The Ultimate Anger Release Technique to Break into Hatred, Grudges and Revenge
Author: Lynne Namka, Ed. D.
(This article is excerpted from my book – Your Quick Anger Makeover Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger!)
Of the Seven Sins, anger is possibly the most fun.
To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past,
To roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontation to come —
To savour the last toothsome morsel of both the pain you are giving
and the pain you are getting back,
In many ways it is a feast fit for a king.
The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself.
The skeleton at the feast is you.
— Fredrich Buechner
We think of anger as one emotion, but actually it’s a catch-all reaction for many other jumbled-up feelings. Big anger is extremely complex! The more intense emotions you carry, the more you look for reasons to be upset and guess what? What you look for you will find. In the search and watch-out mode, you narrow your attention, looking for objects of danger that may not be real. With the anger chip on your shoulder, you can misperceive neutral situations. To continue chewing on unhappy memories only leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Revenge and rage consume you.
We all have had experiences in life that hold the opportunity for us to become bitter or deal with the disappointment and move on. Continuing to dwell on sourness because someone wronged you creates stress in your body and upsets your brain chemistry and serotonin level. Bitter musings cost a happy life; you become ruled by your intense emotions and not by your logical mind.
Intense anger is so complex and challenging to release because there are so many other emotions that accompany it or hide underneath it. But the million-dollar questions to ask yourself are, “Do I want to be bitter or better as a result of that experience?” “Do I want to live in love or fear?” The Big Anger technique that breaks into destructive beliefs called memes is described below. It is an Energy Psychology technique that addresses both the body and mind to break into hostility by factoring out the different emotions that keep the total anger load stuck. Remember the purpose in doing this exercise is to help you overcome a resentment that may be legitimate and to help you move on from your pain.
This next exercise is long, but rage, grudges and hatred are layered and you are the one being hurt now by the complexity of your unresolved feelings. Its purpose is to get you back to your ‘heart of hearts’ where you can remember the truth of your innocence that was there before you were harmed. This is a great technique for couples with anger issues to do together several times. Anger is always a cry for love. The Hatred, Grudges and Revenge Release Technique will help release your severe anger at the body and mind level.
The Hatred, Grudges and Revenge Release Technique
Think of a situation where you feel an injustice has been done to you that you continue to dwell on. Some value of yours was trespassed. Think of what happened and complete this sentence: “People are not supposed to _____ to other people.” There is a disparity between your belief and the reality of what happened to you. Think about your belief that “This wasn’t fair.” See the event in your mind’s eye and allow any feeling to come up.
Rate the angering event on a scale of one to ten for distress, with ten being the highest level of being upset. Ask yourself, “Do I want to remain angry or do I want peace of mind?” Set your intention for change to release disturbing thoughts and feelings and to forgive yourself for wanting to harm someone else. As you tap, notice any place where there is tenderness or pain–this may be an area where energy is stuck and you need to spend more time tapping.
- Irritation and Overwhelmed: Tap briskly on the inside of your eyebrows at the bony ridge of the eye sockets above the upper bridge of your nose. Think of feeling irritated and overwhelmed by the wrong that was done to you and breathe into this area. Forgive yourself for having these challenging emotions. This is the Bladder 2 acupressure point and also an allergy point that often becomes tender in people when they are irritated.
- Resentment: Think of the resentment that you feel about the injustice. Rub your temples on both sides of your head with a circular motion and then tap sharply. Think of the energy that it takes to hold onto resentment and breathe it out. The Gall Bladder Meridian that runs around the temple area and around the ears represents resentment and frustration. You are rubbing Gall Bladder 14.
- Frustration: Think of being frustrated and feeling out of control about the event. Cup your fingers and tap around your ears. Think of letting go of frustration as it truly doesn’t help you. You are the one being hurt by holding onto frustration. You are tapping Gall Bladder point 8 through 12, and Triple Warmer points 18 through 21.
- Bitterness and Hatred: Tap at the outside of your nostrils and breathe in deeply. Think about your inflexibility, bitterness, regret, guilt and the inability to forgive. Do not judge yourself for the mind trap you put yourself in. Forgive yourself as you have done the best you could until now. You are tapping Large Intestine 19 associated with holding on to negative beliefs.
- Fear of Being Hurt Again: Tap on your collarbone and take a sharp breath and hold it for awhile before letting it out slowly. Forgive yourself for holding onto the grudge to protect yourself from being harmed again and resolve to avoid situations of harm. You are tapping Kidney 27 which holds the emotion of fear.
