Sunday, March 28, 2010

Don't Eat Anger

Most likely, we've all had the experience of feeling our own anger or having someone else's anger directed at us. Neither situation feels particularly good. And, neither situation is particularly good for our health. Experiencing anger, either inwardly or outwardly, increases negativity around us and our body doesn't discriminate if it is our anger or someone else's. To the body, anger is anger and it sets off a whole series of biochemical reactions which can negatively impact our health.

It is also unhealthy to feel anger and eat it. Some of us (hello women!) want to be seen as the "good girl" so we don't express our anger, we simply swallow it. Now we are not only experiencing anger but we are consuming it and keeping it inside us where it can fester and continue to negatively impact our health. I've heard some people theorize cancers are caused by eaten anger that, over time, begins to eat away at our bodies. Interesting, eh?

The point of this writing is not to depress you or cause you to begin to spew anger at those nearby (unfortunately, we often direct our anger at those closest to us and are incredibly sweet to strangers). The point of this writing is to give you a productive and, dare I say funny, way to get rid of any anger you may have stored up and a way to disperse any anger you feel in the future. This is a very simple process and one which can be used anywhere (granted some people may think you a bit odd if you do so in public). I give credit for this exercise to Joshua Rosenthal, founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Step 1: Growl.
Growl aloud. Use your claws, if you are so inclined. Growl big. Growl loud. Growl and use your best lion or bear or panther or coyote voice.

Step 2: Spew.
Raise your voice and, in only made up words, argue. No real words (in any language) should be used. Use your hands, get your face muscles involved and spew. You can think all of the real words you wish, though I contend you'll be laughing in about 10 seconds and will completely forget any real words of anger you may have felt. The idea is akin to the Far Side
cartoon about what a dog hears. "Blah, blah, blah." But when you're spewing your made up words use all of the passion you feel in your anger.

I practiced this exercise with my classmates. And, we were all laughing in seconds. The exercise is brilliant because it gets your energy moving and moves the anger outside of your body. And, you start to laugh and realize how very silly most actual arguing sounds. Life is simply too short to have anger and is really too short to hold on to it.

So next time you feel angry, either at yourself, your partner, your kids, your co-workers, your boss, or traffic remember two simple things... growl and spew. Enjoy!

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