Anger is a very familiar emotion, which all of us have experienced time and again. It is a normal feeling that one experiences under certain circumstances. However, when anger becomes intense, it turns into an evil passion, which can lead to deep damage. Like all emotions, anger drops in without a warning but, like an unwanted guest, either wreaks immediate havoc or stays on to wreck your life. It is harmful either way.
Often we tend to blame it on other people or circumstances for our angry outbursts or lingering anger. Uncontrolled expression of anger can cause damage to ourselves and others. Suppressed anger, too, tends to affect our happiness and health. Therefore anger must be managed.
How can we manage anger? Since both suppression as well as outbursts of anger are harmful, we have to find ways to address the issue in some other manner. Here are some pointers.
1. For sudden anger
Jam the brakes
You are driving your car and suddenly you see a snake crossing the road. The natural impulse for some drivers is to rev up and run over the snake before it slithers away. You do have a fraction of a second to avoid the snake, though, but the urge to run over it overtakes you. This happens with anger, too. It comes unexpectedly, but your reaction to anger need not be like that of the driver who ran over the snake. Jam the brakes when a fit of anger surges up.
When you think it over you will realise that anger has two stages to it; and both are separate and very different in nature. Unfortunately, both the stages are often mixed up in our minds and are referred to in the English language using common phraseology such as ‘was angry, ‘got angry’ or ‘became angry’.
Stage 1. Becoming angry within yourself
This is the anger itself. It is involuntary and you have no control over this emotion just as you will have no control over a sad or a happy feeling. Anger is the outcome of sudden and copious release of certain neurotransmitter chemicals (catecholamines) and hormones (mostly adrenaline) into the bloodstream, which rush you to fight with a burst of energy (click here to read more of it). The phrase used in Tamil language when a person felt anger is ‘அவனுக்கு கோபம் வந்தது;’ and in Hindi, ‘उसको गुस्सा आया’; which when transliterated in English is, ‘Anger came to/on him’.
Stage 2: Expressing the anger on someone
This is your reaction to your anger. You express your anger (on someone). This is a voluntary action. You have at least a moment to pause and reflect before you react to anger by expressing it. The phrase used in Tamil language when a person expressed his anger on someone is ‘அவன் கோபப்பட்டான்;’ and in Hindi, ‘उसने गुस्सा किया’; which when transliterated in English is, ‘He expressed anger on (someone).’ You can surely exercise control over your anger if you opt for it. It is a healthy emotion when expressed in a mature manner; and it brings good results. But most of us react to anger as it comes, on the spur of the moment. And regret later.
Interestingly, we generally express our anger mostly on soft targets, that is on those whose reaction to our expression of anger may not matter to us much, so to speak. Usually we are much less likely to vent our anger on the boss, the traffic police or a brand new fiancé (ée). It clearly shows that we can desist expressing our anger if we really want to.
By now you probably have an idea of how to respond to sudden surge of anger. This is how you may handle it and be happy that you did so. Let me spell it out for you:
- Pause and do not react to your anger right away.
- Take slow and deep breaths and reflect.
- Delay your reaction until the surge of your anger has subsided. Mentally evaluate the possible consequences of your reaction.
Since you know that anger does come, though uninvited and unexpected, be prepared to face it. You should consciously delay all angry words or actions until you have had sufficient time to calm down. You may get some sadistic pleasure that you inflicted revenge on the concerned party, but that is only temporary and never makes you or the other person happy. You will feel like a fool at the end.
By rehearsing in advance how to handle such emergencies, you can effectively prevent harmful reactions. We often regret the words that we spoke and the actions that we took in a fit of rage. At times we do not even remember all the words we spoke at that moment of rage. There is an intense urge to punish that person. If only we had withheld our words or actions even for a few seconds when the anger momentarily blinded our minds, the quality of our expressions would not have been so regrettable.
2. For lingering anger
Postpone any retaliatory action and wait patiently, if necessary for days, until the lingering anger is eliminated from your system – not suppressed. Anger causes hatred and bias (prejudice) and your retaliatory plans of action, prepared with feedback from your angry mind, can never be unbiased. But you may ask, “How do I quench the smouldering embers of anger within me?” You will find the answer below.
Cleanse your heart
You definitely are not a noble soul if you either get into a fit of rage that results in unfortunate expressions or you nurse anger that results in retaliatory action against those who wronged you or you thought they wronged you. Nursing anger against someone, is comparable to harbouring a sensitive bomb that will explode under pressure.
At times when the other person had wronged you, you may have to take some corrective action, but such action must be ethical and based on love, not fuelled by anger and hatred. Evaluate the possible consequence of your ‘corrective’ action. Discuss it with a level-headed person if you can find one. Do not think that all those who disagree with you are against you. In fact, friends who stand with you are those who would dare to correct you when you go wrong.
The sure and proven way to get rid of any height of anger and revengeful tendencies that may torment you is to use a fantastic foolproof recipe. You will not believe it, but it has worked all the time. You may think it is silly, or may say, “How can I do it?. I hate her/him!”. Nevertheless, forget your logic for a moment and just follow what I say:
All you have to do is this: Look at the person in your imaginary eyes and bless him/her. Say, “I bless you xyz(name of that person)”. Do it repeatedly in all earnestness. You would suddenly find yourself not feeling angry with that person anymore. And you will be surprised to see that the real life situation, too, changes for the better. Click here to read the original recipe.
Other mind-related pages of this website include the following:
- Body and Soul Superimposed
- Mind and Emotions
- Overcoming Jealousy
- Overcoming Lust
- Overcoming Hatred
- Overcoming Feeling of Guilt
- Overcoming Inferiority Complex
- Overcoming Pride
- Overcoming Prejudice
- Overcoming Fear
Have you any questions?
Click here > Questions/Comments or Confidential
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