Loving Kindness Meditation
Inspired by the Buddhist concept of Ahimsa and compassion, this technique fosters a feeling of love and kindness towards oneself and others. It can also be called affirmations meditation where you are asked to repeat specific words and phrases that evoke a feeling of warmth and belonging. This meditation strengthens compassion, kindness and acceptance towards oneself and others. It releases any feelings of anger or resentment.
Anger can really make or break your life. Managing this emotion means keeping a check on your mental health, thoughts, actions and feelings. One way to access the deeper realms of the mind is through meditation. Meditation can be the answer you are looking for to manage your anger. It can help you understand the nature of your anger, where it is stemming from, what is the root cause and how you can channel your anger. All this while helping you stay focused. It can transform your feelings of anger, restlessness and rage into a relaxed, balanced and calm state of being.