Self-Transformation Series:
Issue No. 7

How to Handle Anger

Table of Contents

  1. Importance
  2. The Nature of Anger
  3. Effects of Anger
  4. How to deal with Anger

I. Importance

Anger causes us to do things that we later regret. Some people become violent and even kill others, something they normally would not even think of. Anger makes us unhappy. And it is generally an ineffective way of coping with problems.

II. The Nature of Anger

Anger is tension and hostility as a result of frustration. We respond in different ways at different ages. When a baby, we cry or scream. As children, it may be a tantrum or fighting, or surliness. As we grow older, we normally react through verbal expressions: arguing, criticizing, swearing. Or the person may become violent and aggressive. On the other hand, the person may have grown up learning to suppress anger, but at the same time not learn how to cope with problems, and hence tend to be ineffective in confronting difficult situations. Both these extremes are not wholesome. Aggressive release of anger as well as its suppression are not the most effective ways of dealing with a problem. Remember: the way we cope with problems and the way we express our anger are learned. There are effective and ineffective ways. If you have learned an ineffective way, you can relearn a better way.

III. Effects of Anger

IV. How to deal with Anger

  1. Accept the inevitable. When a valuable vase is broken. Learn to face that it has already happened. See what can effectively be done to prevent a similar occurrence.

  2. Learn how to dissipate build up of your aggressive energies. The best way is by developing constant awareness. Be in touch with your feelings at all time. When small frustrations arise, be conscious of your physical symptoms: shortness of breath, tightening of muscles in the face, neck, arm or chest. Awareness of these at the beginning of anger will prevent build-up.

  3. Breathe deeply several times. Observe the relaxation of your body as you breathe in and out.

  4. Reflect on what is the best way of handling the situation.

  5. Undertake regular activities that will tend to dissipate aggressive energies

  6. Realize certain facts about anger.

  7. Regularly practice silence. Take time out to enter into periods of silence and meditation, where the emotions are naturally calm and the mind is silent. Our emotions will tend to deepen and we will no longer react superficially to small daily provocations, but will have the capacity to reflect on them.

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Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines

"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."