Seeking Freedom from Anger

Saturday, 12 July 2014 0 comments

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

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Anger is a prominently felt emotion in today’s time and age. Somebody is angry with the government, somebody can’t stand the public transport, someone has issues with their colleagues, and it doesn’t end here. Someone is angry because he is not able to exert power, exercise supremacy, or can’t cope up with the brushings that life in general has to offer. We all have experienced that emotion and know that the outcome is never pleasant.

Anger is a corrosive emotion that can run off with your mental and physical health. Aristotle said that it is very difficult to be angry with the right person for the right reasons. Predominantly, most of us think, we are right in what we say and do.

And then many say, everything is right as long as you can justify it. A thief might be a thief because he has no other option for survival but yet he will be put behind the bars. So, when countries fight in the name of power, how is it not a moral cheating?

In Buddhism, anger is considered one of the three poisons, other two being – greed and ignorance. There is no justifiable anger. Spend time introspecting on each time you’ve felt angry and what have you done about it. As humans, we are bound to feel angry but how do we deal with it is what defines us.

When an unpleasant emotion or thought arises, do not suppress it, run away from it, or deny it. Instead, observe it and acknowledge it. Be mindful and honest with yourself about yourself is essential to overcome this negative emotion.

Anger damages the nervous, cardiovascular and gut system blocking the passage to positivity. Anger, if fed, can also lead to depression.

How do you deal with it? Compassion and patience are counter-attacks to anger. Be compassionate with yourself because anger is harming you more than anybody else. One can discover the root cause of anger and then take necessary steps, because anger is created by the mind. It arises due to unresolved issues bottled deep within and it gushes out in the form of anger.

Its also the ego taking control of your mind and allowing negativity to take over you. One needs to have the patience to wait for the right time to act and say.

As difficult as it might sound, in such situations, one has to leave it to the law of life. The prospect of retaliation seems like an appealing option. But anger is a backward-looking emotion. We think about the past and cause ourselves pain. Pain is self-inflicted in nature. And the concept of revenge is morally flawed.

We can indulge in the act of harming the injurer to seek some relief from the damage caused but in doing so; we do drag ourselves in the vicious cycle. There are numerous way to let go of the anger. I use humour as a defence mechanism to anger. Whenever the mind goes into unwanted flashbacks, instead of being angry, breathe in and out. Take a walk. Drink some water. Trust in the law of universe and let it go. Thich Nhat Hanh explains it beautifully,

“When you express your anger you think that you are getting anger out of your system, but that’s not true,” he said. “When you express your anger, either verbally or with physical violence, you are feeding the seed of anger, and it becomes stronger in you.”
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