Someone asked me recently: “When I get angry should I express it? Sometimes it makes a situation worse and we just get in a fight.”

When you feel anger rising in you it is best not to act from this anger. But, do pay attention to it as a vibratory field of energy. Some people are in the habit of suppressing anger and it gets tamped down into the cells of the body adding to a reservoir of suppressed anger that is dormant, but toxic. Eventually, it will get triggered by some external event and burst forth in an emotional explosion that will drain you and leave you feeling bad.

So, we witness that anger is present, and without engaging it with our minds, we simply allow it to be. Consciously we detach from any thoughts our mind wants to generate about it – that we have been wronged in some way – that we don’t deserve to be treated this way – that we will get our revenge etc. Any story we begin to tell about our anger only serves to justify the anger in our minds, which allows the anger to build. Then it becomes us. Then we become identified with the anger and it overtakes us, causing us to become reactive and say or do something that we will later regret. Anger, like any emotion, is just a frequency or vibration of energy in motion, and we have the power to allow it to pass through our awareness field. We bring the power of our Presence to bear witness to this wave of energy passing through, and we ride it out. In this way it will leave harmlessly.

In a situation with someone when your buttons get pushed and you feel anger come up, before you begin to identify with it, take some deep breathes and just allow the anger to be. Be completely present with it while detaching from your thoughts. Give yourself permission to excuse yourself from the situation momentarily if necessary. Then, when the anger has dissipated though the power of your witnessing presence, you can collect your thoughts and have your say from a more grounded and non-reactive place.

For a person with a reservoir of stored anger it is beneficial to release it in a therapeutic way. One exercise that does this very effectively without attracting a lot of negative attention (like screaming at the top of your lungs!) comes from Polarity Yoga developed by Dr. Randolph Stone, the creator of Polarity Therapy. Called the ‘Woodchopper’, it ignites the fire principle in the body, facilitating the venting of stored anger out of the cells. It is important not to create an object for your suppressed anger, but rather to maintain your neutral witnessing presence while doing this exercise. An explanation of how to do the Woodchopper is at the end of this post.

Remember, we are Pure Awareness. When you can allow the frequencies of existence, whether positive or negative, to pass through you, without pulling them towards you or pushing them away, you are free. Then you are completely available to enjoy the wonder and diversity of life, and, as my teacher says, “all that heavenly glory”.

Woodchopper

Note: The Woodchopper should not be attempted if you have back problems.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keeping your knees soft. Clasp your hands above your head. Take a deep breath in through your nose arching your body backwards, and on your exhale, bring your hands down between your legs, hinging from the hips and dropping your head as if chopping wood. Let out a loud explosive “Ha” sound at the end of the stroke. Inhale and come up slowly and repeat as many times as necessary until the anger has cleared. The movement should be rhythmic and flowing. You may need to take a break and repeat the process before you feel complete. Please follow your own guidance on this and be careful not to strain or go too fast, as this can lead to dizziness.