The Art of Anger Management (How to control Anger)
A version of this article ‘The Art of Anger Management (How to control Anger)’ was published in ‘The World Renewal’ magazine (Dec 16 issue)
Everyone of us know the negative effects of anger, in terms of it’s impact on the:
- Mind, in terms of destroying internal peace, happiness & harmony;
- Body, causing various toxic effects and diseases;
- Relationships, where anger can lead to long lasting effects;
- Work, affecting concentration hence work efficiency.
However still, conquering anger (ie anger management) seems a big challenge.
Hence, let us attempt to understand how anger works, and how to conquer it (ie anger management!)
A) Process of Anger
The seed of anger is Irritation. If you check subtly, an outburst of anger always starts with Irritation (or multiple times irritation)
And the main reason of Irritation is trying to control something which is not in our control. Situations and people are largely beyond our control.
And why do we try to control situations and people? Because sometimes, they tend to have a negative influence on us.
B) Protection from Influence
Hence, the key to conquering anger (ie anger management) is to protect oneself from negative influence.
The main ways to remain safe from outside influence are:
1. Direction of thoughts / Introversion (Soul conscious stage)
Whatever we think about more, we become exposed to it’s influence. Hence, the more our thoughts are tuned with the inside world, the more protected we are from influence of the outside world.
Hence if we think more about:
then we are more prone to outside influence. This is the Extroversion stage.
The more we think about:
- Qualities of the soul
- The soul’s home
- The soul’s Father, the Supreme Soul
- The role or part of the soul in the world drama
then we are more protected from outside influence. This is the introversion stage, or soul conscious stage.
Hence, the more we think of the person creating negative energy, the more we become influenced, and hence we too start getting angry. Conversely, the more we are introverted & close to the self, the less influenced we are & hence stable in our original state, thus not creating the same negative energy.
Introversion can also refer to the practice of keeping attention on our thoughts.
- If you notice, as soon as we look at our thoughts, they begin to slow down. Hence, this gives us a greater degree of choice to proactively choose a response rather than give an automatic reaction. This helps us to control anger.
- When we have attention on our thoughts, as soon as the thoughts start going in a wrong direction, we can become aware of it & hence change them. This prevents the negative thoughts from continuing further & resulting in an outburst of anger.
Those who are spiritually weak become easily influenced. Hence, becoming more powerful is another technique to remain safe from influence. This is possible by a good connection with God, the Ocean of Power, the One with all powers.
Also, the more we remain in the powerful influence of God, who is the source of all attainments, automatically the influence of everything else reduces.
3. Soul conscious vision (dristhi) / attitude (vritti)
The more soul conscious our vision / attitude is, then however strong the negative energy sent by the other person may be, we are able to remain protected.
It just means constantly seeing the other person as a soul and creating associated thoughts like.
- He/She is a Pure Peaceful soul
- He/She is the child of God, hence my brother soul
- He/She has this speciality
This not only acts as a powerful shield of protection for the self, but also sends powerful positive energy to the other soul, which helps him/her to remain stable & gives him/her the power to transform.
4. Looking at others’ specialities
These days, all souls have both specialities and weaknesses. Hence, God asks us to wear the spectacles of specialities ie to look at others’ specialities rather than their weaknesses. The more we have the specialties of others in our awareness, the less influenced we are by any negative energy created by that soul.
Hence, it’s a very good practice to note down, for each soul at home or work whom we come into regular contact with, 2-3 specialities of that soul. Then, try to keep that speciality in your awareness when interacting with him. This acts as a powerful tool of protection for the self.
5. Understanding & Mercy
It’s important to understand that the person getting angry is in greater pain than the one on whom he’s getting angry. The other person can protect himself, but the one getting angry cannot escape the ill-effects of the anger being created inside him. This awareness generates mercy for the soul, which provides a natural protection for the self.
It’s also important to understand that the person getting angry is not getting angry on us, but is actually just reflecting his inner disturbed state of mind. Hence, not to take the outburst personally on oneself, but to understand the position of the person. This again creates mercy.
C) Other Techniques
While protection from influence is the key technique to conquer anger (ie anger management), there are also some more techniques which we can use to overcome other subtle aspects of anger.
1. Overcoming Control
Before giving an advice, recommendation or suggestion to anyone, just check “What if the other person doesn’t do what I say? Will I get disturbed?” If no, go ahead. Else talk with and convince yourself that the other person is also right from his perspective, and only then proceed to give the advice. In this way, one can overcome control.
2. Overcoming Guilt
While anger is generally directed at other people, guilt is a form of anger directed at oneself. Guilt generally occurs due to a mistake done by the self.
To overcome guilt, it is important to understand that the more we remain in guilt, the more soul power is drained. And it’s this power we require to transform, to ensure that the mistake made is not repeated. Hence, when in guilt, just ask yourself “Do I wish to repeat the same mistake again?” If no, I can’t afford to remain in guilt!
3. Smaller Aspects of Anger
To ensure that the old sanskar of anger doesn’t pop up again, it’s very important to be aware of the smaller aspects of anger, which are as follows:
- Showing big eyes to others is a subtle way of trying to control other people.
- Giving too much orders to others (Bossiness) is also something to protect oneself against.
- Talking in a different way with someone or not talking at all is a subtle way of punishing others; this is also an aspect of anger.
- Talking with a loud tone of voice is also a sign of anger.
Note that protecting oneself from the above three aspects corresponds to God’s elevated direction to “Speak Less, Speak Sweetly and Speak Softly” respectively!
4. Check your beliefs regarding anger
The fact remains that one of the major reasons why we create anger (or it’s smaller aspects as described above) is because we still subtly believe that “Anger is needed to get work done” or ”Anger is needed to change other people”. Hence, we need to check and change this wrong belief system once and for all.
This could be done by realising that negative energy can never be used to produce a positive solution. While in the immediate short term, it may seem that people behave, and work gets done the way we want. But this effect very quickly fades away. In fact, people not only tend to lose respect on the one who frequently gets angry, but they also start ignoring or find ways to protect themselves from the influence of this anger. Hence, anger ultimately leads to no benefit and only creates a lot of damage to the soul getting angry.
In fact, when there is love & respect, where we give priority to people over work, people will want to work for you rather than have to work for you, ultimately leading to much greater work efficiency. Because when the inner state of mind is stable & happy, the external work done automatically becomes better!
Hope you benefitted from this article ‘The Art of Anger Management (How to control Anger)’!
You might also like to read my very short post on Overcoming Hurry!