Many years ago I decided to try therapy because I was dealing with depression due to the break-up of a long-term relationship. My therapist having known that I felt down for an extended period said “you may feel depressed, but chances are you’re just really angry.” She went on to explain that depression and anger are closely tied together. Although depression can be a clinical diagnosis that requires professional care, it may also be caused by unexpressed anger or resentment towards somebody or something.
She was right, I had been building up resentment towards life for shattering my dreams, killing the storybook ending, and putting out my fire. I had let it build up with no way of expressing it or letting it out which led to a deep emotional pain.
I have since learned that there are healthy ways to express anger so that it doesn’t stew or lead to ongoing feelings of paralysis.
We all have troubling times and our emotions may range from discouragement to depression, or from frustration to feeling so angry that we lash out at those we love or get physically violent.
If you’ve been consistent with your spiritual practice, chances are these episodes will happen less or perhaps not as intense as they once were. But the truth is, life can be a rollercoaster and we have no choice but to go on the ride. It is how we deal with and sit through that ride that creates our life experience.
Studies have shown that ongoing, unresolved anger may lead to certain diseases such as heart attack, stroke, or cancer. There is a powerful link between stressful emotions and our physical health. But the good news is that it’s not too late to do something proactive especially if you’ve been dealing with *extreme anxiety, depression, or anger.
Sometimes when we’re in this state, we don’t feel like doing anything at all. But if you can muster up the energy, here are some helpful actions that you can take to go deeper and uncover these heavy emotions once and for all. When we can gain an understanding and become conscious of their existence, we come to realize that underneath all of it is our natural state of joy, bliss, relaxation, balance, unconditional love, and gratitude.
Exercise – One of the best ways to expel anger is to push yourself through an exercise routine. Running or cardio training is particularly effective at clearing the mind and eliminating negative self-talk. Exercise of any type releases feel-good endorphins and helps us to feel better.
Punch a Pillow – Sometimes anger needs to be expressed and we don’t always have an outlet. The best way to let out the built up tension is by punching a pillow over and over again while screaming at the top of your lungs. What may seem extreme at first, you’ll find will dissipate the anger leaving you feeling more relaxed and calm afterwards.
Breath Practice – I teach both group class and one-on-one transformational breath sessions and along with the breath work, we always let out a few screams during each session too. Deep breathing is the quickest and most effective way to access stifled emotions and pain. It opens the channels for you to heal on all levels of body, mind, and spirit and makes way to feelings of euphoria and bliss.
Meditation – Sometimes meditation can feel agonizing for those suffering from depression or anger because our mind and ego gets in the way. With practice, we can learn to de-clutter our minds and release pent up emotions. Combining breath work with meditation is the ideal combination.
Yoga – Yoga is the perfect mix of physical activity and mindfulness. Find a class that resonates with you and one that you enjoy. Like any spiritual practice, yoga will help to uncover blocks, fears, and unresolved emotion that may have been lingering for years.
Karate – Another great physical activity that helps to release anger is Karate. The combination of physical force and mental focus gets you out of your head and into your center, the core of who you are.
Boxing – While I am not a huge advocate of fighting, a healthy boxing practice, even solo with a bag is an awesome way to expel built up emotion along with giving you a great workout.
Dancing – Movement of any kind often helps with anger. Dancing to your favorite music playing loudly in the background may be just the thing you’ve been needing. Lose yourself in the music and dance like nobody is watching. Research a group called Ecstatic Dance in your area or plan a night out with friends.
Remove Yourself – Sometimes we will need to make physical changes such as leaving an abusive relationship with somebody who pisses us off regularly. Or perhaps seeking out a new job that has a more positive environment may be just the thing you need to do. Know that you are never stuck in a situation and that forward movement is possible. You just need to take the first steps.
*Make sure to speak with your doctor if you’ve been experiencing ongoing feelings of extreme depression, anger, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Every one of us has made new year’s resolutions at some point in our lives. Many of us have kept them but all too often, let’s face it, they’re left behind somewhere by February or March because we’re too busy and have lost the incentive to follow through.
But what’s really going on below the surface is that our subconscious mind is sabotaging our success. Whether we want to lose 10 pounds, earn more money, spend less, or meet the mate of our dreams, what we desire in our conscious minds means very little if our subconscious is running the show.
We get messages early on in our lives about important topics such as money, love, and sex for example. We’re taught by our parents and other influential adults how to navigate these areas of our life. We learn by example and what we see and hear sets up these beliefs at an early age. It ends up that no matter what we want on the outside as grown-ups, these often-limiting attitudes take over causing continual broken dreams and disappointments.
