It's no secret that I am a fan of meditation, journalling, oracle and tarot cards, exercise and essential oils. But when it comes to feelings of anger, frustration, or bitterness, we can find ourselves sitting in those emotions and not expressing them or releasing them. Letting them fester. Boil under the surface, until we snap.
And we don't want that. It doesn't serve us, or those around us. (Sorry Mum for often bearing the brunt of my feisty explosions).
I don't believe in bandaids or quick fixes for emotions. I am a strong believer in letting yourself feel everything, so that it can then be moved through and released. While it can be painful initially, long term, learning to work through and express emotions in a healthy way will make for a much happier you!
So what is this 10 second method to release anger?
While there are lots of things you can do to help release frustration, screaming into a pillow being one of my favourites, this method can be done anywhere at any time and won't leave your coworkers looking at you like you need to be taken away in straightjacket.
And it's as simple as gratitude. You can't be angry (or sad), when you're feeling grateful.
There are so many benefits to having a daily gratitude practice including increased happiness, better overall health and well-being, stronger emotions, higher self-esteem and can deepen relationship with loved ones. While the best benefits will be seen when you practice gratitude for 5 minutes everyday (I practice it as part of my morning routine!), as little as 10 seconds can be enough to start shifting any negative emotions.
So if you're finding yourself feeling angry or frustrated, step back from the situation, maybe you go to another room or walk outside. Find a space where you feel comfortable.
Stand feet slightly apart, one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly, close your eyes and take a deep breath in. Into the belly, into the chest, and let out a big sigh as you exhale. Then, either out-loud or to yourself, say the top three things you are most grateful for in that moment.
They can be anything.
"I am grateful for the clean air I get to breathe each day". "I am grateful that I have a job that I love". "I am grateful for my best friend". "I am grateful for my new shoes".
Your statements don't have to be existential. They aren't what you think you should say based on fear of what others might think of you. They can be as personal as you want (or need) them to be. The only thing they must be, is true. Say what you are truly most grateful for in that moment, and let that feeling of gratitude fill you up.
If you go outside to do this, take off your shoes if possible. Standing on the grass to do this will have you feeling even better as you will be getting some "grounding", or "earthing", at the same time!
And that's all that there is to it. In as little as ten seconds, you can feel your mood shifting. If you were to keep going for another 2-5 minutes, it is entirely possible to have your negative emotions dissipate entirely.
Other powerful ways to move any bad energy or shift negative emotions are:
1. Have a pity party dance off. Put on your favourite song, and dance, jump and shake around. Movement is one of the best ways to move your shit. And it can be really fun! Kat John has started something epic called #zftuesday where every Tuesday people around the world put on a song and free their shit through movement. So if you haven't ever participated, definitely check that one out!
2. Go for a walk or run. And not just on a treadmill at the gym. Go to the beach or to the park and get among nature. Exercise releases endorphins, and being in nature is so good for us for so many reasons. So get your running shoes on!
3. Journal. While this one might take a little longer than putting on your favourite 4 minute pop song, it's a really good way to not just release anger, but to express anything and everything that might be going on for you.
4. Puppy therapy. Or any animal really. Having pets has been shown to increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. So if you have a furry friend at home, maybe some cuddle time is just what the doctor ordered. If you don't have pets, maybe one of your Besties does, and a visit may be in order. Which brings us to...
5. Friends and family. While it's definitely not advisable to bore and frustrate them to death by venting and complaining to them whenever you're going through something, having a support network is great thing. Spending time with loved ones is so important, for so many reasons, but especially when you are working through things. You are not alone. So reach out for support if you need it.
6. Essential oils. I know I talk about oils ALL THE TIME, but it's for good reason. There is a lot of science to show the power essential oils have over our emotions. In times of anger, stress or sadness I will often reach for the emotional aromatherapy blends Console or Peace. Otherwise, when in doubt, get your Frankie out! Frankincense can lift your energetic vibration in less than 2 minutes, supporting you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Life is no fun when you're angry. I hope that the next time you are overwhelmed, or overrun, with negative emotions you are able to step back and take a breath and give some gratitude.