The problem is anger is not really an energy that you can let rip when it blows in as an adult. When you were two years old you could let that anger rage out legs and arms as they flailed around on the ground. You could roar it in a howling scream out your chest and let it fly where it held you in your throat.
As a big person though, that sort of full noise release of rage would have some consequences. As Rumi said "Anger is like a strong wind. It calms down after a while, but lots of branches are already broken." As an adult, a full noise tantrum like that would probably take down some trees!
At my clinic Angels Rest, I see a lot - more than a lot - of old stinky rage pooled in body tissues causing mayhem.
In this discussion, I wanted to share with you a 4 step tool I use with my clients to help them release old stuck anger from the body. Stored old emotional muck can become disease - and you don't want that. So, see this as an opportunity to have a spring clean - a wander around the body and kick out any old has-been emotional energy you no longer need to store!
1. YELL IT OUT!
Anger stores like a volcano of energy, untll it is resolved. A great way to release stuck old rage is to do this pillow exercise. To do this exercise you are going to need some privacy, so ask housemates or family to give you a room to yourself and ensure you will not be interrupted. It's very important to follow the process to completion, so allow yourself a good 15 minutes of non-interrupted alone time to honor the process fully with your body.
Tools : You are going to need a big fat pillow and a big breath.
How : I recommend you do this exercise kneeling on a bed or on the floor with the pillow on the ground in front of you.
Step One : Close your eyes and breathe in to the count of 5 and hold to the count of 5. Ask your body to locate where in your body is holding old stored anger and rage.
Instead of breathing out - open your mouth wide and ROAR that noise into the pillow as loud as you like.
You might be surprised at what comes up for you. Often there will be an old situation, a person's face might float into your mind, maybe a moment of rage, humiliation or anger.
Step Two : Do the Breath again to the count of 5, hold to the count of 5 and ask your body to go deeper. Where else is there old rage stored? Roar it out! Let it all go into the pillow.
2. CHANGE THE STORY BY SAYING WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY
Step Three: This third time, as you breathe in to the count of 5, imagine you can go back in time and change the story. This time, you are able to speak your truth to what was needed to be said at the time. You might find when your face hits the pillow again there will be some choice language that will come out to that person or situation. Or it might just be "Enough!" or "No!" Let the words rip. You might get emotional. That's okay too.
It may seem strange doing this, but as far as the body is concerned, saying these words is deeply freeing and releases the stuck energy from the body. It frees the body from holding onto that story like a replaying hologram.
But don't leave it there..
That is not resolution and does not fully clean out the hotspots of anger.
3. USE YOUR EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING WISE BRAIN TO SOOTHE AND CALM THE ACTIVATED LOWER BRAIN
Step Four : Now, you are going to take 3 new breaths sitting, or standing up. Place one hand gently on your belly. Keep your eyes softly closed as you breathe in to the count of 5, hold for 5 and breathe out through your open mouth calmly, your focus this time is on breathing warmth into your forehead and belly. The sound you make should sound like a soft "Haaaaaaa"
Behind your forehead is your very smart executive brain. It's your Superpower You. The Wise You. The one who knows how to observe with wisdom and patience. This part of your brain knows how to look around your lower brain and seek out and soothe the hot parts of your emotional limbic system and your monkey thinking cortex brain. It knows how to bring a sense of humor and distance to old stories.
During these three breaths, imagine a calm bloodflow starting behind the forehead and washing through the mid and base of your brain, seeking out any hot parts and calming them down. Make a decision here to lead from the front - the wise front of your brain.
Remind yourself that your Anger and Rage was allowed to be expressed just now. Anger is a natural human emotion and needed to be expressed out of your body. Now the anger has had the release it was looking for you don't need to replay the hologram any further.
4. STRETCH AND OPEN YOUR BODY
There is a great yoga pose that I find works beautifully to reset and calm the body after you've had a good old anger clean up. It helps you breathe, open the heart and is deeply comforting.
This pose gives an amazing openness to the hips and chest, while allowing you to slow down and quiet the mind and body.
1. Lie on your back over your fat cushion or bolster with your knees bent and your feet touching the floor.
2. Slowly open your knees out wide, so that the soles of your feet are touching.
3. Lengthen your spine by extending your tailbone towards your heels and reaching the crown of your head in the opposite direction.
4. Place your palms, facing up, next to your hips, and soften your shoulders into the ground, away from the ears. Then soften your face, eyes, jaw, neck, and throat.