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emotions
Making Anger Your Teacher

Norman Fischer from Ten Percent Happier on anger:

Now, in meditation circles, anger often gets a bad rap. We imagine that we aren’t supposed to ever get angry, or if we do, we’re bad at meditation.

But trying to never be angry won’t work. If you think about it, we can’t make anger go away any more than we intentionally produced it in the first place. So, when are angry we just have to be angry.

Instead of fighting with anger, we have to turn toward it, to experience it without affirming it and waving it around, and to investigate what it really is. It turns out, the closer you look, the more anger can teach us.

As Norman points out, anger is often seen as a failing in meditation circles, whilst happiness or sadness are not. But why is this? Do we choose to be happy or sad any more than we choose to be angry?

Emotions are unavoidable aspects of the human experience, and anger, in particular, indicates our desire for something to change.

Maybe it’s unreasonable for us to expect this change, in which case our anger can only cause us suffering. Learning to let go of needless, unproductive anger is perhaps the greatest gift that meditation and mindfulness has to offer us.

But maybe the changes we want are realistic, and anger motivates us to achieve them. Perhaps anger is the catalyst we need to go out and protest, or to start a difficult conversation, or to take a good look at ourselves.

Because above anything else, anger can teach us about what’s going on inside us. If we can examine the source of our anger, rather than helplessly reacting to it, anger can be a great source of insight into our beliefs, our values, and our fears.

Anger can be a great teacher, but it’s not an easy one. Learning its lessons requires patience, humility and wisdom. All of which should helps us to be angry less often.

Why speaking to yourself in the third person makes you wiser.

We’d all benefit from being more reasonable sometimes. But when our emotions are in full flow, how can we gain the objectivity we need to help us do so? Oddly enough, there’s research to suggest that talking to yourself in the third person might be the answer.

The practice, known as illeism, offers some much needed emotional distance, which can help us to look at things more objectively. Here’s David Robson writing for Aeon Magazine:

Simple rumination – the process of churning your concerns around in your head – isn’t the answer. It’s likely to cause you to become stuck in the rut of your own thoughts and immersed in the emotions that might be leading you astray. Certainly, research has shown that people who are prone to rumination also often suffer from impaired decision making under pressure, and are at a substantially increased risk of depression.

Instead, the scientific research suggests that you should adopt an ancient rhetorical method favoured by the likes of Julius Caesar and known as ‘illeism’ – or speaking about yourself in the third person (the term was coined in 1809 by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge from the Latin illemeaning ‘he, that’). If I was considering an argument that I’d had with a friend, for instance, I might start by silently thinking to myself: ‘David felt frustrated that…’ The idea is that this small change in perspective can clear your emotional fog, allowing you to see past your biases.

"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation."

How to spend less time being angry.

Think about the last time you got mad at somebody. Recall what you said, and what they said, and what you should have said when they said that. Now try to remember what you were thinking. Not feeling. Thinking. I’m betting that it was more or less a blank. This isn’t a coincidence. The emotional…continue reading on Medium…
6 Powerful Strategies To Help You Overcome Fear.

Fear really is the mind killer. It hold us back from our potential on a daily basis. But it doesn’t have to. Or at least, we can get better at fighting it.

Here, Positivity Blog brings us 6 strategies which we can use to change the way we look at our fear. After all, close examination is the one thing that fear can’t withstand:

The fears we have are based in how we think about things. Destructive thought habits can create a lot of fear that is really unnecessary and damaging.

But there are also ways to handle these habits when they pop up and to – over time – replace them with healthier habits.

How To Never Be Angry Again.

A lovely little talk by Abraham Twerski on the subject of anger:

There’s some people who feel guilty for feeling angry…you don’t have a choice! The feeling of anger is not a choice and if you don’t have a choice there’s no reason to feel guilty about it.