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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chinese Medicine: Spring and the Emotion of Anger

 

Good Morning!

Chinese Medicine: Spring and the Emotion of Anger

Anger is the feeling we experience when events in our world are not going according to our plans. Anger is one of the most common and destructive delusions affecting our minds. Because it is based on an exaggeration, anger is an expression of our belief system and how we defend it. It's as if we have an inner idea of how things, events and people should be for us. When we get angry and either feel frustrated or try to change them, we tend to give away our power! Many of us remain a victim to our tempers all of our lives. In essence, anger is the feeling we get when we want to control the world around us.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, anger is most prevalent in the Spring. It is considered the emotion of Spring. Although we can and do experience anger at any time or season, it is Spring when we are most easily angered. This is believed to be due to the changes of light and dark and the balance between them.

It is very important to identify the actual cause of whatever unhappiness we feel. If we are forever blaming our difficulties on others, this is a sure sign that there are still many problems and faults within our own mind. If we were truly peaceful inside and had our mind under control, difficult people or circumstances would not be able to disturb this peace, and so we would feel no compulsion to blame anyone or regard them as our enemy. To someone who has subdued his or her mind and eradicated the last trace of anger, all beings are friends.

Techniques for Managing Anger

1. The first step towards managing anger, is to identify which attitudes and convictions that many predispose us to being excessively angry in the first place! Once these beliefs have been identified, it is important to take steps to understand and correct them, if need be.

2. The second step is to realize that anger is a natural human emotion and it is not the emotion of anger that tends to be a problem. The problem is the mismanagement of our anger. Mismanaged anger and rage are the major cause of conflicts in our lives. This mismanagement often has roots from our childhood that prevents us from expressing our anger as appropriately as we should. These factors include fear, denial, ignorance and impatience. These factors can derail the appropriate management of our anger towards others. Learning to understand and change these factors in ourselves, will allow us to express our suppressed anger in a more appropriate way.

3. The third step is learning the appropriate ways of expressing our " honest and legitimate" anger at others so that we can begin to cope more effectively with anger provoking situations as they come up in our lives. When we are anxious or depressed, we are often experiencing the consequences of our suppressed anger. The problem is that we have suppressed our anger so deeply that we succeeded in concealing it from our own selves! All we are left with is the residual evidence of it, our anxiety or our depression. When we are depressed, very often we are also angry at ourselves without realizing it. Learning to appropriately manage our anger at ourselves is the antidote to much of alcoholism, drugs and sexual abuse.

4. The fourth step in the Anger Management process is to approach anger by taking responsibility for our own reactions and behavior. We can do this by addressing our anger with the following coping techniques:

1. Listen to other people, first: listen carefully to what is being said. Do not have a preconceived opinion before you hear what is being said. Remember, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

2. Think carefully about what you want to say: before you say it. slow down. What is the underlying factor in your anger? Fear, denial, impatience?

3. Be clear about what you are going to express.: Your objective is not to belittle, berate, be sarcastic or attack someone, because their opinion is different than yours.

4. If their statement is pushing your anger button: know why! Try to understand the root of your own anger. Look at why they have formed such an opinion.

5. Express yourself by saying: "I feel angry with (you, them, this situation) because..." Stay calm in the face of your own and the other person's anger. The worse thing to do if someone is angry toward you is to shout back at them! Be patient and ask questions to get to the heart of problem. Try being carefully assertive, rather than aggressive.

6. Make lifestyle changes. Making small changes in your life can allow you to reap great rewards.

7. Get regular exercise: This can help to prevent the accumulation of tension and will give you regular time away from everyday stress.

8. Learn relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation. These forms of exercise will help to release tension in a controlled, healthy way.

9. Change your environment. Find alternatives for situations which add stress to your life. Schedule time to relax and unwind.

10. Learn to express your feelings: either by talking to a friend or by venting feelings in other ways, perhaps creatively through painting, journaling or taking on a new hobby.

  


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