10 Powerful Ways to Deal with Anger

anger

Here are some practical suggestions for dealing with anger.

1. When you are angry say nothing.

If we speak in anger we will definitely aggravate the situation and quite likely hurt the feelings of others. If we speak in anger we will find that people respond in kind, creating a spiral of negative anger. If we can remain outwardly silent it gives time for the emotion of anger to leave us.

“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

Thomas Jefferson

2. Be indifferent to those who seek to make us angry.

Some people may unfortunately take a malicious pleasure in trying to make you mad. However, if we can feel indifferent to them and their words; if we feel it is beyond our dignity to even acknowledge them, then their words and actions will have no effect. Also, if we do not respond in any way to their provocation, they will lose interest and not bother us in the future.

3. Use reason to stop anger.

When we feel anger coming to the fore try to take a step back and say to yourself “This anger will not help me in any way. This anger will make the situation worse.” Even if part of us remains angry our inner voice is helping us to distance our self from the emotion of anger.

4. Look kindly upon Others.

Another visualisation, suggested by spiritual teacher Paramhansa Yogananda, is to see the anger-rousing agent as a 5 year old child. If you think of the other person as a helpless 5 year old child your compassion and forgiveness will come to the fore. If your baby brother accidentally stabbed you, you would not feel anger and desire to retaliate. Instead, you would just feel he is just too young to know any better. This exercise may be particularly useful for close members of the family who at times evoke your anger.

5. Value Peace more than anger.

If we value peace of mind as our most important treasure we will not allow anger to remain in our system. As Sri Chinmoy says:

“You may have every right to be angry with someone, but you know that by getting angry with him you will only lose your precious peace of mind..”

6. Always try to understand those who are cross.

Don’t worry about feeling the need to defend yourself from their criticisms. If you can remain detached and calm they may begin to feel guilty about venting their anger on you. Inspired by your example of calmness, they will seek subconsciously to do the same.

7. Focus on Something Completely Different.

Suppose someone has done something to make you angry. Think about something which will make you happy. The best antidote to negativity is to focus on the positive.

8. Breathe Deeply.

The simple act of breathing deeply will help considerably with removing anger.

9. Meditation.

Practise meditation regularly to bring your inner peace to the fore. If we can have an inner access to our inner peace we will be able to draw upon this during testing times. – How to Meditate

10. Smile

When we smile we defuse many negative situations. To smile is offer goodwill to others. Smiling costs nothing but can effectively defuse tense situations.

Common Sense

If you leave your unlocked bike in the centre of town, it is likely to get stolen. This can be frustrating and is likely to give rise to feelings of anger. Of course, we should  minimise this kind of situation – simply remember to lock your bike. If we feel there is an injustice in our workplace, we should work to resolve it; this will make our work environment more peaceful and less prone to creating anger. If we have a partner who is abusive, the solution is not just dealing with our own anger, but finding a more peaceful living situation.

When we try to transcend anger, it doesn’t mean we have to acquiesce to injustice and unfairness. We should strive to make the world a better place. However, whatever our goals, it is always best to act with poise and a clear mind. Acting under the influence of anger makes it more difficult to attain what we wish to achieve.

Finally as a teacher, I occasionally feign anger to make students pay attention; sometimes, you need to show a stern face. However, as a teacher you can’t afford to allow yourself to be over-run with the emotion of anger because then you may over-react and create problems.

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Photo credit: Ranjit Swanson, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

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185 thoughts on “10 Powerful Ways to Deal with Anger”

