Harboring Anger and Stress toward a Family Member or Co-Worker?

Try this Thought Experiment

When we hold onto anger and stress, it not only FEELS bad, it literally poisons us.

Anger is a defense mechanism that your body uses to help fight off a danger that can threaten your life, causing your brain to produce Adrenalin and Cortisol.  Short bursts of anger are natural--even healthy-- but when we hold on to anger and stress it can deplete your immune system, raise your blood pressure, hinder digestion, and cause havoc with heart, liver, and kidney functioning. Read more on physical effects of stress here.

Try this Thought Experiment
TO Ease Anger And Stress
You Are Feeling Toward someone
(But Want To Release)

Necessary disclaimer: Please do not attempt this anger release technique or any other visualization or relaxation exercise while driving or performing an activity that requires concentration.

  1. Identify a person you are feeling anger and stress toward but WANT to feel better about.
  2. Focus on your breath for a few minutes to clear your mind. Your eyes can be open or closed. Most people find it easier to relax and visualize with their eyes closed.
  3. Think about someone or something you love unconditionally. It could be a child or a pet that always makes you smile. When I think about my cat, Sophia, I can literally feel my heart opening. Just the thought of her makes me break into a smile.
  4. Imagine that person or pet standing in front of you as you feel this feeling of love and acceptance. Imagine sending out those feelings to him/her and he or she sends those feelings back to you. Some people find that they can visualize more easily if they see the feelings as rays of light. Experiment. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to connect with the love you already have inside of you.
  5. Once you are connected to those loving feelings, allow those good vibes to multiply and expand tenfold. And then another 10. Enjoy the feeling. 
  6. Bring in someone you feel neutral toward and direct those loving feelings to that person. Experience how it feels as they send you back rays of love and acceptance.
  7. If at any point you lose connection to the loving feelings, simply bring back the original subject to trigger those warm, open-hearted feelings again.
  8. Now bring in the person you feel anger and stress toward, and direct your loving, kind feelings to them. Feel them sending you those same vibrations. Notice how much better you feel when you let go of anger and stress and choose to love instead. 
  9. To fully heal your perspective on this relationship, consider the emotional flexibility exercise. You can find it here.

More About Relaxation, Anxiety and Stress Reduction

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