Pillow Punching – Good or Bad for Anger Management?
While pillow punching might seem like a good idea for, “letting off steam” and managing anger, hitting things while angry actually tends to have the opposite effect.
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Expressing anger is not always the best way to deal with it. In expressing anger we might be practicing or rehearsing it, and making it stronger in the depth of our consciousness. Expressing anger to the person we are angry at can cause a lot of damage.
Some of us may prefer to go into our room, lock the door, and punch a pillow. We call this “getting in touch with our anger.” But I don’t think this is getting in touch with our anger at all. In fact, I don’t think it is even getting in touch with our pillow.
If we are really in touch with the pillow, we know what a pillow is and we won’t hit it. Still, this technique may work temporarily because while pillow punching, we expend a lot of energy, and after a while, we are exhausted and we feel better. But the roots of our anger are still intact, and if we go out and eat some nourishing food, our energy will be renewed. If the seeds of our anger are watered again, our anger will be reborn, and we will have to punch the pillow again.
Pillow punching may provide some relief, but it is not very long-lasting. In order to have real transformation, we have to deal with the roots of our anger—looking deeply into its causes. If we don’t, the seeds of anger will grow again. If we practice mindful living, planting new, healthy, wholesome seeds, they will take care of our anger, and they may transform it without our asking them to do so.
Our mindfulness will take care of everything, as the sunshine takes care of the vegetation. The sunshine does not seem to do much, it just shines on the vegetation, but it transforms everything. Poppies close up every time it gets dark, but when the sun shines on them for one or two hours, they open. the sun penetrates into the flowers, and at some point, the flowers cannot resist, they just have to open up.
In the same way, mindfulness, if practiced continuously, will provide a kind of transformation within the flower of our anger, and it will open and show us its own nature. When we understand the nature, the roots of our anger, we will be freed from it.
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Read Next: A Meditation on Anger from the Dalai Lama
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If you enjoyed this post you can find more quotes, resources, and info from the book below:
By: Thich Nhat Hanh
Book Overview: In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. For him a ringing telephone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality. The most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as our next aware breath and the smile we can form right now.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: 13 Powerful Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes on Happiness, Anger, and Peace /// Focus on what’s going RIGHT – The Power of Mindfulness [VIDEO]. /// Don’t Miss the Flower – A Short Zen Story from Thich Nhat Hanh /// How to Handle Your Anger – A Mindfulness Exercise from Thich Nhat Hanh