As I wrote on my page “What is reiki and how does it work?“, one of the most important aspects of reiki (in my opinion) is the five principles of reiki.
They are so simple, yet so profound. These five principles start with, “Just for today“, followed by:
- Don’t be angry
- Do not worry
- Be grateful
- Work hard (fulfill your duties)
- Be kind to others
You might say, obviously that’s what we should all do. But do you already apply them in your daily life? If all of us realized that if these were the golden rules to having a healthy and fulfilling life, would you implement them to your life, starting today?
In the next five posts, I will try to elaborate on each of the five principles, and try to simplify even more the meaning behind the principles.
Don’t be angry
When I was a student in the US (I went to middle school, high school and university in the US), I was told that “it was ok” to be angry, especially about social injustices, inequalities, racial issues, etc, which as a student I strongly felt. So I believed that it really was ok to be upset about these issues, voice my opinions loudly, and don’t tolerate and fight.
After graduating from high school, I spent a summer in a Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan, where I learned to meditate. I stayed at the temple with two zen monks, and one day, I had the opportunity to ask them about anger, and whether they also thought “it was ok” to express anger.
One of the monks who was always calm and peaceful shook his head and said there are other ways to deal with situations that may upset us. He then took a deep breath and let it out. This clearly was one way of calming your emotions. I don’t remember details of our conversation today, but taking that deep breath in and out stayed with me all these years.
Later on, when I started practicing yoga, I learned that breath is an important vehicle to transform yourself, both physically and psychologically.
So why is anger not good for you and your health?
Studies show that anger can have negative effects on your heart, increases the risk of having a stroke, weakens your immune system, can lead to anxiety and depression, increases stress level and can shorten your life.
In fact, when you get angry, you build uncessary tension in your body (it could be in parts including your throat, heart, stomach, etc.) which in a long run can cause serious health issues.
It’s even more simple
Outburst of anger may seem to temporarily release a strong emotion that’s stored within your system, but it is more likely that once you let it out, there will be another build up which you would have to release again.
Anger is not only harmful to yourself but also to others around you. Do you want to be around people who are always angry or do you rather be with people who smile a lot and are in good mood?
So what can we do to stay calm? Reiki has a habit treatment called “seiheki”, which can be good for those who often get angry and have trouble controlling their anger. Speak to your reiki therapist about the habit treatment and receive one.
If you’re not someone who gets angry all the time, but do sometimes regret for becoming angry with yourself or with people around you, here are some tips.
- Step back and observe the scene. This is a lot easier said than done, but when you’re angry, instead of firing away right there and then, move away from the situation and take a little walk before going back. This could also be applied online too. Before shooting off a message or a strong opinion, sleep over it and reply.
- Take a deep breath or meditate. This is more preventive than reactive. If you can train yourself to be calm at all times, nothing fazes you. More on meditation, please refer to my post on “Reiki and meditation“.
- Surround yourself with positive people who are in good mood, rather than people who are negative all the time and who complain a lot. Like minds attract each other, and positive attitudes rub off each other and amplify (as do negatives).
- Laugh and see situations with humor (but without sarcasm). Laughter is a good antidote to anger and if you can build a new habit of incorporating laughter into your daily life, you can let go of many situations without getting upset. Watch funny movies and stand-up comedy of your favorite comedians.
- Forgive as soon as possible. We all make mistakes and get angry, and it’s important to forgive others who may have made you upset, but also forgive yourself for getting angry.
So, just for today, don’t be angry. But if you forget and become upset, don’t beat yourself up! Just breath, and let go.