We’ve all had those days where something or somebody has left us absolutely fuming. Perhaps our first instinct is to run out of the office to release an almighty cathartic scream or call our best friend, however the situation simply won’t allow it. However, studies have shown that venting as a technique for managing anger isn't particularly effective anyway and tends to fan the flames rather than douse them.
Instead, try these three techniques at your desk to help release anger and remain calm.
1. Begin three-part breathing.
Bring yourself to a comfortable seated position. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your ribcage or chest. Begin to inhale deeply, so that you can feel your belly expand, then your ribcage expand and finally, sense the breath in your chest and throat.
When you're ready, slowly begin to exhale the breath completely as you consciously let go of anger, tension and negative feelings. Repeat six more times, gently deepening and lengthening the breath without strain. Aim to have the length of the inhalation equal to the length of the exhalation. Feel yourself regaining balance with each breath cycle.
2. Ground yourself by connecting with the earth.
Take your awareness right into your feet, and press your big toes down gently. Now begin to engage all four corners of your feet by bringing your awareness to the balls of your big toes, then your inner heels, then the balls of your little toes and then your outer heels. Notice that through this activation, you have created a dome in each of your feet.
Now as you inhale, visualize cooling water energy being drawn from the earth into your feet and up your legs. As you exhale, relax the toes slightly and let tension dissolve. Repeat six more times. You might also like to imagine a vibrant blue color being drawn into your body on an inhalation, and a murky dull blue color being released as you exhale.
3. Wring out the body with a seated spinal twist.
Again, ground down through your feet into the floor, and connect your sitting bones with your seat. Once the lower body feels anchored, inhale as you lengthen the spine. Imagine drawing fresh and vital energy down into the body to nourish the liver. Chinese medicine believes that anger injures the liver, so send nurturing energy directly there. When you are ready, exhale and slowly twist from the waist to your left.
Place your hands where they can help support the stretch and stay seated through both buttocks. Keep your chest broad and gently tuck your chin and gaze softly towards the floor. Imagine not only your physical body, but also your energetic body being wrung out of toxic thought and emotion. Don’t grip or hold onto your anger anymore, instead allow it to simply drain out of you with each exhalation.
Take three more deep breaths allowing yourself to relax more fully into the twist, without strain. When you are ready, exhale and slowly turn your head back to the center, then allow the rest of your body to follow. Repeat on the other side.
These are my three tips for releasing anger while at work. What techniques do you use to let go of negative emotions at the office?