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IanSDW

Learning How to Not Let My Anger Control me

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As I've progressed in my self-study of of Stretch Therapy, I'm realizing more and more that before I can learn to truly benefit from Stretch Therapy, I first must learn how to relax my mind. 

I do daily 30 minute lying yoga nidra exercises now and the benefits have been immense. Most interestingly of all, it is allowing me to relax more and more as I stretch allowing me to make even more progress.

Anyway, the reason i mention this is because as I address the issue of calming my mind I am now realizing how angry I am. This surprised me and still surprises me, I never thought of myself as an angry person. Anxious person, yes, I can understand that, and am working on it. But anger, I never expected this. And more so I am having a difficult time addressing it. When I ruminate on things or people that have made me angry, it consumes me, and I still have not properly learned how to control it.

So, I hope someone out there can give me some advice on how they learned to control their anger to properly help them become more relaxed in their day to day life. 

Thank You,

I learn a lot from these forums

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2 hours ago, IanSDW said:

I never thought of myself as an angry person.

Don't start now! Don't identify with the anger. The anger arises due to causes and conditions. Do not fight it, but observe it carefully and dispassionately. Be very curious about it. Find out what the causes and conditions are. Find out how anger manifests physically in your body. If you know this, you can learn to let it go before it solidifies, so to speak. You're on the right path. Continue with the lying relaxation, and stay curious. You can also explore metta meditation as a powerful tool against anger and ill will.

I am sure @Kit_L will chime in with more. I know he has mentioned working with a lot of anger.

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On 3/16/2020 at 10:38 AM, IanSDW said:

This surprised me and still surprises me, I never thought of myself as an angry person.

Hahahahaha! Sorry, couldn't resist. Seriously, what a wonderful thing to find! I say this, because now you can do something with it. Until you start relaxing, as you've noticed, you are insulated from the feelings underneath the feelings. 

As soon as you become aware of being angry, drop your awareness into the tummy and let it go completely soft. It is not possible to be angry and have a soft tummy. Repeat as necessary; the body needs to learn a new set point for tension. So, this is gold for you, @IanSDW, and it gives you something to work with, rather than be at the behest of what is only a habit; a reflexive behaviour, which you have also learned. Usually, what we regard as "me" is a long-ago learned set of reflexive behaviours that are so deeply ingrained that we are sure, 'this must be me'. Learning how to relax is simply learning how to be a new me.

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On 3/15/2020 at 11:42 PM, Nathan said:

Don't identify with the anger.

It's amazing, i've heard this advice a thousand times for stress and anxiety, but I didn't approach anger the same way. 

Thank you for saying this

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On 3/17/2020 at 9:03 PM, Kit_L said:

 a reflexive behaviour, which you have also learned

This is really fascinating.

So, from your perspective the negative ways we interact with the world (with anger or stress) is just a pattern of behavior we learned? And I should think of relaxation as a new behavior to replace them?

I always approached mediation as a way to become comfortable tension, or become aware and accept my tension so to speak, not as a way to replace it. 

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23 minutes ago, IanSDW said:

I always approached mediation as a way to become comfortable tension, or become aware and accept my tension so to speak, not as a way to replace it. 

I may come back to this if Kit doesn't (I'm running out the door now), but just a quick note to say it's both :)

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58 minutes ago, IanSDW said:

So, from your perspective the negative ways we interact with the world (with anger or stress) is just a pattern of behavior we learned? And I should think of relaxation as a new behavior to replace them?

Precisely.

More: everything we know or believe to "be me" is learned.

The Tibetans have a saying that I found helpful; you may, too: they say "Anger is upon me", and not "I'm angry!" See how powerful that is? The "I'm" part is active identification right there.

33 minutes ago, Nathan said:

I always approached mediation as a way to become comfortable tension, or become aware and accept my tension so to speak, not as a way to replace it. 

As @Nathan pointed to as he ran out the door; it is both. It's useful, too, to think of the meditative state as another habit, but a useful one. As well, if you tie this to the "Anger is upon me" idea, there is no negativity to this description (no guilt, and no blame, either); simply, this is what's happening now. This level of awareness immediately opens up the possibility of choosing something else, another state, too. Until you are aware of something, another habit is just playing out in you.

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