“Daily Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind – mindfulness practices to free yourself from anger” by Jeffrey Brantley, MD and Wendy Millstine, NC, is a little book that is a heavy-hitter when it comes to the weighty issue of anger.
Mindfulness offers a way to disconnect from those simmering or exploding feelings related to anger. When you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, moods and physical sensations, you are better-positioned to act in a way that keeps you anchored to the present moment – the place where you have the power to choose, to change.
The authors provide a compelling reason for calming your angry mind:
…if you are mindless about anger in your life—you may experience angry thoughts and feelings frequently, and ultimately that anger can be harmful to your health. But your anger does not affect only you. When anger drives you to speak or act harshly toward others, your anger adds to the suffering and pain they may already feel. And even beyond those closest to you, when caught in the storm of anger, you add—even if unintentionally—to the general level of distress present in our world. (Page 5.)
Included in this book is a diagram that is so simple, yet explains in great detail the structure of anger. Imagine a triangle with three rungs, each holding one word. Starting from the bottom and moving up: fixed belief, fear, anger. Consider how anger arises out of fear, which comes from a belief or thought you have that you are being threatened (physically, psychologically, personally or in some other way). The explanation was followed up by clear examples of people who applied what they learned about the structure of anger, then used mindfulness to gain new insights, thus dousing the flames of anger.
You’ll read about three misunderstandings of anger, which includes the important point that the more often you get angry, the more often you get angry. Thought patterns reinforce bodily reactions, so that similar scenarios trigger more frequent feelings of anger.
Brantley and Millstine have identified three mindfulness paths to help you move out of anger, which is then supported in Part 2 of the book – Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind and Living with Greater Joy and Ease. Specific scenarios are discussed in subsequent chapters, including Calming Anger in or about Your Body; Calming Your Angry Mind in Relationships and Calming Your Angry Mind at Work.
Principles of mindfulness such as non-judgement, patience, Beginner’s Mind, trust, acceptance and letting-go, are sprinkled throughout the book. These can be cultivated with intention, attention and attitude.
There’s a little phrase in the book that packs a big wallop: Be quick, but don’t hurry. It addresses how hurrying can take you out of the present moment and into a field strewn with landmines of mistakes, frustration, tension and judgements. When I think about this phrase, it it is like a balm that helps me gain clarity and accomplish more – all with less stress. If you tend to hurryhurryhurry, or slow down so much it seems that you are going backwards, perhaps this phrase can guide you to finding balance in your life.
I encourage you to begin the journey to live with more peace and a greater sense of calmness. Add this book to your toolbox of techniques and enjoy better health and a greater sense of well-being. It’s an on-going process to practice, and it’s worth it!
Thanks to the New Harbinger Publications for making this giveaway possible.
How to win a copy of Daily Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind:
1. To enter the giveaway, leave a short comment on this post. (Mandatory.)
2. Entries must be received by midnight, on Sunday, Oct. 4th, 2015.
3. This contest is open to anyone of legal age who has a mailing address in Canada or the United States.
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Anger and Rheumatoid Arthritis
You might like my article on HealthCentral.com: Move Through Anger and Resentment When You Have RA.