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Controlling Anger
Sudhanshu Kesarwani | 12 Apr 2008

If we speak in anger we will definitely aggravate the situation and quite likely hurt the feelings of others. If we speak in anger, we will find that people respond in kind, creating a spiral of negative anger. If we can remain outwardly silent, it gives time for the emotion of anger to leave us.

l Be indifferent to those who seek to make us angry. Some people may unfortunately take a malicious pleasure in trying to make you mad. However if we can feel indifferent to them and their words; if we feel it is beyond our dignity to even acknowledge them, then their words and actions will have no effect. Also if we do not respond in any way to their provocation they will lose interest and not bother us in the future.

l Use reason to stop anger. When you feel anger coming to the fore try to take a step back and say to yourself “This anger will not help me in any way. This anger will make the situation worse.” Even if part of us remains angry, our inner voice is helping us to distance our self from the emotion of anger.

l Look kindly upon others. Another visualisation suggested by Paramhansa Yogananda is to see the anger-rousing agent as a 5-year-old child. If you think of the other person as a helpless 5-year-old child, your compassion and forgiveness will come to the fore. If your younger brother accidentally stabbed you, you would not feel anger and desire to retaliate. Instead you would just feel he is too young to know any better. This exercise may be particularly useful for close members of the family who at times evoke your anger.

l Value peace more than anger. If we value peace of mind as our most important treasure we will not allow anger to remain in our system. As Sri Chinmoy says-“You may have every right to be angry with someone, but you know that by getting angry with him you will only lose your precious peace of mind..”

l Don’t worry about feeling the need to defend yourself from their criticisms. If you can remain detached and calm, they may begin to feel guilty about venting their anger on you. Inspired by your example of calmness they will seek subconsciously to do the same.
l Just smile. When we smile we defuse many negative situations. To smile is to offer goodwill to others. Smiling costs nothing but can effectively defuse tense situations.