“Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”
– Gautama Buddha
We all know ‘Anger’ does not do any good to anybody. Almost all of us have dealt with it very closely, either as the recipient, the 'perpetrator' or often both. Then why do we fail staying away from getting angry every off and on? Let’s take a deep dive into what anger is all about and if there is anything we can do to stay away from getting angry at all.
Anger is an emotional reaction and expression to immediately stop the threatening behaviour or another outside force. It is inherent, inborn, habitual and integral part of psyche and personality.
Anger has functional value for survival. Extreme and environmental factors causing anger at home and office / work place are difficult to change. Males have hormone testosterone leading to aggressiveness, possessiveness, sense of ownership, autocracy and dominance. Females have hormone oestrogen giving temperament of tolerance, let-go attitude, forgiveness and modesty. Thus males are naturally more prone to anger.
While mild anger is nothing but irritation, the severe anger is called rage, wrath or fury. It is better to express anger gently and carefully, than suppress it. Suppressed anger can also lead to feeling of suffocation, discomfort and restlessness.
Causes: Anger is an automatic response to an insult. It is often triggered when a person’s ego or self-respect is hurt and he feels insulted, cheated, humiliated, misguided, disregarded, ill-treated, betrayed or by-passed.
Anger originates when one’s expectation from others are not fulfilled. We are unable to see on own weaknesses, and so focus on others’ mistakes. We can say anger is a pressure cooker-like effect of an insult.
Features: Feeling of anger is evident on face, showing unusual redness – flushing, usually with a frowning look and red staring eyes. Anger is evident as body language. Anger causes tachycardia, hypertension (increased pulse), Tachyapnoea (fast breathing) with sweating and goose skin. Speech becomes explosive and saliva trickles. Anger can lead to heart attacks, brain haemorrhage and even death. Person becomes restless, uneasy and feels discommended with loss of peace.
Anger can be (A) Passive and (B) Aggressive, and it is important what is the kind you’re dealing with.
- (A) Passive anger has dispassion. (Not reacting to others’ anger, looking unconcerned), evasiveness (not arguing back), defeatism, secreative behaviour (Silent treatment or avoiding eye contact) or self -blame.
- (B) Aggressive anger has bullying, destructiveness, violence, threats and vengeance.
Anger Management: Is there a way to (permanently) get rid of anger? Well, we can at least try.
1. Firm decision is a must. To avoid anger, keep telling yourself “Come what may, I am not going to be angry.” It should be remembered and pursued permanently. Practise waiting for five minutes, or counting to 100 before reacting to a fit of anger.
Improve your communication skills and do not let the disagreements turn into fight.
Try to find out why you feel upset. It is better to express anger gently and carefully than to suppress it forcibly.
Stand before a mirror and see the facial expressions of anger.
Convince yourself again and again that the word cannot move as per your wishes.
2. Avoid or simply leave the individuals, places, situations and set-ups that you know can cause anger to you.
3. Lean to “Let-Go” policy and thereby ignore small issues. Avoid making every issue a prestige matter. Apologise and forgive yourself for outburst.
4. Meditation and deep breathing exercise. Try to counter anger by forcibly bringing in thoughts of love, your previous happy moments with the person and help/support you have received from him.
The anger will certainly start subsiding. Learn to identify your greed, dissatisfaction and vengeance. Instead, develop kindness, humanity and equanimity.
Practice concentration. Deep breathing, focus on inhaling and exhaling, and picturing your breath travelling up to the diaphragm.
Create a playlist of music helping you to relax spirituality will teach you to accept people as they are.
Only active attempt and permanent awareness can make you anger free.
Best of luck!
- “If you conquer anger you conquer the world” by Dr. G.G. Oza, Ahmedabad.
- “Anger Management” by Andrew Bennett - Reader’s Digest, July 2016.
- “Way of Treating People” by Sr Padmapriya, USA - The World Renewal, June 2016