“Can I get rid of anger if I meditate daily?” The Nature Of Our Emotions
In this post: Can we get rid of emotions? What happens with strong emotions when we meditate? (when I say meditate I mean vipassana style, mindfulness meditation, or zen. I do not mean “guided relaxation”)
“Do people who meditate still get angry?”
Sometimes we want to get rid of negative emotions. We wish we never had to feel them. Anger is one of them. Will meditation help?
1. First things first: can you really get rid of feelings?
Can you get rid of feeling of sadness, Joy or disappointment? And do you really want to?
Why don’t we look at emotions as symptoms… When you have physical pain you may take painkillers. But at the same time you have a thought : is something deeper going on issue? Do you need to investigate? What would happen if we ignored the symptom?
When you want to get rid of certain feelings, you suppress them, you numb them. At the same time you are suppressing a symptom. Symptom of something going on.
For now: consider emotions symptoms we can’t ignore. They have something important to indicate about your life, relationships, self image…
Instead of suppressing, or getting rid of them, know the emotions cannot kill you, they are a sign.
In coaching we often ask: why do you feel it?
You will say : because of that person, situations outside of you, or your past. But the real reason you feel something is: you were thinking something, you were making this situation mean something – and that’s why you feel what you feel. Really. (and if you feel bad – this actually MAY BE THE MOST APPROPRIATE reaction)
You see, we look for the source of the feeling on YOUR MIND. Of course it is not what you see. You see the world other people, situations outside of you as the reason for your feelings.
That is normal. But then- when you can’t control the outside – what do you do with the emotions? You feel powerless. When you learn that your mind creates emotions – you have all the power.
Now the next question that is being asked is: ok so I should feel happy when this or that happens? Big news: NO. Happy is not the goal. The goal is the ability to FEEL ALL human emotions… (you can learn that with me) The goal of being happy all the time creates more suffering than we imagine.. because this is when we deny what is true.
2. The Nature of our emotions.
The nature of emotions is fluid. View your emotions “as vehicles for transformation (the word emotion comes from the Latin meaning “to move”) rather as simply as feelings that make you happy or miserable. Expect them to test your heart; that’s the point. […] Facing emotions – all of them- is a courageous, spiritually transformative act.” Judith Orloff, M.D.
You are not getting stuck in emotions. You think you do only when you keep telling yourself the same story (you are reinjuring yourself with the same train of thoughts)
Your body may remember emotions when you went through something traumatic. Sometimes I encounter those places when I do energy healing or hypnotherapy. These two modalities are a good way to work on anger too!
Some people seem naturally calm (maybe they are suppressing everything?) and some always look like they are about to explode. However all emotions are available to everyone all the time. We all have the ability to feel all human emotions.
I remember the story Pema Chodron, a famous Buddist monk wrote in one of her books. She was talking to a publisher and her book launch was being delayed. She went ballistic and went on and on speaking with anger. Then she realized she is a monk, she meditated for decades. So funny!
3) Do people who meditate still get angry? Short answer: yes.
So is it worth it to meditate to dissolve anger? There are many benefits including not being so reactive.
When you practice meditation, there is a space, a cushion, created between the trigger and your reaction.
This space, that may last a fraction of a second, allows you to make a decision about how to respond to the trigger. It allows you to quickly analyze consequences of your spontaneous reaction, and, likely, change the reaction to one that is constructive, or at least less damaging. Once you do that, you are actually no longer REACTING: you are RESPONDING.
Mindlessness doesn’t consider consequences (that’s why the trigger is pulled, and the words that hurt are said). Even well justified anger if it is channeled into mindful action – brings better results.You don’t need to practice meditation to know this. You can be naturally wise, mindful, or you developed a mechanism that help you do that.
But since all emotions are available to everyone, you don’t completely lose the ability of feeling it. People who have been meditating for 20, 30+ years can still “lose it”. That may be a part of your survival mechanism. This is a natural reaction to a boundary violation.
In the essence:
Meditation allows you transform anger, possibly feel it with less intensity, make better choices about expressing the emotion. It may bring you insights as to how to avoid situations that lead you to it. It also may eventually create so much peace within you, that the people and things that made you feel bad before – no longer have any power to shake your peace. You may also achieve the same results by simply living, observing, and drawing conclusions… what’s worth your time and energy?
Warning: Be aware Meditation magnifies truth. It will magnify the good. And the ugly. If you deal with unexpressed anger and injustice, it can actually bring it up, animate it. It may bring to the surface things you need to deal with to move on to the stage of transformation, mindfulness. Keep going (sitting). Otherwise, why meditate?
You will transform faster when you have someone supporting you. Schedule a call with me and let’s use the relaxing, transformative powers of hypnotherapy and energy healing.
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