Feelings of anger can arise in anyone as we go about our everyday lives. High amounts of anger are often tied to high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart diseases. Anger is known to have a negative effect on both our mental and physical well-being. Although, recent studies demonstrate that this may be preventable. “Mindfulness meditation” is drawing attention as it helps control our emotions while mitigating stress.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
In recent years, we hear more and more about the application of “mindfulness” practice in our everyday lives. In simple terms, mindfulness is a state of a calm and focused mind.
Mindfulness is deeply connected with East Asian philosophies of healing such as zen meditation and yoga. In the US, “Mindfulness-based stress reduction” has been presented to help with long-term stress and mental pain. Within all of the different categories of mindfulness, the most basic practice is “mindfulness meditation,” which is even recommended by medical institutions.
The basics of mindfulness meditation:
Count your breath as you inhale and exhale, and then slowly shift your attention to what you want to focus on. This process helps shift our focus away from negative thinking. If distracting thoughts emerge, recognize them and refocus. This entire practice allows you to learn how to manage and gain control over your thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation is a helpful tool for depression and anxiety too. You can read more about it from our past article.
Steve Jobs was a known practitioner of mindfulness and Apple allows employees 30 minutes daily to meditate at work. Big corporations like Google and Nike promote mindfulness meditation as a staple for employee development.
How Does Mindfulness Help With Anger?
The emotion of anger occurs as a defense mechanism. Excessive stress stimulates the amygdala in our brain, which carries our instincts and emotions, and puts our thought process on hold. This is why extreme anger clouds our judgments and understandings between good and bad.
Mindfulness meditation prevents this over-reaction of the amygdala and trains the brain for better emotional control.
We never know what may happen for us to overreact. Once we’re angry, objective judgments become impossible and we lose concentration. As the ability in quality communication decreases under anger, the danger for secondary causes for trouble increases as well.
Many of us can avoid a lot of trouble if we learned how to control our anger through mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness Helps With Relaxation
Mindfulness meditation seems to be effective in preventing extreme anger for a certain amount of time.
One study at a university asked students to practice mindfulness meditation for a week. The results showed that the amount of recalled angry emotions decreased and kept declining even 4 weeks after the experiment. At the same time, students were less easily triggered to feel anger, and this was also a declining tendency 4 weeks after the experiment.
Given the results, they surveyed how participants felt before and after the meditation. Most of them answered they felt uplifted after meditation. This indicates that mindfulness meditation brings relaxation when practiced.
Anyone Can Do It, Anywhere
We unexpectedly find ourselves in anger over the small things in life. There are many ways to prevent this, but we recommend mindfulness meditation as it minimizes the probability of anger at a sustainable level through practice.
Mindfulness meditation requires no special tools or specific location, has no conflict with any kind of religious beliefs or idealism. It’s an easy practice accessible to anyone. A little bit of work on it every single day ensures an increase in your well-being.
Don’t let anger dictate your every day, try mindfulness meditation for a change!
Hirano, M., & Yukawa, S. (2013). The impact of mindfulness meditation on anger. The Japanese Journal of Psychology, 84(2), 93–102. https://doi.org/10.4992/jjpsy.84.93