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What We Can Learn From Anger

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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What We Can Learn From Anger

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'm going to talk about

what we can learn from anger.

So I'm just going to invite you

to take a moment and remember

the last time you felt angry.

Maybe you had an argument with your spouse

or you were angry about an injustice in

the world, or perhaps somebody acted in

a way that you found insensitive or rude.

And as you bring this situation to mind,

maybe you can remember what it was like

to actually feel that anger in the body.

What sensations were there?

Maybe there was a faster heartbeat,

maybe tension in the jaw or

shoulders, maybe feelings of hate

or a rush of energy in the body.

Maybe it was something

totally different for you.

So these sensations of anger, this is part

of our body's fight or flight response.

It alerts us that we feel threatened

by something, or we don't feel safe.

So the body's mobilizing energy in

our bodies that really gets us ready

to protect and defend ourselves.

So if you think about this and you look

a little bit closer at anger, you can

find that in any given moment, what

you'll often find just below the surface

of an angry moment is fear of some kind.

So in an argument, maybe the other

person said something that threatened

our belief system or point of view.

Or, maybe, you know, we were afraid

of what would happen in the world if

certain policies or changes were not

made or were made, or maybe we got

angry because of someone's remark

because it touched on an insecurity or a

vulnerability we have within ourselves.

Our anger can often reveal some of

our deepest fears and vulnerabilities.

They can also teach us where we

need to speak up, where we'd like to

make a stand, where we need to put

boundaries up to protect ourselves.

So it can be a really useful emotion.

But right now I want to

invite you to go back to that

situation when you were angry.

And as you hold that situation in mind,

just inviting you to ask yourself, what

might I have been afraid of in that

moment or what might have made me feel

a little threatened in that moment?

So both fear and anger can be really

powerful guides that inform us

of what we need and what matters,

but they can also, as most of us

know, pull us into reactivity.

But if we can learn to stay with the

feeling before reacting, if we can

meet it with compassion, equanimity,

and objectivity, then we can grow in

self-awareness and self-empowerment.

So the next time you feel anger, arising

in the body, see if you can take a pause

and notice if there's fear underneath.

And if there is, try asking

the fear what it needs.

Is there something you need

to do to look after yourself?

Is there a vulnerability

that needs to be tended to?

Is there something that you

can learn about yourself?

And so in this way, we can learn

to tend to our fear and anger

with compassion and awareness.

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

And just inviting you now to

settle in for today's meditation.

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