17 May Unravelling Angry Thoughts with Mindfulness
I have experienced deep wounds or negative experiences where anger was a very normal and healthy emotional response.
However, for a very long time, I didn’t know how to heal from these experiences. I didn’t know how to process and release my emotions. And so all the emotions sat within me festering. I eventually learned that keeping all these negative emotions suppressed is not healthy or helpful.
Anger for me was probably the most obvious of the negative emotions. It was the loudest emotion.
One of the things that happened is that the anger popped up frequently to try and get my attention. It wanted me to know that it needed help. It needed to be processed and released. But I didn’t understand this at the time. So I just kept on suppressing it. I also judged it as bad and judged myself for being so angry.
But the anger kept trying to get my attention. I had lots of angry thoughts. I reacted with anger to situations, events, discussions that wouldn’t normally provoke anger.
When I learned mindfulness meditation I started to become aware of my thoughts and was shocked to notice how many angry thoughts were circulating in my mind. It was a loop of angry thoughts that went round and round.
As I became aware of this mental pattern that had developed over time, I started to practice not engaging with those thoughts. When I noticed I was already engaged in these angry thoughts I would try to break out of it and focus on other more positive thoughts.
I learned along the way that my thoughts create emotions. So I continued to practice being mindful of what thoughts I was engaging with. I practised disengaging from the negative thought patterns and moving my attention to positive thoughts.
This helped to create a new mental habit or pattern. A new neural pathway in my brain. So that my default mental focus wasn’t on the negative or angry thoughts. Over time my mental focus became more balanced and even positive.
But as time went on the angry thoughts didn’t go away, they still popped up more than I wanted them to. As I progressed on my healing journey, I realised this was because there was still a lump of negative and angry emotions sitting inside me waiting to be healed, to be processed and released.
As I learned how to heal and process these emotions I noticed the angry thoughts became less and less pronounced.
However the healing process happens in layers, so it took many layers of healing before the angry thoughts faded away.
When the emotional healing was done or substantially done, I would of course still have angry thoughts from time to time. This took me back to checking in to see if there was another layer of emotions that needed to be healed.
Or was this just a mental pattern or habit and I needed to refocus my mental attention to a more positive thought that would in turn create a more positive emotion.
Was it a default response to an old trigger, did I need to practice responding differently.
Was is in response to media, tv, or other environmental factors.
Or was it a new situation I was in where anger was in fact a healthy response.
Being mindful or aware of my thoughts is important for me so that I notice quickly if I’ve developed or slipped into negative thought patterns. I can then check in to find out why this is happening and make whatever changes or adjustments are required.
This practice has helped me with my healing and to develop a more peaceful way of being. I know this practice will be a lifelong tool.