Recovery is a holistic process, meaning that we have to tend to our minds, our bodies, and our spirits in order to stay sober. Emotions are a holistic experience that we have every single day. We most often believe that emotions only live in the mind. Yet, we describe emotions as feelings, frequently as physical feelings. Emotions manifest in the body as much as the mind. Just like we live a holistic lifestyle to honor our sobriety, we live a holistic lifestyle to honor our emotional experiences, like anger. In our previous blog we discussed how getting better sleep and eating a healthy, balanced diet can lead to better anger management. Here, we’ll look at two more everyday activities where anger management is hidden in plain sight: exercise and meditation.
“A smile is one workout away!” professional trainers and athletes often quip charismatically. There is some science behind their claim. Exercise can produce endorphins which are feel-good happy hormones produced in the brain. Engaging in exercise means engaging the mind and the body at once. Anger can be all consuming. Thankfully, so can exercise. We can use our angry energy toward our exercise. Anger can be part of the fight or flight response and produce stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol as a result. We feel hot, heated, energetic, and fired up when we’re angry because our survival mechanism is activating in order for us to take action. Exercise expels our energy and helps us regulate stress in our mind. We are less prone to angry outbursts when we are consistently engaging our body in holistic activities which create momentum and peace.
Meditation is a scientifically proven spiritual practice for stress management. Anger is a reaction of stress, among many other things. Just five minutes of meditation a day has been shown to reverse the impact of inflammation caused by stress. Additionally, daily meditation helps the brain grow grey matter and synapses, ripe for obtaining and storing more knowledge. We feel less stressed, more calm, and more in touch with our feelings when we practice meditation. As a result, anger can no longer take control over us the way it once did.
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