[Podacst of the Week][12/3/18] Angry? Try Loving Kindness


pow120318Anger is one of the seven innate emotions. (Anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, trust, and joy are seven innate/primary emotions, meaning, not learned). Anger is also commonly seen feelings in the therapy room. Many clients said: “I don’t like myself getting angry.” Many spouses said: “I don’t talk to my partner because he/she gets angry.”

Somehow, we can’t avoid anger because it’s an innate, but we don’t like angry responses because it pushes people and ourselves away. 

I came across this series of the podcast by accident. In this podcast, Dan Harris from ABC news experiment with the “loving kindness” meditation and share his experiences. Then, the host cited a research study of the effectiveness of using “loving kindness” meditation to change the anger.

What I appreciate from this podcast is how Dan Harris shared his experiences with depression and anxiety candidly. He also shared how he used drugs to help with his anxiety and depression but ended up backfired and made him more frustrated and angry.

I also appreciated his candid share of how he noticed the “little angry guy” inside of him, just like his grandfather, and how he caught this little person soon enough to stop the angry outburst.

He also expressed that the loving-kindness meditation made him face his anger when he thought about the person he had the angry encounter. He noticed how his “little angry guy” feels and behaves.

The host reported a research study done in 2008 and stated that “the people in the loving kindness condition randomly assigned over the course of the eight weeks were reporting more positive emotions that we talk about on the science of happiness—things like more
gratitude more hope and even more awe and joy just in their daily lives.”

Anger is one of the natural emotions, which means we can’t get rid of it. The point is not to get rid of the anger but to experience more positive emotions in our daily lives. I will still be angry when someone crosses my boundary, but I can also experience different feelings instead of being consumed by anger.

Extended Readings/Links

The science of happiness Podcast

Loving-kindness meditation

Greater Good Magazine from UC Berkley


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