Roar Your Way to Inner Peace

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator

Ever lost your temper and regretted it? Felt trapped and more easily agitated since the lockdowns and isolation? Tried to hold your anger in but only felt like blowing up?

You’re not alone.

And we have a webinar, designed especially for you, to help you release your anger, control and express these emotions in an unharmful way, and relax in general.

At the end of April, MCIS collaborated with Jelena Kovacevic, a professional writer and a devoted student of the human psyche, and hosted a free webinar, “Release Your Roar: Anger as a Means of Self-Realization.” Through the roaring session, attendees participated in some self-liberating activities and exercises in releasing anger, and learned one or two good uses for pillows. Keep reading to learn the theories and hacks, or watch on our YouTube channel to practice with instructions! (In the coming week, we will have another follow-up webinar session, “Release Your Roar: Learn to Shake It Off,” click here to register.)

Theories

Starting with theories of the cause of anger, Kovacevic explained that it’s important to first realize that how we respond to anger is not our fault. When babies are born, unlike our bodies, our brains aren’t fully developed, making emotional development for humans an acquired process in the first few years of life. From birth to about 4 or 5 years of age, the external factors that we experience determine and shape how we react to these emotions. When our needs for being seen, accepted and validated were not met, or if we weren’t taught how to handle frustration, we got upset; and when parents tended to focus on correcting our behaviours rather than paying attention to our emotions, we grew up carrying this anger and still don’t know what to do with it as adults.

Entitled to feel angry as we are and not have to feel guilty about it, Kovacevic addressed that we also need to realize that anger isn’t the “bad guy” that needs to be “managed.” Rather than suppressing and letting the aggressiveness build up, we need to learn to release it. This takes training and exercising, as many of us are known to treat our anger passively as adults and fear that we might “destroy a city” otherwise. The beauty of releasing anger though, she said, is that we don’t need to resolve it with the person we’re angry with. Anger can and often is destructive when aimed at people, but through exercises and tips, we can self-therapeuticize in a safe and healthy way.

Exercises

The first exercise was about stress releasing. Standing up, shoes off and feet apart, attendees participated in a bit of shaking and hopping to unlock their joints for three to five minutes. It was also encouraged to put on some energetic music and shake to the rhythm. No judgement applied, participants were also asked to relax their throat and facial muscles and let their voices out.

After about the length of two songs, it was time to grab a pillow. While still hopping around, participants started hitting random things in the room with the pillow: the chair, the walls, the floor – whatever they felt like – and to release their voices. This process took about five to ten minutes. When participants were about to wrap up, they were encouraged to do a bit of bending to the floor while shaking softly and calming down naturally.

The second exercise called for feeling one’s boundaries and space. Standing up, participants stretched their arms and searched for their boundaries. Next, they were instructed to imagine that there was a monkey on their back, and they were to use their elbows alone to try to get it out of the boundary while still letting their voices out. “Your throat has major blockages, and it’s very important that you breakthrough them,” said Kovacevic.

The last part of the session was sharing tips, and a Q&A. Kovacevic shared her tips for releasing anger in different situations. For those who work from home, the exercises are always available, and screaming into a pillow is a great option for those who feel embarrassed of yelling. For those who are outside, washrooms and cars are always wonderful resorts for exercise, and scarves can serve the same function as pillows. It’s all about letting the toxic emotions out. “Go crazy on the swear words,” said Kovacevic. “You can also try signing up for a martial arts class!”

Bio for instructor:

Jelena Kovacevic’s background is in the humanities, ranging from culture and linguistics to peace studies, inclusion, and equality. She is also currently involved in a six-year personal development program with a multidisciplinary approach to emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth.