Cohabiting with anger and frustration. Mindfulness Practice.

In life we all go through pleasant and unpleasant experiences, pleasurable and painful situations, moments of anger and frustration.

Learning to live with the pain and frustration that occurs sporadically as inevitable disappointments, unexpected situations, change or loss, is a needed art to live in the harmony and tranquility that we all desire. So learn to go through the storms of life anchored in a loving and unconditional presence, that is actually what we need to do to feel connected again and at peace.

In the flow of life, with its ups and downs, every experience has its time, its why and learning, although at first glance we resist to see it. Life in this sense is not the ‘perfect place’ we would like, if we see perfect as a place with no emotional pain, but a continuous flow of experiences to refuse or to open ourselves to, perpetuating pain or extracting some learning, as we choose one or the other attitude.

‘I used to be angry for everything: getting up, having to pee, having to meditate, having to cook, get dressed .. it was that old rage’, tells Edward Brown, Zen monk in the excellent film ‘How to cook Your Life ‘. ‘In Zen they say: when you have a piece of shit stuck to the nose, wherever you go, everything sucks: this kitchen stinks, this people stinks, this job sucks .. and they simply say: wash your face’. To Gestalt therapy this means: stop blaming your surroundings, take personal responsibility for what you feel. Change your perception, put the focus inward, understand where your anger comes from, allow yourself to feel it and close the circle. From that natural expression of anger, from that trust in what we are feeling, usually the right decision required for that situation arises. Clarity appears.

Often the anger we feel is not only for the present situation but accumulated rage from past experiences where we were not allowed to feel or express it, so we loaded resentments. In other cases we can not accept frustration because we were not taught to do, struggling with the situation by trying to change it. The painful thing is not to feel the anger or another difficult emotion, but to deny that we are living, either repressing it, expressing it against another or openly fighting against it. This invariably leads us to live separated from our heart. The problem is not that things are not as we want, but that because of this we separate ourselves from what we feel, protecting and distancing ourselves, creating more suffering.


Anger, like other emotions, is not bad in itself, it implies strength, determination, passion, strength that you can use in your life on your behalf or on behalf of others; what can be negative is the management that you make of it. As important as consciously express it is to learn to let go. Learn to live with it, without capsizing against others or swallowing it, involves an exercise of responsibility, acceptance, openness, understanding, allowing us to feel and then let go, which is the opposite of shutting down and / or blame others, which perpetuates the pain and takes us away from ourselves. A practice of mindfulness and self-pity that can be helpful in allowing us to open ourselves to what is and let go, connecting with our vulnerability underneath, is this:

Contact your breath, felt what you are feeling in your body and give some room for it, allowing yourself to feel it. Express it in the best way  you think of, without hurting yourself or others.
Put your hands where you feel the emotion, or in your heart.

Internally recognize and affirm: ‘this is a time of suffering, it is difficult for me’.
Be detached from mental contents that normally appear, justifying or fueling the excitement, just watching.
Recognize and affirm: “Everyone goes through this, I’m not alone, nor is it wrong to feel what I feel. It is natural and normal, it’s human. ”
Then you can say: may I be able to offer myself the compassion I need. May I be kind, gentle and respectful with me right now. You can say these phrases internally and / or allow other words who can support you in this moment.

The way we treat anything is the way we treat ourselves. If we respect what we are feeling, we respect ourselves, and that’s the best way to care for and give us comfort and tranquility naturally. Only if we nurture ourselves through every experience, moment by moment, we can nurture others, regarding everything as useful and beautiful, with an intention of love and care, to honor and respect everything, beginning with ourselves.

By Belén Giner

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