How often do you feel anger? Do you feel bad about feeling angry? Are you ashamed of your anger? Do you express your anger? Does anger explode from inside of you at the wrong times? Or do you channel anger into something else – positive action maybe?
As men, many of us were never taught that anger is a natural emotional response. We were never taught to accept our anger and that it’s ok to feel and express this fire inside of us. We have been conditioned to fear anger and as a result we keep it locked inside. If we keep it suppressed for long periods it can explode uncontrollable like a silent volcano. We all know the consequences of this!
In general, the reason men explode uncontrollably is because over the years we have been forced to suppress our natural wild side and we’ve been taught to wear a mask. A mask of niceness, that everything is ok, a false mask.
If we want to reclaim our own inner power as men in the world, confident men, who are capable of serving the world from a place of passion and clarity of direction, then maybe it is time to take off our mask.
Here are some questions to contemplate: –
- Do you often say yes to something, when really inside you want to say no?
- Do you find it difficult to get straight to the point of what you want to say, especially when talking to women?
- Do you find it hard to tell the truth?
- Do you tell lies to pretend to others that you are perfect?
- Do you do things for others, secretly expecting something in return?
- Do you do things for others so they will give you compliments?
- Do you suppress your anger and keep it locked inside?
- How does it feel inside of you when you keep anger inside?
I find that many men find it hard to ask these simple questions and to feel inside of themselves. Even more, most men find it difficult to admit that they do behave with these traits.
I encourage you to come to a realisation that it’s time for a change. It’s time to recognise that the fire inside of you is a force that can be used for good use. It’s time to realise that anger is a natural emotion that, if channelled in the correct way, can be very transformative for you.
But how to do this?
It is not within the scope of this article to go into details discussing anger management (this is a detailed topic), and in some cases could require psychological support or counselling. I am simply sharing with you a few simple practices that may help you to; 1) own your anger, 2) redirect your anger into positive action.
10 PRACTICES TO FOLLOW WHENEVER YOU FEEL FIRE, ANGER, OR RAGE INSIDE YOU:
1. A) Feel into your gut and breath into the anger.
B) Repeat this mantra with a smile on your face, ‘I Accept You’.
2. A) Inhale through the nose and down into the gut.
B) Exhale slowly and forcefully through the mouth.
3. A) Inhale and bring the energy into your heart.
B) Exhale send the energy of the heart into the world.
4. A) Inhale through the nose and into the gut.
B) Exhale back up and to the top of the head.
5. Move your body: Walk, run, swim, exercise, jump, dance, etc. Notice how the contraction of the original anger transforms into a more expansive form of energy within the body.
6. A) Breathe into the gut and recognise the anger as a form of potential energy.
B) Use that energy to propel you into action such as the completion of a mental task or project, or a physical task such as exercise.
7. A) Recognise that the fire you have inside your belly is the energy that fuels passion.
B) Breath into this contemplation and turn the energy into a fiery determination to be the best man possible in this lifetime.
8. Perform ‘Breath of Fire’: Exhale fast and rhythmically through the nose without intentionally inhaling. At the same time draw in the belly button every time you exhale. Perform this for 50 repetitions (50 exhalations).
9. Learn to witness the anger without reacting. Imagine the anger was something completely separate to you and you are a silent observer, allowing the anger to arise and flow through you like the clouds moving through the sky.
10. Screaming Breath:
A) Inhale through the nose and fill up the lungs
B) Exhale slowly with increasingly loud and deliberate screaming sound
C) Repeat 5 times whilst driving alone in the car
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DAILY PRACTICE:
I encourage you to try the following in your life on a daily basis:
- Say no to someone’s request every day at least 2 times.
- Make a list of the amount of times per day you tell a lie to someone (even a white lie). This act in itself is enough to raise awareness and facilitate change.
- Organise at least 30 mins per day for yourself to do something you love.
- Do something you are scared of once per week.
- Join a men’s group or a men’s retreat and begin talking openly about suppressed anger and your lack of confidence to express yourself – start with my 5 day men’s retreat MEN without Mask in the beautiful Dartmoor National Park in the UK.
- If you have problems with anger seek out help. Ask for support. Speak with trusted friends. Employ a Coach.
So, I encourage all men, including myself, to recognise when the volcano inside us is about to erupt. Welcome this as a sign that we are alive and a vital force that can propel us forward into meaningful action in the world.