Let’s face it, our society has done a shitty job helping us learn to cope with anger. It is one of the few emotions the average male feels he is allowed to express, while most women do their best to avoid expressing it. Both sexes are taught from a very young age not to show their anger publicly, children are usually taught to throw tantrums out of sight, in their bedrooms, alone. Most of us either bottle our anger until it explodes or we express it in ways that are equally inappropriate and sometimes damaging to ourselves and others. I once threw a taco at my younger brother. We were teenagers and he loved pushing my buttons. His poking and prodding set off a chain reaction in my gut that dredged up a lot of anger I had been storing, so instead of acting like a reasonable, sane human being I chucked a taco right in his face. The point I am trying to make here is that managing our anger is something that even the most conscious of us sometimes struggle with.
It’s not surprising is it? Anger is a very intense and powerful emotion. Anger effects the entire nervous system. It essentially hijacks your brain and floods your body with a surge of energy that can turn even the sweetest person into a wild beast, ready for a fight. What are we to do with all of this emotion? Bottling it isn’t the answer. Over time the energy will build up and you risk blowing your top over something of little consequence. Expressing it is tricky also because if you allow the anger to overwhelm you you could do serious damage to yourself or someone you love. A great example of this is the way some individuals punch things to let off steam. I’m not talking about using boxing or other athletic activities as an outlet (although I do question that approach as well), I’m talking about punching a hole in a wall because you are mad that your girlfriend cheated on you. That’s neither constructive nor healthy behavior.
So what can we do?
Practicing Reiki has taught me how to channel many of my emotions more productively, and anger has been one of them. I will describe my process in the hopes that those of you who practice Reiki or seek Reiki practitioners for healing can put some of it into practice. If you are not familiar with Reiki consider this an introduction in how it can be used to creatively process intense emotions such as anger.
Healing Anger with Reiki
Try this activity the next time you feel angry. Wait a few hours or a day or so after the anger appeared, this particular activity is not intended for us during an outbreak of anger. It is meant to help you address the anger when it is not in control of your nervous system.
1. Lay down in a quiet, distraction free space. Make sure the environment is relaxing. Play soft music, light candles, burn incense, or do whatever makes you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed. Make sure you won’t be interrupted for at least 30 minutes. Turn off your phone or other devices that might distract you.
2. Scan your body for tension and use your breath to relax those areas. Do your best to relax every muscle in your body, especially the muscles around your eyes and in your jaws. Breath relaxation from the top of your head down to your fingers and toes.
3. Connect with the anger stored in your body. If you are Reiki II or higher you can use the distance healing symbol to connect with a time when you felt angry, otherwise, just remember a time when you felt angry and take your imagination to that moment. How did your body feel when you were angry? What parts of you felt tight or strained? Was there any heaviness or even pain? Imagine feeling angry and remember what was happening inside your body.
4. Place your hands on the area where you felt most constricted when you were angry. Advanced practitioners can begin using the power symbol to clear this energy right away. If you are new to this then simply rest your palms on the area and feel into that space. Notice how it feels to have your hands there. Then, begin sending thoughts of healing to that space. For example, you could say (aloud or in your mind) “I release this anger from my body. There is no place for it and it does not belong to me.” It may feel weird at first, but eventually your body part will start to relax. When this happens you can change your affirmations to positive ones like, “I act with compassion. Love guides my actions.” The idea is to use your hands to clear out the energetic signature of anger and then replace it with new, positive energy. If you pay attention to your body, you will know what affirmations you need in order to complete this task. I recommend the book Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay if you are interested in learning affirmations for healing specific physical problems.
5. Repeat #4 with each body part where you feel there might be some anger stored in you. When you are done you can simply lie there for about 5-10 minutes, allowing your body to heal and restore balance. Lie perfectly still, with your eyes closed and just focus on the rise and fall of your breath. If your mind wanders make sure you are not attaching to thoughts that cause you anxiety, such as worry or doubt. Simply let those thoughts go and focus on your body. When you feel relaxed and rejuvenated you can stretch and sit up slowly.
I have found that it helps having a friend help with exercises like this. It must be someone you trust and who has knowledge of this kind of energy healing. There are Reiki practitioners of all backgrounds all over our communities. If you are interested in receiving Reiki treatment you may not need to search very far to find someone who is ready to assist you. If you can’t find someone locally you can reach out to healers like me who offer long distance healing. Whatever you do, if anger is difficult for you to release I urge you to seek support from a qualified friend or practitioner. It will add years to your life and remove a lot of stress as well. You can contact me through my healing practice Joyful Lotus Holistic Healing Services if you have questions or comments.
Remember, you have the power to heal yourself.