What's the deal with anger?
According to NHS Inform:
"Long-term, unresolved anger is linked to health conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and heart disease."
"How Common are anger problems: In a survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 32% of people said they had a close friend or family member who had trouble controlling their anger and 28% of people said they worry about how angry they sometimes feel.
Even though anger problems can have such a harmful effect on our family, work and social lives, most people who have them don't ask for help. In the same survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 58% of people said they didn't know where to seek help."
"What makes people angry? Anger is different for everyone. Things that make some people angry don't bother others at all. But there are things that make lots of us feel angry, including:
- being treated unfairly and feeling powerless to do anything about it
- feeling threatened or attacked
- other people not respecting your authority, feelings or property
- being interrupted when you are trying to achieve a goal
- stressful day to day things such as paying bills or rush hour traffic
Anger can also be a part of grief."
Can stretching exercises work for anger management?
At Bendable Body we know that stretches align with meridian channels and impact organs and emotional and psychological conditions.
There are 16 primary muscles groups in the body, 16 organs and 16 primary meridian channels (14 traditional and 2 contemporary). When it comes to psychology, these 16 are divided into what we call '4 Worlds'. This is not a new concept. I once read a psychiatrist describe humans as having '4 rooms' within them and that we spend most of our time in 1 or 2 of those rooms, but we have to learn to enter the other 2. So what are the worlds or the rooms within us and how does stretching play a role in all of this?
The 4 Worlds are PHYSICAL, THINKING, EMOTIONAL and SPIRITUAL:
Everyone has all 4 worlds within them, the question is which are developed and which are not. Only you can know that, but stretching can help you figure it out and also help you develop where you are lacking. The other question is: what do the 4 worlds have to do with anger?
Each world is associated with a number of high and low traits. The low traits can be transformed into the high traits when we achieve health. Not just mental health, but physical health as well... and that's where stretching comes in!
Speaking of 'physical' - the physical world is associated with love and anger. When this world is under developed in a person or if there is an injury or illness associated with an area of the body in this world or an organ in this world - it could result in anger issues. There are many strategies to help calm anger but one that we really like at Bendable Body is to stretch the 4 muscle groups associated with the physical world and anger. So if you are wondering: is stretching a good way to release anger? The answer is YES! Not only will stretching for specific muscle groups relieve anger, they will also help you to turn your anger into love, which is much better than trying to determine how to control anger.
The 4 organs and muscle groups in the physical world associated with anger are:
- Heart - chest and biceps
- Skin - back of shoulders and triceps
- Thymus - upper back and shoulders and triceps
- Lung - chest and biceps
Stretching guide to getting an emotional release and anger release:
If you are looking to stay calm in the face of anger or for calming breathing exercises to do to help with anger... that's all fine and good but we would like to make another suggestion.
Consider that anger doesn't turn into calmness but rather into love. And try the stretches associated with anger and see if they actually release your anger and allow you to feel more loving. The thing about Bendable Body that is really cool is it's a physical modality. You can do something, take an action, make a specific change to your physical body and then determine for yourself what result you got.
Though there are 4 muscle groups associated with anger, in this video we focus on one. The heart muscle group (biceps and chest).