So, how can we stop this from happening once and for all? How can we finally keep our resolutions instead of hitting the wall yet again and feeling the ongoing sense of failure and frustration?
Get to the Bottom of it – For each resolution, make a list of the top 5 negative thoughts that come to mind. For example, if you’d like to earn and save more money, journal about your feelings on the topic such as “if I make additional income, I’ll have to work harder and never see my friends” or “if I budget, then I’ll constantly be stressed and anxious and not enjoy my life.” Whatever comes up, it is time to get it out and into the open for healing. Write down the contradictory feelings on each topic that are getting in the way.
Seek Help – Once you’ve uncovered your subconscious beliefs that are blocking your forward movement, seek an expert who can help. Find a therapist, hypnotist, healer, or coach who can help you move through these old, unhealthy patterns in order to let them go once and for all. Change is possible! Make this the year that you finally break free.
Make a Plan – If you set goals for the new year then you must also make a plan. Nothing will get accomplished if you just wish for it. It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process but you must work backwards from your long-term goal or resolution, breaking it up into smaller and more achievable steps. Start with the outcome you’d like in one year and then create actions for the month, week, and each day in order to succeed.
Be Accountable – Make sure to check in regularly. How far are you coming along with your goals? Find somebody who you can be accountable to, perhaps an accountability partner who is also looking to keep their resolutions. Set up regular weekly or monthly meetings and do it as a team. If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, go back and re-evaluate and perhaps set more attainable steps for you to take.
Celebrate Your Wins – Take time to celebrate your accomplishments! Too many times we sail through our successes without truly acknowledging and appreciating them. When we have big goals it’s easy to overlook the small wins along the way. Give thanks, soak in the gratitude, and be more present to enjoy even the smallest of victories.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
If you’re like most people, you pop out of bed each morning, check your phone, emails, and social media and then hurry about with your usual morning routines without much of a conscious thought.
It is so easy to fall into this repetitive cycle and while some regularity is important, it may be time to re-think how you begin your day. The morning is quite possibly the most important time of all! How we start our day defines how it will unfold for us. If we begin feeling frantic, hurried, and caught up in the rat race from the day before, it is almost guaranteed that the hours ahead will follow suit.
As a wellness coach, creating a morning practice is something that I emphasize with all of my clients. Taking time each morning to get centered, calm, and for reflection is something that I have done each day for the past 20 years. I am convinced that this practice alone will completely transform your life for the better.
If you’re ready for a change and if you’re looking to improve your life and get in touch with that deeper part of you where all of the answers lie, begin incorporating the following for at least 40 minutes each morning and get ready for a shift:
- Meditation – We have all heard about it, perhaps even tried it, and we know the benefits. But sticking with it can be challenging. Meditation is proven scientifically to reduce stress and re-wire our brains making us happier, healthier, and more centered. Try using an app on your phone like CALM, which makes it easier than ever to commit to your meditation practice. Even 15 minutes per day has awesome benefits. Commit for 7 days and note how you feel along the way.
- Journaling – This is one of my favorite daily practices. Writing gets things out of your head and onto paper. This act alone removes the “clutter” from our minds allowing us to feel more clear and calm. Also by revisiting your old journals from time to time, it will help you to begin seeing destructive or unhealthy patterns and will make you more conscious of how much you’ve grown. Using a journal to list all of the things that we are grateful for also shifts our energy and helps us focus on what is going right rather than on what is wrong.
- Vision Work – If you have read about quantum physics then you’ll know that everything around us is made up of energy. The law of attraction goes on to say that what we see in our minds, believe is possible, and what we desire can and will manifest for us. By taking time each day to visualize and feel the life that we dream of, it messages the Universe to get busy bringing us all that we desire.
- Prayer – While I am not a religious person, I do believe in a Higher Power. Regardless of what your beliefs, taking time to connect to the Source no matter what you call it is vital. Not only take time to ask for guidance and assistance, but give thanks too for all of your current blessings.
- Uplifting Words – I’ll repeat, how we start our day defines how it unfolds. Reading uplifting books or watching videos filled with inspiration, hope, and optimism first thing in the morning sends our subconscious mind messages of positivity throughout our day. It’s so easy to get disconnected from the “feel good” energy but when we plug in each morning, it reminds us of one truth; that we are meant to feel good and to live lives filled with joy, hope, health, abundance, and energy!
Creating a morning practice has never been more important. With the increase in daily distractions, negativity in the news, and stresses of day-to-day life, our body, mind, and spirit is yearning for this vital time to re-charge, re-energize, and re-connect.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness, and lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger, and Feel Better!