Anger: Why do we get Angry? How to Control Anger?


What is anger?

Anger is an intense feeling conveying a message that a situation is offensive, or frustrating. A chemical ‘adrenaline’ is released from the body, causing muscles to stiffen, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, causing more delicacy to the senses. Anger is a nourishing emotion too, while it’s perfectly normal to feel angry when you’ve been ill-treated or roughed up, anger turns out to be a hindrance when conveyed in a manner that hurts yourself or others. You feel angry because of some weakness. When you want to do something but are not able to do it, then that incapability evokes anger in you.

Why do we get angry?

There are many common triggers for anger, such as

1.  Losing patience.

2.  Feeling insulted in case your opinion isn't appreciated: It is harmful to be angry for egoistic intentions. That only brings harm to you and no one else.

3.  injustice.

4.  Sometimes people do not understand things by simple words, even if explaining the same thing 10 times. Then in the 11th instance, a show of anger is justified to make them serious.

5.  frustration: Your frustrations might cause an angry outburst. There could be various reasons for someone’s frustration:

     • one-sided love affair
     • unhappy married life
     • malice
     • mourning
     • unwanted feelings about sex
     • worries
     • hunger
     • exhaustion

6.  Hereditary trends or unexpected medical circumstances also play a role in the eruption of anger.

Forms of anger

1. Retaliatory or expressive anger: 

The most common approach to convey anger is to react aggressively. The most common signs of this type of anger are furious shouting, threats, ridicule, sarcasm, intense blaming, or criticism.

2. Passive-aggressive anger

Expressing enraged feelings indirectly or in a sarcastic tone is a passive-aggressive type of anger. The most common signs of this type of anger are refusing to discuss concerns openly and directly, avoiding responsibility, and being deliberately inefficient.

3. Suppressive

This is an act to keep hold of the anger. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, depression, peptic ulcers, and stroke, criticizing everything, and making sarcastic comments. Surprisingly, they aren't likely to have many successful relationships.

4. Assertive Anger: 

Assertive anger is the best way of expressing anger. A person talks, listens, argues, and is ready to take suggestions if needed. This means controlling both types of approaches- outward as well as internal responses, communicating with empathy.

Consequences of anger

Anger is the first and greatest enemy of man, which lies in the body and burns & destroys the body itself. Just like fire in wood burns wood.

1.  Anger spoils relationships. What one wants is to connect and be heard, but the result is often the opposite. People will react negatively, feel uncomfortable, and they run farther away from him.

2.  Brings and spreads negativity. Anger is just a moment’s madness or insanity, it eats the conscience and destroys our best thoughts.

3.  The ill-tempered person becomes a spectacle or a scene himself because of the loss of conscience or ethics.

4.  The sweetness of speech disappears at the time of anger. The face is distorted and the eyes turn red. A persistently angry creature is like a living corpse.

5.  Anger weakens or destroys digestive power.

6.  Anger destroys a man's peace of day and night. The entire house becomes turbulent.

7.  One callous word uttered in anger can be so poisonous that it can destroy the effect of our thousands of sweet words in a moment.

8.  Hindu sacred scriptures has rightfully stipulated about –

     • Kama (feverishness or lust) as Vata (air)

     • krodh (Anger) as pitta (bile)

     • Lobha( Greed) as Kapha (Phlegm)

These three are the strong, wicked enemies of a person and the root cause of all diseases. When all these three brothers are found together, there erupts terrible typhus ( putrid fever ) (sannipat jwar). We may also call them three doorways to hell.

9.  In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says:

'Tri-vidham narakasyedam dvaram nashanam atmanah.
Kamah krodhas tatha lobhas tasmad etat trayam tyajet'.

Meaning: Three doors can cause misery and suffering for the soul: Anger, Lust, and Greed.

That is why Lord Krishna urges Arjuna to renounce and do away with all three.

How should we control our anger?

1.  The only way to completely short-circuit anger is by defusing it as soon as it shows its face. Our consciousness can give spontaneous insight into the root and cause. One should catch it as soon as anger appears.

2.  Whenever you feel that you are about to get angry and can’t avoid it, move away from that place.

3.  Practice Maun (silence). Anger is a situation in which the tongue moves faster than the brain. Thus you are not aware of what you are saying and how your words hurt others. Follow the ‘finger on your lips’ childhood rule. The only difference being, to pretend an imaginary finger keeping your mouth shut.

4.  Repeat a mantra, hymn, or prayer — anything to help regain composure.

5.  Drink a glass of cold water immediately.

6.  Start counting 1 - 100.

7.  Distract yourself with a funny movie

8.  Keep the correct attitude. If someone has said something unpleasant or got angry only for the sake of our benefit or welfare, (such as a friend, brother, parent, teacher), then we must thank them instead of showing anger.

9.  Smile and laugh. Cheerfulness is a protective shield that protects us from anger because humor unites everyone together

10.  Be empathetic. Look at the situation from the other’s perspective. Show respect and consideration for another person’s right to think, feel, and act a certain way. It will result in a deeper understanding and ability to handle anger.

11.  Take a walk. Go for a walk or a ride which will refresh your nerves and relax your brain.

12.  Practice Breathing exercises, Pranayama, meditation, yoga.

13.  Observe the happening. So, one kind of anger is that which is expressed with full awareness. The other kind is the one that is without awareness, and with ignorance. When it is felt that anger is arising, just before that one can feel some sensations in the body, like a tingling sensation on the top of the head, or the forehead or the back of it, or feeling some stiffness at the neck and shoulder region. 
Observing all those sensations at that very moment is a skill. 
When one becomes habitual of observing those sensations, then he can conquer anger very easily. This is why meditation is so important. Anger can easily be tamed by meditation.

How to control a child’s anger:

1.  Set a good example: It is no secret that Kids copy their parents or the elders. So the best way to teach them how to deal with anger is by showing them your way of dealing with your feelings when you are angry. If you tackle anger in a harmonious approach, they too will pick up on that.

2.  Do not forget to Complement them often whenever the situation so demands.

3.  Don’t shout or scream at children all the time because, at that moment, the limbic organism of their brain is triggered giving rise to fight-reaction. This results in kids’ surprise hardened attitude in the form of a brawl or fight or run away.

4.  Whenever you do some religious work or visit a place of pilgrim or prayer, or carrying out any mission for social or community welfare, take the children along with you and see the results yourself.

Can anger be healthy?

Do not be unhappy or dejected on getting angry. It isn't always an awful or wicked thing. A precise amount of anger is nevertheless crucial for one’s survival.

As happens sometimes with mothers - a mother often scolds her child over something or the other in anger, but this anger does not trouble her because it is important for her children. Anger on children is like a vaccine to thwart any virus so that they can become strong. In the future, they might face the fury of society or their colleagues or teachers in school or college. Otherwise, the children will become very weak and insecure.

On Some occasions, it is essential to display a bit of anger. Anger used simply for display should be used as a weapon. It can prevent others from walking all over a person.

Anger is a bad thing, no doubt. But to restrain injustice, despotism, and indiscipline, anarchy, anger should be expressed. It will serve a greater purpose.

Great saint Aristotle has said that – 
Anybody can become angry – that is easy- but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time for the right purpose and in the right way – is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.

Until and unless you don't allow anger to use you, it is good. It should be used sparingly and most importantly, as an instrument of positive change.



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