  1. Hello Tejvan. I came across this whilst searching for tips on dealing with anger etc. What you have written here is very wise and I wish I had seen it before I lost my temper last week. I wonder if I may be so bold as to ask for your advice: I am a very polite and friendly person but if others don’t behave the same I cannot stand it. I have been working at a new job for a couple of months now and I have not been shown very much respect by most of the team. My role is to coordinate jobs among the team. Before it was left to themselves to deal with so they see me as a stranger coming in to tell them what to do. I have always been polite and understanding of their work load etc but they are often quite rude to me including ignoring me, pulling faces at me or behind my back (I have caught them!) and generally not communicating with me. They leave me out of what is happening. Anyway, one of them in particular is quite obnoxious. I tried to tolerate it for weeks and didn’t rise to his bait but I was not able to do my job. I reported it to my supervisor, then the manager and nothing happened. I tried to arrange a team meeting but the owner/manager does not seem to care for change or have any procedures. He doesn’t want to hear about problems. I was feeling like I was there to be their scape goat/take all the grief. ALL of them treat me differently anyway. I think it’s because I am the only woman. Last week I lost my temper and got angry. I shouted at the most obnoxious one! I didn’t swear but I was shaking with anger and raised my voice and then stormed off. My boss saw this and one other work colleague. Now things seem even worse. So my question is this: I had convinced myself after that outburst that I just have to leave the job/find a new one but now I am thinking: Can I cope with the behaviour of others with the power of my own mind? Can I endure their behaviour by accepting that others do not always behave as we expect them too? Can I rise above it and remain calm? I know it’s all down to me but I just wondered if you might have any tips or words of wisdom. Because I had the anger outburst maybe it is too late and I have done too much damage but need to learn from it for when I start a new job? Or can I turn things around at my current job despite the outburst? I know only I can answer that or deal with it but any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. nsightful thoughts here. Are you particular this is the very best way to look at it though? My encounter is that we ought to fairly much live and let live because what 1 person thinks just another person simply doesnt. People are going to do what they want to do. In the end, they always do. The most we can yearn for is to highlight a few issues here and there that hopefully, allows them to create just just a little better informed decision. Otherwise, fantastic post. Youre definitely making me believe! Barry

  3. Hi thanks I have accidently came to your site and have got a lot and lot of ideas to control anger. Its good. I have many things to share but first let me see that I am on your site or not.
    thanks

  4. this website is my new bible. i pretty much messed up my relationship with my girlfriend. i tried to changed and not let things get me so angry. the other day i had so many things that got to me and i tried not to exploded. but we all have a breaking point and it reached mines. so i accidentally blew up on the phone with the girlfriend. now its pretty much over. regardless i still want to fix this problem that way i dont hurt myself or anyone else in the future.

  5. i wll try all these things .I wish these steps will work.because when i am angry i tore any thing near me or break any thing.I amtired of my this behaviour.

  6. when i a angery its like i change into a totaly difernt person and even the slightest thing will set me off . and when its triggerd theres no going back from it either. i cant remember when i hit some one or get into a fight. after a sertian time i will stop hitting them and walk away not knowing what i did and go on as usual . i have done every thing to calm my self down using these ways but none of them work. i dont dancing, gym , cheer , nd work outs and go for runs but it dont help the situation either. there is only one person who can make me snap out of it.

  7. i hope these work as when i get angry i take it out on other people near me and it always leads to fighting which cames me down but NOT the right thing to do !!!!!

  8. I do not angry at work or at freinds, i only get angry at home. My anger is short lived and goes off in a few minutes and realise that i could have a handled the situation in a better way. I feel bad about me and go from one extreme to other and go an apologise and feel bad about myself. I think this is because of the expectations and not fulfilling the expectations. I also think i am a little egoistic at home rather being accomodative, which i should be. My partner is also my way but never accepts and blames it on me and that makes me more angrier. I hope the above techniques will help me calm down. I know i can control it and i just needs some techniques and practise them meticulosly. Thanks

  9. these look like perfectly good solutions that i hope i will get around to trying. but i do have anger problems where sometimes i find myself being abusive to friends and family members and sometime i will hit basicly anything i can find usualy a wall or walldrobe. the things i do aren’t random either, most of this behavior is related to playing to many call of duty type games. i really wouldn’t buying an xbox/ps3 if like me you dont have much controll over your temper

  10. Whatever happened in kirsch life the same thing happing in my life… i only get angry at home, Because of his sister and mother my partner never believes me, blames it on me and that makes me angrier. i hope these techniques will help me…

  11. well i am a 14 year old that gets angry and fustraded to where people are scared of me and i hate it and i have been doing these steps and they really work it is winter break and when i go back to school tuesday my friends will see a new me so excited!!!!!!!

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