“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.”
You most likely have found yourself getting angry a time or two. Anger is seen as a normal emotion. Would you be surprised by a person that never gets angry? I know that I would. It may be so common that it is considered normal, but this doesn’t mean that you should allow it to be normal for you. Anger has never benefited me, and I am guessing that it hasn’t benefited you either. Anger only wastes your energy that could used for better things. Let us not waste that energy anymore.
The disadvantages of anger
You are walking down the street and soon you hear a car that is honking its horn at you. As you turn around you begin to hear a string of nasty references towards you. Most people would get angry at the people in the car. They had no reason to say those things to you, so you begin to get angry at them. You were on your way home, and you are still in a foul mood when you arrive home. Your roommate tries to talk you, but you only snap at him. Now you have hurt your friend because you were angry. The anger caused you more harm than the nasty comments did. If you would have ignored them and never got angry then nothing would have happened. You would have arrived home happy. Happiness isn’t possible if you are too preoccupied being angry. You have successfully ruined your own mood. You are only dwelling on this problem that has happened. The event has occurred in reality, but your anger is allowing the event to replay over and over in your mind. You cannot change the event, but you can change the way you react.
Alternatives to Anger
Anger will give rise to more anger. It is like allowing a little spark to turn into a small fire. That small fire starts to transform into a bigger and bigger fire until you burned down everything around. There is a reason that anger is often associated to fire. It only succeeds in burning you and the people around you. You wouldn’t normally harm yourself, so you shouldn’t get angry. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t react to injustices though. If you were wronged, then you should react, but you should react in a calm manner. The moment anger appears then reason begins to leave. You aren’t able to be the most reasonable person while angry, so this means that the problem will never get solved. If you stay calm then you will be able to solve the problem easier.
Transforming the anger into something better
Anger normally appears when we feel hurt or when expectations were not met. The anger becomes a way to protect ourselves, but we aren’t really doing that. This is just a illusion that we are protecting ourselves by becoming anger. In reality we are only harming ourselves. We must learn to stay calm to protect ourselves, because we are able to reasonable think through the situation. Staying calm might be seen as a weakness, but anger is the real weakness. If you get angry, then you are allowing other people to control you. By having the ability to stay calm, then you are in control of yourself. You can be productive, but this requires you to be in control. You are either presented with a situation that you can change, which means that you shouldn’t become angry because you will not be productive in changing it. On the other hand, you might be presented with a situation that you cannot change, then you must accept the situation. If you become angry then the situation will continue to affect you even though you have no control over it.
Patience is a virtue in moments of anger, and luckily it isn’t hard. Patience only requires you to not react, but to take the time to think it through. You aren’t required to act; instead you should refrain from acting until you know what you should do. You have to work at it though. You have to be able to tame your mind.
– Count to 100
– Breathe Deep
– Change your position. If you find that your hands are going into a fist position, then open them. Change your stance if you seem to be in a defensive position. Change your face. Smile!
– Reflect. Is this situation really worth ruining your mood over?
This will take time, but it leads to more happiness. Think of someone that never seems to get mad. Wouldn’t it be nice to be like them?