Like lava from a volcano, searing and primal RAGE seeks an outlet.
Stomping. Screeching. Roaring. Swearing. Crying. Stamping. Yelling. Bellowing.
Yet rarely does anyone feel release after expulsion; they simply feel exhausted, and ashamed. Rage, regardless of from where it has arisen, creates a whole lot of difficulty in our lives.
Relationships are damaged. Our sense of self retreats, wounded and confused. Children, always watching, are learning a script for how to deal with conflict in their own lives (darn those adorable observing eyes!).
So HOW do we deal with the dirt? How do we DEAL with anger, rage and fury when it visits…?
Well the truth is, when caught in the crux of these heavy emotions (ie: in the midst of a flailing all-out SKIRMISH), the horse has bolted. So, yer-know, ride out the storm, and start again the next day.
The next day? Begin. Earnestly.
1) Make it CLEAR
Write or draw your goal out for yourself and stick it up somewhere VISIBLE. WHY is it important to you to make headway in managing your rage and anger? This is a connect-the-dot of your value system. WHO is important to you? Whom is learning from you? What creates meaning in your life? Who do you deeply value? What qualities, about YOURSELF, do you admire and would like to nurture more?
2) Build the muscle
Creating mental and emotional SPACE before REACTING takes time. We need to wield our generous brains like a muscle. Neuroscientists have made extraordinary leaps in this area, finding that when we use tools like meditation and mindfulness, our left frontal lobe becomes more active. With repetition, we can train our brain like an athlete training for comp. The upside? We experience INCREASED tolerance, expanded patience, deeper contentment and heightened concentration.
3) Visit your BODY
Our mind neglects our body. We’re so ‘in our heads’ we forget that at the basis of our physical existence is a finely tuned mammalian machine, impelling us through the everyday. A simple ‘body scan’ at the end of the day while lying in bed, slowly moving your awareness from the tip of your head, down to your toes, throws light on small niggles: a twitch at the top of your left hip; a dull ache in the arch of your right foot. Your body is communicating every minute. Checking-in can dissolve somatic complaints before they become emotional outbursts.
4) Slowly slowly catch the monkey…
These small exercises seem just that, small. How can something SO SMALL truly HELP ME with this stuff? Because – tiny moments of conscious concentration give us back larger moments of power. Training our brains and our minds to work FOR us rather than against us, begins with tiny steps. Once we get a roll-on however, the results are lasting and profound.
a) When you’re starting out – you WILL fall off the band-wagon. Enormous empathy – for yourself – is needed at these times. NOT guilt. Take a breath. When you’re ready, run like hell after that band-wagon and get back on it. You’ll fall off 100 times again. BUT – there’ll be ONE time in the 100 attempts, that you notice you’ve reacted with slightly LESS sharps and edges than before. That’s the time to smile inwardly. Pat yourself on the back; “Hey. You did good back there.”
b) Why do some of us struggle with ANGER and RAGE so deeply…? Me-oh-MY – there is SO MUCH JUICY INFORMATION we could cover here, but to kick-start the journey you could explore:
An overactive Autonomic Nervous System; Trans-generational trauma; Unresolved Somatic Experiencing; Unexpressed potentiality; Learned behaviour; Past grief or disruption.
Yep. SO MUCH.
c) Not for a moment are these techniques about IGNORING, over-riding or denying your difficult emotions. The uncomfortable stuff is par for the course. These tools ARE about helping you manage the ‘sh#tty stuff’ a little easier, so that your relationships remain tight, close and loving, the way YOU, truly and sincerely, deserve to be loved.