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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Staying Peaceful in an Angry World - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

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Brandon created the topic: Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

As Jedi we strive to live in peace, but there are many angry people among us in the real world. How does one learn to not allow themselves to succumb to the pressure and use anger themselves? How does one focus on staying peaceful and not letting things get to them?
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Jax replied the topic: Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

A useful question. You'll get a lot of information back in some form or another. I'm going to share some really short answers to give you something to think about.

When I read this, the underlying question is this: How do I keep other people's energetic state from affecting my energetic state? (All emotions are energetic states.)

Very few of us are taught that we have the choice as to whether someone else affects us or not. Since we don't, we never learn to allow others to be whatever they are. From an energetic perspective, I visualize it a bit like this. A person is radiating some energy, in this case anger. Our body sensing that energy. It communicates what it senses by 'feeling' that energy. Since it can't say "this is what someone else is feeling", we mistake this message as instead saying "I am angry". This isn't true, but we don't learn to speak the language of the body very often in life, so we misunderstand. Now we are feeling angry and don't know why. In this case, they affect us and we don't realize it is their anger to begin with. To address this you can start by realizing that just because we feel something, it doesn't have to be ours. More often then not, what we feel is someone else's energy, passed along through our body as a message. Just realizing this begins to free you from the affects of other people's energy. Just ask, Is this mine or someone else's? I find it starts to ease up when I ask this and it belongs to someone else. The next thing I do is consciously say to myself, this isn't mine, I don't have any reason to hold onto it. I relax and let it pass through me. Another way is to 'return to sender' the energy you received.

Another example is that, while we recognize that someone else is angry, we may have been conditioned that anger is directed at us, and it is something to fear. Then, any time we sense anger, we react in fear, assuming we are in danger. The reaction from conditioning keeps us from realizing that the person is simply angry, that it has nothing to do with us, and need not affect us. Here, recognizing that you are responding to past conditioning helps. I find this situation harder to relax from, personally, as it takes time to calm down the fight/flight instinct. Lots of breathing and observing my internal dialog helps. Also, asking if I'm actually in danger. It's rare for me to actually be in danger.

All examples are about self awareness. As soon as you realize that you are experiencing an emotional state, stop. Breathe. Start asking questions. Is this mine? Am I reacting to past conditioning? Is this beneficial? Sometimes I want to stay angry a bit and vent. But usually it's not something I want to choose, so I do a lot of breathing. As long as you are aware that someone else's emotions are in play, ask yourself if you really want to choose to be affected by them. Are you going to be a victim or choose different? As soon as people stop to ask questions like this, they regain their power and find others affect them less.

Does that make sense? Please ask questions (this goes for everything, please ask for clarification on anything that you don't understand.)
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

Be mindful.

Here at the IJRS we strongly suggest learning to meditate. And breathing.

Some major studies on meditation (as reported in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine) claimed meditation can indeed be a powerful painkiller. Not only that, it also said that practising mindfulness for just half an hour a day can offer people with depression as much relief as popping a pill. This review of previous studies found regular meditation could alleviate symptoms of depression as well as conventional anti-depressants. The same study also highlighted its power to help people cope with the after-effects of cancer treatment, such as exhaustion, nausea and systemic pain. It does this by dissolving anxiety and stress while also boosting the immune system.

And you do not have to be a 50 year 'guru' style pro. Even 'beginners who knew nothing about meditation' got some real results in a short time. (I have to assume 'short time' is 6 weeks to 3 months... since nearly every 'thing' I've been told to practice was for 'at least' 3 months...)
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Jax replied the topic: Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

Brandon, do you have a specific situation in mind? Is there a time when this is harder for you than others? For instance, family vs strangers?
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

So... what is 'mindfulness'?

Mindfulness is a very simple form of meditation.

A typical meditation consists of focusing your full attention on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focusing on each breath in this way allows you to observe your thoughts as they arise in your mind and, little by little, to let go of struggling with them. You come to realise that thoughts come and go of their own accord; that you are not your thoughts. You can watch as they appear in your mind, seemingly from thin air, and watch again as they disappear, like a soap bubble bursting. You come to the profound understanding that thoughts and feelings (including negative ones) are transient. They come and they go, and ultimately, you have a choice about whether to act on them or not.

Mindfulness is about observation without criticism; being compassionate with yourself. When unhappiness or stress hover overhead, rather than taking it all personally, you learn to treat them as if they were black clouds in the sky, and to observe them with friendly curiosity as they drift past. In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they tip you into a downward spiral. It begins the process of putting you back in control of your life.

Over time, mindfulness brings about long-term changes in mood and levels of happiness and wellbeing. As noted in the previous post, scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but that it also positively affects the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress, depression and irritability so that when they arise, they dissolve away again more easily. Other studies have shown that regular meditators see their doctors less often and spend fewer days in hospital. Memory improves, creativity increases and reaction times become faster.

