Dealing With Anger When You Are Grieving

The first Reiki Principle says: “Just for today: Do not anger.” Mikao Usui wrote, “Anger at others or oneself or at the whole world, creates serious blockages in one’s energy. It is the most complex inner enemy. Reiki is an excellent tool to remove anger blockages which have accumulated in the body. Letting go of anger brings peace into the mind.”

Anger and Grief

Anger is a basic human emotion. People get angry. No one is immune. Anger usually stems from holding on to the past and not letting it go. This is why I believe it tops the Reiki principles list. You just keep holding on. You can’t let go. Anger begins to drag you through life. But who is your anger really hurting? No one but yourself. It builds up inside of you and creates blockages in your energy. The long-term emotional effects of anger can result in anxiety, constant irritability and rage. The physical effects of these blockages can lead to heart attacks and strokes Not only does anger affect you but it also affects those around you.

When you are grieving it is not unusual to feel angry. Angry at your loved one who has died. Angry at the medical establishment for not saving them. Angry at yourself for not doing more. It begins to take over your heart. How could this happen? Everyone and everything begins to make you angry. The guy still crossing the street when the light turns green. The cashier at the grocery store who is talking to each and every customer in their line. The coworker who is late to an important meeting. As a result, pain, hurt, and resentment start to boil over. No one or nothing is immune. Left untreated, anger is dangerous. It can ruin your physical, emotional and spiritual health. You have to discover the underlying reasons why you are so angry. Once you understand these reasons you can do something about it.

How To Deal With Anger

Here are some suggestions to help you to better deal with anger:

Take Responsibility. You are the only one responsible for how you react to someone or something. No one can “make” you feel a certain way. That falls on you. Take responsibility for the role you play in creating your own anger.

React Differently. Instead of automatically going to your “angry” place, try a different approach. First go to your “happy” place. This will ultimately have better results.

Walk Away. Stepping away from anger may defuse the situation. Go for a walk around the block. This gives you some time to think about what’s going from a different vantage point.

Face It. Face your anger head on. Accept it’s there and you have to deal with it. Don’t ignore it in the hopes it will go away. Usually it doesn’t.

Feel It. Don’t let anger build up to the point you “explode” in a physical, emotional or spiritual rage. Let yourself cry, scream or shout to the heavens so you can ultimately let it go.

Be Compassionate. Develop empathy for yourself and others. Once you do, empathy becomes compassion. Having compassion takes you out of your own shoes and puts you into the shoes of another. This makes it easier to see the situation from another person’s perspective.

Stop Taking Things Personally. In The Four Agreements, one of my favorite authors Don Miguel Ruiz writes, “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” You can feed your anger when you take things personally. Don’t put yourself in that situation.

Don’t make decisions. Any decisions you need to make should never come from a place of anger. If you do, you will usually regret it later. Defer decisions until you have had a chance to calm down and/or diffuse your emotions. You’ll be thankful you did.


Excerpt from Grief Reiki – An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss, Chapter 6, Letting Go.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!