- Feeling Stuck: Tap on the fleshy part of the back of your hand in the indentation between your thumb and index finger. Focus on holding on the grudge. Change hands and tap on the same area of the other hand. You are tapping Large Intestine 4 that helps release tough ego attachments and the fear of letting go of dogmatic thinking.
- Anger: Think of what you tell yourself that causes self-angering. For example, “It’s not fair that he gets away with _____.” Go straight down your body from your nipples and tap firmly on your lower front ribs and take a deep breath. Think of anger and breathe into this point. Anger is an energy that wants to move. Forgive yourself for having angry feelings which are normal when you have been betrayed. Forgive yourself for any harm that you have done to others. This point is Liver Meridian 14 which holds the emotion of anger.
- Betrayal and Injustice: Think of the belief of how you were hurt. Tap the sides of your body firmly at your waist down from the armpits on the lower ribs. We are all capable of doing things that betray and hurt others. Allow the feelings of injustice and the hurt feelings to slowly melt away. Forgive yourself for being a normal human being who wants justice to be served after being wronged. This point is Liver Meridian 13 which also stores anger.
- Surprise and Shock: Tap on the inside of your little finger at the inside of the nail. Breathe deeply and forgive yourself for feeling surprised and shocked by what happened to you. Repeat on your other little finger and forgive yourself for being so overwhelmed. Surprise, shock and forgiveness are some of the emotions indicated by the Heart Meridian. You tap Heart 9 at the inside of the little finger.
- Hurt and Sadness: Tap your two thumbs together at the nail. Feel any sadness about the event. Breathe into any feelings of hurt and sadness that come up. You are tapping Lung Meridian 11 which holds loss, sadness, regret, and anguish.
- Injustice to Self with Self-Angering Beliefs: Use your fist to beat on your heart gently but firmly while breathing deeply. This is the Thymus Thump procedure which puts a strong vibration into the thymus gland and the heart. Think of your pride of holding onto anger and hatred. Forgive yourself for wanting to hurt the other person as you were hurt. Focus on how holding on to anger hurts you now more than the other person. Tap into your heart that wants forgiveness.
- Anger at Yourself and Self-forgiveness: Tap on the inside of your little finger while saying, “I forgive myself for harboring any grudges and hatred. Even though I’ve held a belief that an injustice was done to me, I do a greater injustice to myself by holding onto strong feelings about what happened.
- Do the Thymus Thump again pounding near your heart with your fist and say out loud:
I choose to let go of hatred and the belief that justice must be served according to my specifications. I choose to move on with my life and not give energy to something from the past that I cannot change. I choose to release my belief that life must be fair. I choose to release all feelings and beliefs of harm. I forgive myself and I am a good person who deserves peace from this issue.
- Check your distress level again to see if it has gone down. Repeat the exercise several times until your anger level goes down to a one or two. Repeat the exercise with the belief that “Life isn’t fair” because this happened. Try to remember an earlier time in your life when you felt a similar injustice.
- Think of a memory of your parents doing something that seemed unfair. Maybe they broke a promise or treated your sibling differently. Of course life is not fair. Holding onto beliefs that it must be will only bring you misery. Soften and forgive yourself and tell yourself that you are a good person even though you have strong feelings. Go through the exercise about the earlier memory.
One woman reported her experience using this technique to release the depth of her anger at her ex-husband, “This first time through, I didn’t accomplish peace–too much was running through my mind. The second time through, concentration was more streamlined and I could breathe out the pain that was stored up inside. By the third time, I felt release. The breathing was calm and the bridge of my nose didn’t hurt as bad as before. The tension released. The anger subsided. Thank you.”
Rage, revenge and retaliation as well as hate are powerful emotions to be understood, brought into balance and harnessed. Transformed they can bring calmness to your life and an increase in self-esteem. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni gives a strong metaphor for transforming rage: “I haven’t figured it out myself, what you reach for when the consolation of righteous rage no longer consoles you. But I hope it grows into a tree so huge its roots crack the foundation of the old palace. I hope the wind blows its seeds across the land, giving birth to more trees and more so… travelers everywhere will rest under their shade, and bless that which comes after vengeance.” Life becomes much more rewarding when you leave your mission of vengeance to the super heroes in Marvel comics and the action movies.