Skip to content

Feeling Irritable? Here's What A Guru Recommends Doing To Lighten Up

Sarah Regan
August 19, 2023
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
August 19, 2023
We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.

Even the chillest among us get angry and irritable from time to time. Triggering moments are bound to happen, but what counts is how you handle it—and in the case of anger, how you blow off steam.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the world's largest meditation center, Kanha Shanti Vanam, where I was able to speak with the president of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission and master guru for Heartfulness meditation, Daaji.

And being the nature lover he is, it came as no surprise that he recommends the healing power of trees when it comes to dissolving your anger—here's why.

Why this guru recommends spending time with trees

According to Daaji, we have a complementary and symbiotic relationship with plants that can play a role in our health and wellbeing, if only we tap into it.

"Whenever you look at a tree or a flower, and you're around them, your inner being begins to resonate with it," Daaji tells mindbodygreen, adding, "So, whenever you meditate in such places, you find immense peace. Even though you may be disturbed, sitting in such an environment [...] calms you down."

Just as trees take in the carbon dioxide we give off, while providing the oxygen we need to breathe, Daaji says that same relationship exists on an energetic level, in which the tree can take in any negative energy you're holding onto and put it to use, while offering you positive energy in exchange.

In his experience, he's taken the help of trees by requesting this exchange. "It's always there, and somehow the universe or existence is created in such a way that it's complementary. Whatever we don't need, plants take it all," Daaji explains, noting that trees "absorb waste and give you the best."

So if you're looking to remove your irritability, stress, anger, and the like, he suggests, sleep under a tree for a few nights. Yep, sleep under a tree. If you require a tent, that works, though Daaji notes that directly on the ground would be best.

If that sounds like a bit of stretch, you can also sit under a tree and meditate. According to Daaji, the only stipulation here is that the tree trunk is no wider than your back. As he explains, trees have such potent energy that if you seek the assistance of a tree too large for you, you may not be able to hold its energy.

And of course, always request the tree's help before you begin, and thank it when you're done.

What the science says

If sleeping under a tree sounds too good to be true for getting rid of anger, we took the liberty of looking into the science for you. And based on existing research on forest bathing, meditating in nature, and green space, it would appear Daaji is onto something.

For one thing, in a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health1, it was found that participants who completed a forest therapy program showed "statistically significant increases in serotonin levels," as well as an increase in vitamin D, which both influence a positive mood. The authors note that forest therapy programs could even go so far as to prevent disease and improve quality of life.

In another study published in the journal Scientific Reports2, researchers found that participants' likelihood of reporting good health or high wellbeing became "significantly greater" when they spent at least two hours in nature per week.

And in terms of anger, frustration, and irritability, physician Eva Selhub, M.D. previously wrote for mindbodygreen that nature seems to act as a buffer that helps people cope better with life’s stressors3.

"By reducing chronic stress, it can contribute to better health overall," Selhub writes, adding that studies out of Japan4 have also found that certain chemicals in some trees can reduce stress hormones, lower anxiety, and improve blood pressure and immunity.

The takeaway

There are a whole host of reasons to spend more time in nature, from connecting with the Earth, to simply getting a breath of fresh air. And if you're someone who deals with anger, now you've got one more reason—and you might want to make friends with your neighborhood trees.

Sarah Regan author page.
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.