One of the most beautiful things about being a mindfulness author and teacher is that, as much as I get to share these invaluable tools with others, I also have an ongoing opportunity to deepen my own mindfulness practices. In fact, I frequently share examples of mindfulness adventures from my own life on my “Car Talk” mindfulness vlog.
One such opportunity I had recently gave me a chance to acknowledge and heal anger.
In my classes, I teach that below anger there is usually a softer emotion — one that’s more vulnerable, that the anger rises up to protect. I discovered my own anger over an issue in my life in a recent therapy session, and underneath that anger was fear. Identifying my anger and looking deeper allowed me to recognize this fear — a primal fear — and it brought me to tears, which was great! I’m not a big crier, and crying is such a wonderful stress reliever — so it felt good to let it out.
From there, I was able to consider what I could do next to help myself heal.
There is a Buddhist saying that goes:
“We make our own hell by wishing things were different than they are.”
There are many things in life that we can’t control; and my anger was over one of these things in my life.
I decided it was time to renew my gratitude practice.
I hadn’t written in my gratitude journal for quite some time, and the latest brain science shows that gratitude boosts our experience of happiness in life. So, I committed to just answering these two questions for myself each day:
What am I grateful for today?
Mindful awareness of gratitude just makes us feel better.
I also decided to add more mindfulness meditation to my days and get more vitamin D by spending more time outside. Together, these three things have helped me to be in a space of healing my anger and the fear underneath.
If you’re going through something similar and struggling with anger, know that these tools can really make a difference in your overall well-being. Acknowledge your anger, try to get beneath it to identify the softer emotion that is there, then up your mindfulness practices — such as keeping a gratitude journal or doing a few minutes of mindfulness meditation each day.
I wish you strength, peace, blessings, luck, and love! I’m on this journey with you.