Learning How To Control Anger

August 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned – Buddha

Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action. If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains – Helen Douglas

I have always known that anger and resentment hurt more the person having the feelings than the reason and/or target.  It always made sense to me but as I try to find different ways of being and living my life that has become the absolute truth.

I am now viscerally aware these negative emotional states, justified or not, take a huge toll in my heart and rob me of my well-being.  The intensity of the feelings sends my body and mind into a state that takes me a long time to come down from.

I’m not trying to become a robot and have not reactions to things that I find unfair. What I’m trying to do is to change my response to them.  When anger and resentment happens, which are feelings that cannot be stopped, I acknowledge their existence but I don’t feed them.  I don’t engage in a conversation with myself about how horrible a situation or someone is.  Instead I take a realistic look at the situation and ask myself how significant is the transgression in the big picture of my life.  More often than not the answer is; not much.  With “not much” as an answer I take away a lot of the air out of my anger.  How could I be beside myself over something or someone who I have just realized doesn’t really matter in the long run?

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him – Booker T. Washington

The other way anger has manifested its presence in my life has been through giving me a false feeling of action.  Anger has so duped me that I’ve become convinced that if I’m not angry things are not getting done.  I have bought into the energy anger produces as the fuel needed to resolve things.  The truth couldn’t be further from that.  The only thing the anger does for me is to get me into trouble.  Who can make good decisions when the heart is pumping and the brain is filled with negativity and going a million miles a minute?

I’m now in the process of getting used to getting things done without being propelled by anger.  It feels strange, almost like I’m not doing anything.  After all, my heart isn’t pumping and my brain isn’t hurting.  The junkie in me misses the rush but I get to make better decisions and hold onto to my well-being for longer periods of time.

Getting a hold of my anger has turned me into a more stable person.  I think this new me is more fun and pleasant.  Just ask anybody around me.

  • Winsor Pilates


2 Responses to “Learning How To Control Anger”
  1. Melissa Critchlow says:

    This is so true! Thanks for posting this. I had to come to terms with my anger issues a long time ago, and have been working on them ever since. The new challenge for me is fear and worry in general. I some how managed to replace some of the rush and need for anger to feel like “things are getting done” with worry. I don’t feel like action is happening when an obstacle blocks my path in life unless I am worrying and stressing about it. So what you said here really resonates with me, but I can see how it is the same with fear and worrying. Worrying about whether something challenging will work out doesn’t actually provide more action for the situation and aid it. It’s an illusion. Stressing and worrying about the situation only causes me physical hurt and anxiety, it doesn’t actually help the situation at all.

    Thanks so much for posting this! It’s very inspirational as always. 🙂

    • You’re so right Melissa. Somehow we feel if we don’t get angry, worry or are in a state of fear, we are not dealing with a situation. Once we REALLY know none of these negative responses actually do anything, it becomes our “job” to help ourselves brake away from the habit. Things will get resolved much better if we apply calmness and intelligence.

      Thank you for your comment. All my best,