For years I experienced high levels of frustration that would manifest itself as body tension and violent fantasies. In my dream world I would be an avenger inflicting violence on those who deserved it (usually thieves, disrespectful chavs, or litter louts). In the real world though I was afraid of violence and not sure if it was the fear of being hurt or the fear of the consequences of hurting someone else.
After I trained as a therapist I was comfortable with all emotions except anger and would unconsciously pussy foot around the subject for fear of provoking my clients. In my training I had been taught very little about the practicalities of working with angry or violent people.
It was not until 2010, on a somewhat esoteric shamanic training, that I learned how to engage with anger directly and work with it effectively. It was a turning point for my practice and for me.
Now anger is one of the emotions I’m most interested in at the beginning of therapy. I have a number of ‘anger meditations’. They are crucial for people who’s anger is very much on the surface and being expressed in ways that are hurting other people or themselves. They can also be very useful for clients who claim to have no anger in them as often these are the people who are experiencing most frustration. Anger contains so much energy … and containing it also requires so much energy. Relieving the pressure inside frees this energy up and transforms frustration into a powerful assertiveness that is especially useful for reconnecting and clearing out connections with others. I see these relationship connections as the pipes in my plumbing analogy.
This video shows some of the anger meditations that I recommend to my clients for practice both within the therapy room and at home. The idea is to practice ways of connecting with and moving the anger responsibly – so that you, the objects around you, and the people around you are safe. The video includes:
- Punching anger meditation
- Cushion slamming anger meditation
- Vocal anger meditation (with the Howl Towel)
- Silent screaming
- Throwing anger meditation
- Tantruming anger meditation
I don’t claim that these meditations will completely resolve any anger issues you may have. But they should take the pressure out of any frustration and provide a set of safer ways that you can channel your anger as and when it arises.