Quick protocol for stopping “The Angry Rant”.
You know what I’m talking around. You walk around rehearsing the most brilliant ways to take down your enemy. One hundred times a day, you demolish their stance with a few cutting words that reveal just how bogus and unjust they really are!!! Your body is energized as though you are preparing to attack, and indeed, you are!
Do you really want to pump all that cortisol into your blood stream? Do you really need to keep reworking the same material? Is the situation even happening in present time? Have the last hundred times you’ve replayed the argument helped resolve anything?
I’m guessing the answer is no.
I worked with an Alexander Technique student to develop a quick protocol to curtail the ranting habit.
- When you notice yourself ranting, ask yourself what you feel in your body.
Alexander Technique Student: “I’m tensing my jaw and shoulders a lot.”
The moment you notice you have the chance to make a difference.
- Give yourself the wish, “Let me neck relax.”
Student: “I wish my neck to be quiet. I wish my neck to relax.”
Neck muscles are the first muscles to tense in response to stress. Reversing the stress reaction starts with relaxing the neck.
- See something in the room and describe it to your self.
Student: “I am looking at the square pattern in the curtain and the way the light moves through the fabric.”
Focusing on something external is an effective way to bring your mind back into the room and real time.
- Ask yourself whether you want to be ranting.
Student: “Do I need to be thinking about this right now? This situation isn’t happening right now.”
The more you practice, the easier you will find it to stop obsessive angry thoughts. Of course, you are always free to indulge in a rant. But now, that is your choice.
1. When you notice yourself ranting, ask yourself what you feel in your body.
2. Give yourself the wish, “Let me neck relax.”
3. See something in the room and describe it to your self.
4. Ask yourself whether you want to be ranting.
Several years ago I went on a silent meditation retreat on the heels of a messy breakup. Spending 14 hours a day constructing arguments with my ex-was far more compelling than following my breath. I explained my predicament to one of the teachers. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi, he looked straight in my eyes as he passed his hand through the air and said, “This isn’t happening right now.” With that one gesture, I understood that the only place in the entire world that the situation existed was in my mind. And, more importantly, I did not need to keep the situation alive by thinking about it.