Fight or Flight Response
by Curt Remington
As an emotion, anger may have been useful for our caveman ancestors, as it triggered our “fight or flight” response, pumping adrenaline into our blood and readying our bodies for action.
In modern society this response is very rarely needed and causes all sorts of troubles. The “fight or flight” response cuts blood flow to our central organs and brain, causing health problems and difficulty thinking clearly. Anger also damages relationships and can lead to terrible, impulsive decisions. These show up in the news all the time. Most of us aren’t going to go on a rampage, but many of us could still use work on reducing anger in our lives. I know I could.
One of the most important steps for reducing anger is changing the thinking that leads to it. If things or people aren’t the way we’d like them to be, we get angry, thinking that somehow that may get them to change. This rarely works, and often it backfires. According to the Law of Attraction, “that which you resist persists.” I have seen this countless times. Getting angry or fighting something just brings more of it into our lives.
Another worthwhile strategy is to try and see the other person’s point of view. Last night, I had a great opportunity to practice this, during the drive into town for a meeting. The host had stressed the importance of arriving on time, so I left the house a few minutes early. Our drive to town is on a winding road along a lake, with not one passing zone the entire distance. People usually drive about 45 mph, most of the way, but the car in front of me drove erratically, hovering around 30 mph, then suddenly hitting their brakes and slowing to less than 20. This happened repeatedly, as more cars backed up behind us and I glanced again at the clock. Years ago, before meditating, I would have been furious. Instead, I practiced some meditation techniques, kept my distance and looked for a reason someone would drive like that, other than to make me mad. It came to me that they must have terrible night vision and were worried about all the deer along our road. Instead of getting angry, I felt some sympathy for them. As soon as we reached town, they pulled onto the first side street, fully in the oncoming lane. I wished them well and still made it to the meeting on time.
More Tips for Managing or Letting Go of Anger
- Meditate – Stress is a big block to good relationships. It makes it harder to think, feel and communicate.
- Learn to compromise, or to accept things and people the way they are. Getting mad at the weather, the economy, the other driver or your lost keys won’t change them anyway.
- Have a sense of humor. It’s hard to be mad when you’re laughing.
- Deal with irritations assertively (not aggressively) before anger builds.
- Relax, take a few deep breaths and think before saying something you’ll regret. Walking away and coming back later is even better.
- Forgive. Holding onto anger just makes you miserable and doesn’t prove anything.
- Exercise – This is another great way to release stress.
Meditating on My Own Anger
I confess, I still sometimes hold onto anger, even though I know that I shouldn’t. I’ve been mad at someone that treated me terribly and never showed remorse. My anger is punishing me much more than its punishing them. Last week, I decided to meditate on this and use a technique for releasing some of that anger.
In meditating on it, I saw images that represented me pushing down and holding in all that anger rather than using outwardly forms of expression like yelling, swearing and fighting, which I’ve used in this past. None of those are good choices. Then I saw a better alternative, releasing that anger deep into the earth, using a technique we learned in clairvoyant training. The earth easily neutralizes this anger energy and returns it to where it belongs. This meditation helped my mood improve for days. For a serious issue, you may want to use it repeatedly.
Letting Go of Anger Meditation:
If you’re mad, meditating is more difficult to do. All those angry thoughts keep popping in, making it hard to relax. Instead of fighting the anger, and those thoughts, use this technique to run the anger and flush it out of your body and energy system.
Once your sitting comfortably, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Imagine a grounding cord that extends from the base of your spine (first chakra) to the center of the earth. You can visualize this cord as a rope, fiber-optic cable, tree root or whatever else comes to you. Quantum energy responds to thought, so when you visualize this, you are actually creating a cord of quantum energy. This cord will help your body feel more secure, and it gives you a place to release negative energies, like anger.
With your grounding in place, imagine a big ball of red energy, representing anger, over your head. Let it pour down through the top of your head (seventh chakra) and run through your body. Go ahead and feel some anger while you run this. Visualize the red energy as it moves through your body and out through your grounding cord. The red seems to match anger energy and carries it along and out of you. Let the red energy run until you no longer feel mad, and its job is done. Then, shift from red to another color, like blue or gold. Run this color to renew yourself and to replace that anger energy you let go of. When you’re done, take a few more deep breaths, stretch and get on with your day. After doing this, I find myself to be feeling much better. I hope you will too.