This week I had the fabulous opportunity to talk to Karden Rabin, wellness expert and the founder of Stress School. We talked about failures, evolution, childhood trauma, and you guessed it, stress. One of the things that came up was how to deal with the energy that’s produced when we feel angry or stressed out.
Karden explained that although meditation and breathing exercises, or painful massages might help you feel better in the moment, what really needs to be addressed is the cause and the emotion behind why your body is acting that way.
When we get angry, hormones are sent from our brains to our bodies, triggering a fight or flight response. Now, this was useful back then when we had to run around in the woods avoiding saber-toothed tigers, but in the modern age where we are completely saturated with and even addicted to stress we run from commitment to commitment, chasing productivity and it inevitably leaves our brains in a near constant fight or flight state. This creates a buildup of energy that when not released, festers inside us and attacks our minds and bodies. Too much of this energy can cause compromised body functions, burnout, and even autoimmune issues.
So what can we do about it?
Besides of course reducing your stress, it’s important to find a physical release for this energy. Going for a run, hitting a punching bag, or dancing around in your room are great ways to help release the energy and cater to your fight or flight response, but the goal of anger is more than just to release energy.
What is the goal of stress or anger?
The goal is to protect us, to help us address the situation at hand and find our way back to safety. Unfortunately, in our society we have a great focus on the cathartic release of anger but we often forget to bring ourselves back to the safe feeling. This leaves the cycle incomplete and doesn’t resolve the main goal of the emotion.
How can you find your way back to safety?
After expressing the anger it can help to do some visualizations. Karden suggests visualizations of the people or things that are stressing you out. Imagine telling them to leave you alone. In your mind’s eye, see them walk away and feel the peace left in their wake. Even mentally placing something between you and them can help you to feel protected and safe.
Lastly, playing some music or making sure to give yourself a hug and a big smile can finalize the emotions that were stored in your body and bring you back to your safe natural state, ready to take on the world.
So next time you’re feeling angry at your boss, or pissed off at something you read on social media, take a break, express the anger (not at the person who caused it) and then do some visualizations and self-soothing. Your mind, and body will thank you.
If you’d like to hear more about stress management from Karden, I recommend you check out his website www.kardenrabin.com
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