Anger-obics Can Make Anger 'Work Out'
How to transform negative energy into a positive tool for anger management.
Tener describes Anger-obics as "moving your body to shift your mind." Think in detail of a situation with totally honked you off. Notice how your body is feeling. Is your jaw tense? Teeth gritted?
When you have an idea where your anger resides, focus on relaxing that body part the next time you get angry. Tense and relax that part. Breathe "into" it, exhale, seeing if a message comes to you about what the pain/anger is trying to tell you.
Or: The minute you get angry, try the Gratitude Attitude or send Golden Healing Light to the anger place. Ask for a message. If in doubt, focus on your heart.
Some other things to try:
- Do a scarf dance with a light piece of cloth. The cloth represents your anger. Hold it on your nondominant hand. As it swirls, is it covering your face? Tangling you? As time goes on, it is getting calmer or wilder in its movements?
- Try the Spiritual Warrior yoga posture. This is a warrior that does not fight, but installs peace and harmony. Stand a few minutes. Then say, "I am a strong, powerful man (woman). I do not need to use force to make my way in the world. I feel a strong connection to the earth below. I am strengthened by the connection to the sky above." Reach into the past for wisdom. Reach into the world as you take actions that are healthy and wise.
- Walk on it. Write your grievance on a Post-It, stick it on the sole of your shoe, and stomp it away.
- Clench your fist. Release. Stall for time. Tell the boss, "I will talk to you about this in a few minutes."
By the time you do all this, you may have forgotten why you were angry! But, Tener says, you may still need to examine the roots of your rage. These methods may only work in the short term.
'Mind Over Madder'
"Mind over madder" is Salmansohn's phrase for the concept that you have a choice. "You can be mindful of anger on a daily basis," she says. You can stage it as Nay does. Or you can "fight" it or walk it away, as Tener recommends. Or, Salmansohn says, you can burn it up. Her book contains coupons. For instance, one might say: "I am burning angry at my present love because ..." You fill it in and burn, baby, burn (in a humorous disclaimer, she says she is not responsible if you burn the house down, but she does fully expect people to burn her opus to ashes).
Humor can often be the saving grace in anger management, these experts say. "Crack smiles before heads," is how Salmansohn puts it.
Star Lawrence is a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area.