How can I control my anger?
Anger is a normal reaction when we have been insulted, hurt or treated unfairly. By learning to control our anger we can use it to play a positive role in our lives.
KEEPING YOUR COOL!
Anger, known as ‘Krodh’, is one of the Panj Chor (Five Vices), that robs the individual of their peace and spirituality. Everything is created or given by Waheguru, including the five emotions of desire, anger, greed, emotional attachment and ego. Like most things in the world, these five have a good side and a bad side. In a negative way they are “Chor” (thieves), “Doot” (demons) and “Dusht” (enemies) as described in Gurbani. However, they can be suppressed and then converted or redirected for good use. Unfortunately in most cases our anger controls us, resulting in further hurt and sometimes violenceâ€¦
But anger is only an emotion, and how we act when we feel angry is up to us. It can be useful to find ways to calm down and then once we are calm we can go back and look at why we were angry and whether such a strong reaction was legitimate.
Here is a list of ‘Anger Busters’ that you may want to try, remember some of these may work on certain people but not on others; furthermore calming yourself down doesn’t only mean controlling your outward behaviour but also controlling you internal responses, lowering your heart rate and letting the feelings subside.
1. Practice breathing slowly and deeply (Breathe from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won’t relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your gut.) Breath in counting “one, two, three, four, five” then breath out counting “one, two, three, four, five.” Repeat 10 times. It’s very simple, yet very effective. Those who have taken Amrit and received the technique of Japping Naam with each breath from the Panj Pyaare should practice Swaas Swaas simran.
2. Keep repeating to yourself lines of Gurbani that warn us of anger or “Waheguru” (Wondrous God).
3. Imagine yourself in a peaceful place; close your eyes if this helps.
4. Exercise is an excellent way of letting out that stress or fury; try running, cycling. If you have physical anger that needs to be expelled try going to the gym or kickboxing.
5. Talk to someone you can trust, having a shoulder to cry on can calm you down considerably.
6. Try listening to relaxing Gurbani Keertan or Paatth (for example, Sukhmani Sahib da Paatth) audio.
7. Anger often results in ‘black & white’ irrational thinking, make a conscious effort to try and think more logically.
8. People often get angry when they can’t find a solution to a particular problem, if this is the case then firstly do an Ardaas (prayer) to Waheguru for guidance and then try to work out a plan of action as to how you will handle and face the problem at hand.
9. Try to change your environment when you get angry, go to some place where you feel less irritation (for example the Gurdwara), maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air.
10. We can easily get angry over delicate or sensitive issues, by using our judgement to find the right timing to discuss an important matter it is less likely the whole thing will blow up.
11. Sometimes it’s best just to avoid someone that you think is likely to make you angry at a particular time. Do Sangat (company) with those that encourage remembrance of Waheguru.
12. Non-strenuous exercises like yoga can relax your muscles and make you feel generally much calmer.
13. Better communication can help prevent a situation becoming heated, think through your responses in advance, remember a wise person thinks before he speaks, a foolish person speaks first and thinks later.
14. We often get angry when our needs aren’t being met, trying expressing your needs, or opening your mind up to the possibility of compromises. Remember Waheguru always does the right thing and he is Giver for all.
15. Don’t take yourself too seriously – just seriously enough not to be perceived as a joker.
16. Take regular breaks from stressful situations or locations.
17. Beat a pillow or a cushion, you won’t hurt anyone and you should feel a little better.
18. Take a hug from your mum, dad, spouse, or children; it always helps to have someone around to comfort you.
19. Draw a picture of your anger, try to draw your feelings, the associated emotions, just get it all out of your system.
20. Write about your feelings, a lot of people express their anger through poetry, this can be extremely therapeutic.