Despite these proven benefits, however, many people are still a little wary when they hear the word ‘meditation’.
So before we proceed, it might be helpful to dispel some myths:

• Meditation is not a religion. Mindfulness is simply a method of mental training. Many people who practise meditation are themselves religious, but then again, many atheists and agnostics are keen meditators too.

• You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor (like the pictures you may have seen in magazines or on TV), but you can if you want to. Many people who go to classes sit on chairs to meditate, but you can also practise bringing mindful awareness to whatever you are doing, on buses, trains or while walking to work. You can meditate more or less anywhere.

• Mindfulness practice does not take a lot of time, although some patience and persistence are required. Many people soon find that meditation liberates them from the pressures of time, so they have more of it to spend on other things.

• Meditation is not complicated. Nor is it about ‘success’ or ‘failure’. Even when meditation feels difficult, you’ll have learned something valuable about the workings of the mind and thus have benefited psychologically.

• It will not deaden your mind or prevent you from striving towards important career or lifestyle goals; nor will it trick you into falsely adopting a Pollyanna attitude to life or 'steal you away' from any theological/philosophical/religious life you already practice.

Meditation is not about accepting the unacceptable. It is about seeing the world with greater clarity so that you can take wiser and more considered action to change those things which need to be changed. Meditation helps cultivate a deep and compassionate awareness that allows you to assess your goals and find the optimum path towards realising your deepest values.

So, relax. Breathe. Enjoy a moment of stillness even if the s**tstorm is blowing the walls down. Amazingly, you will soon find that maybe it's not such a 'storm' after all.
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Brandon replied the topic: Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

Jax; it is a little bit of both. I'm not sure if I should tell my full story in depth here or if I should PM you this, but basically it is both family and non at the same time. Also, with what you were saying before, how do you focus on it when the anger is swirling around you and you don't really have any place to isolate yourself entirely from it to allow yourself to meditate and allow it to go away?
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Jax replied the topic: Re:Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

I won't claim it's easy, but even regaining some calm is worth the effort.

What have you tried so far? What has helped at least partially?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - Please forgive typos
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Brandon replied the topic: Re:Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

I know it's not. I have tried to isolate myself from the issues and keep myself away from the conflict, but that only works partly. Other than that I haven't really tried anything else
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Atticus replied the topic: Re:Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

What Jax and Kol already said is what I need to hear and remember when I'm in similar situations. I just want to add that I have found you can use nonverbal communications skills on yourself as well as the angry person you're dealing with.

As an example, when someone is angry and/or aggressive, frequently they will widen their stance to take up more territory, raise themselves up a little on the balls of their feet, puff up their ribcage to seem larger. When you're faced with someone like that, you can sometimes help defuse things by doing what they do in reverse. Hold your feet closer together and stand up straight without bouncing or puffing up. Even cross your ankles to show that you're at all on guard against a physical attack. Not only does this send a signal to the other person's limbic brain that you are not going to meet them anger for anger, are not afraid of them, it also has an effect on your own mood -- "fake it 'til you make it" actually works with body language. What happens if you puff up like they do? You find yourself feeling aggressive as well, right? Do the opposite. Show nonverbal cues associated with calm and comfort instead, and you'll begin to feel it. Then you have the space to breathe and examine your feelings.

"Right speech is about establishing productive and honest communication that is beneficial to both the speaker and the hearer. . . . Right speech requires the use of truthful, loving words intended to inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope in others." -- The Dharma of Star Wars
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re:Staying Peaceful in an Angry World

And sometimes the 'oldies' are still good advice...

Take a deep breathe and silently count to ten. Or if someone is being a total jerk... twenty.

Really want your brain to NOT respond to the 'anger hot button'?
Learning to count to ten in Japanese. By making your mind 'redirect' it's effort -- you bypass the normal 'responses' with a non-aggressive alternative. Heck, in no time at all, you might work up to learning 1 to 10 in several different languages!

And I'm not just blowing smoke, Thomas Jefferson -- a very sharp guy and one time president once wrote --

"When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, a hundred."


The medical types say this is 'good stuff' -- why? -- "The familiar technique of counting to 10 not only provides the time needed for delay but also offers a distraction from the anger-arousing event," says Dan Johnston PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Ga.. "While busily counting, we are not mentally adding fuel to the fire of anger by mulling over whatever happened."

Counting to 10 becomes an even more effective way of disarming anger if we also take a slow deep breath between each number, Johnston adds. "Deep breathing counteracts the fight or flight stress reaction that underlies anger. Deliberately taking a slow, deep breath not only brings a soothing sense of relaxation, but also helps us to focus our attention in the present moment."

The "energy" of anger often leads to impulsive behavior that only aggravates an already tense situation. If given enough time to cool off, however, most people can learn to control their initial impulses.

So, breathing, counting and even just taking 3 seconds to close you eyes and breathing 3 deeper breathes... can take the 'edge off' so you can skip the anger response and maybe get a handle on the situation a little.

PLUS... consider all that Jax and Atticus posted!
They are some sharp dudes / dudettes.
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