Book Review & Giveaway: Daily Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind

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 enter the giveaway:

  1. To enter the giveaway, leave a short comment on this post.
  2. Entries must be received by midnight PST on Sunday, October 4th, 2015.
  3. This contest is open to anyone of legal age who has a mailing address in Canada or the US.
  4. For extra entries to the draw, get social:
  • On Twitter? Share the following: #Book #giveaway from @AuntieStress for Daily Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind from @NewHarbinger #mindfulness
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  • On Google+? Be sure to +MariannaPaulson when you share the link, and you’ll earn another entry.

One winning entrant will be drawn from a hat.

You will be notified via email. Your name will appear here, as well as on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and in my newsletter.

Good luck!

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6 Replies to “Book Review & Giveaway: Daily Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind”

  1. Hi Marianna! Your timing on this post couldn’t have been better for me. I’ve been rereading some of my Dr. Sarno books about the mind-body connections between unconscious rage (trying to bubble up to the surface) and many of the physical symptoms we get to basically distract ourselves from and repress the scary feelings. And part of the work for addressing that is looking right at them. BUT … as you point out, sitting in and rehashing the anger is not only a miserable way to live, it can reinforce the mind-body connection to that anger. So what’s a girl to do? The ideas contained within Daily Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind sound like a very nice prescription (repeat as needed) on the road to healing. Thanks so much for another great reminder! 🙂

  2. I started to meditate with TM in 1978 and shifted to Vipassana in 1984. I can attest to the fact that meditation has been the bedrock on which my sanity has been built. It is like an addiction. If I don’t get my daily dose, I am restless the rest of the day.

  3. Thanks, Marianna, for this wonderful book review. I love how hearing how Brantley and Millstine apply mindfulness acceptance and meditations to calming the angry mind. It has been a very helpful tool for both me (and my clients). I also find their description of anger as “a triangle with three rungs… Starting from the bottom and moving up: fixed belief, fear, anger,” most helpful.

    We’re also once again, on the same wavelength because I’m right now in the midst of reading “Don’t I Have the Right to Be Angry?” This is a book that was written by Howard Lipke, a psychologist, who worked with veterans and he came up with a powerful approach to help veterans (and others) to address their anger. He describes anger a bit differently but it is the same concept with the anger hiding another emotion. If you practice noticing and naming that [hidden] emotion, you will ultimately rid the anger of its power (or need to be). Mindfulness/meditation is one technique that he recommends people employ as a calming technique to tolerate the [un]hidden emotion.

    Thanks again – I love reading about different applications of mindfulness.

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