Throughout my life, I have had a real issue with anger. Losing my cool at seemingly minor things is something that has ruled my life for a particularly long time and has caused me a great many issues within the past. Luckily, I managed to find a way to greatly reduce the feeling of anger within me by learning how to meditate.
I must stress, I did not climb a mountain and become at one with myself. I’m writing this post with the aim of assisting others who may have difficulty winding down and believe the term “meditation” to be particularly daunting.
In my experience, when people hear the word “meditate” they think of it as being impossible because they can’t clear their minds to the extent in which they believe they have to. This is the main issue.
We need to understand the literal definition of meditation. The art of meditation by definition is to focus on something, not try and think about nothing at all. This right here, was my revelation. Our bodies are constantly doing something and here we are, forgetting that we can focus on any one of those things. Here are a few things that help me when I feel as though I’m losing control;
- Counting to 10 – when people used to tell me to do this I used to get so fed up of hearing it because I thought it never worked, I thought I must be doing it wrong. I wasn’t doing it wrong, I was just missing a step. Breathing. Slowly breathing in through the nose for the first 4 seconds, then slowly breathing out through the mouth for the remaining 6 seconds works wonders. Anger is a very physical emotion – controlling the breathing is paramount to calming down.
- Become aware of your surroundings – this is a great one as it doesn’t require a large amount of effort and deals with the main issue surrounding meditation, gaining mental clarity. As I said earlier the goal is focus, not nothingness. Focus on every little sensation you’re aware of. The way your feet feel on the floor, the weight of your hair on your neck, the temperature in the room, the places on your back in which your clothes are touching, everything. Don’t frantically search for everything. Just take as much time as you need to feel these different sensations.
- Remove yourself from the situation – while this may seem like a particularly obvious one, it is never obvious at the time. Depending on the reason for your anger, you may be unable to drag yourself away from the situation whether or not you know you should. A good example of this is when you’re arguing with your partner. We all want to be heard and sometimes if we believe we’re right, we’ll argue our point until we’re blue in the face and screaming. Don’t. Remove yourself from the situation. This will allow you to do two things – calm yourself down and approach the situation with more logic rather than pure emotion.
And there we have it, my rough guide to meditation and controlling one’s emotions. Whilst this little guide will be more beneficial to those with similar issue to me such as anger, I hope this will also be of benefit to those who suffer from other issues too.