Every once in a while, some of my clients will come into my Sessions angry. And I mean fuming. So angry they can hardly speak, because whatever they might want to say would come out wrong.
They are angry because of the political situation they are in.
Angry because their mother said… or because their father didn’t…
Angry because they only just remembered the depth of their relationship trauma.
Or just plain angry because the world is seemingly going to pieces.
Here is what to do when you feel that kind of anger and it’s overwhelming for you: You go deeper.
- Open up your inner senses. Where in your body do you feel that anger? Is it in your solar plexus, in your heart, in your throat, behind you eyes, your ears, your forehead? Try to locate where it sits in your body.
- Then see if you can feel how big your anger is: Grape-sized? Like an orange? A melon? As big as your body?
- And now, do the counter-intuitive thing: Make it grow bigger. Breathe into your anger and expand its outer shell by a centimeter. Breathe again. Expand it by another centimeter. Breathe. Expand. Breathe. Expand. Until your anger is as big as it gets while you can still hold it, and not lose its energy. Feel the relief that comes with acknowledging your anger and allow it to just be there.
- Now scan your body and see if there’s another emotion in there somewhere. Is there any disappointment? Resignation? Shame? Loneliness? See if you can locate it: Where do you feel that second emotion? How big is it?
- While still holding your anger, repeat step 3 with that second emotion: Breathe. Expand. Breathe. Expand. Etc.
- At some point, your anger will burst. And your second emotion will burst, too. And the third one, etc.
- At the end of this exercise, you should be able to feel yourself in all your complexity. You will notice that you can give room to your emotions without losing yourself. On the contrary: You will feel how your personal sense of self expands.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Your anger has messages for you, and until you address those messages, it will probably feel messy and annoying. But allowing your anger to just be, for a moment, is a good start.