Oakville Zen Meditation

#342 Controlling anger Dec. 6 20

Controlling anger

Anger is an emotional involuntary reflex mostly ego-driven. Its onset is impossible to prevent.

This destructive emotion is very hard to control because it takes over our rational thinking, pushing us into further detrimental consequences.

Whatever its sources and they are many, anger is affecting not only you and me but also people around us.

At its onset, we behave like a volcano projecting tons of hot larva and toxic gases around.

Anger makes us radioactive to others because, when the damage is done there is no return point.

It will remain anchor in the mind of others whatever how they try to forgive you.

So, what to do?  

1) During acute blast of anger:

   a) To pay attention to it and look at its triggers. Without this phase, you will remain prisoner of it.

   b) Then channel your angry energy into constructive and helpful actions.

       For example: Leave the room, go for a walk, do something constructive to burn of your negative energy.

2) During ongoing chronic state of anger:

     a) Change your anger habit to achieve a long-term constructive approach:

         We spend a consistent amount of time being angry about this and that. It may become a sort of addiction

         The best way is to write down in an "anger diary". Analyze your anger: triggers, frequency duration. Once you get a sense of how much time of your life you spend angry, you can work on its frequency and duration. It is like quitting smoking because chronic anger can be, again an addiction.

     b) Paying attention to your anger-triggers is key:

         As you become more familiar with the anger-triggers you will be able to see them coming and make an effort to respond differently. You learn how you get angry and become curious about how it arises and how to cool down.

        When becoming angry becomes an habit, it will overrides all subtle emotions causing anger.

        Anger often arises from feelings of anxiety, helplessness, frustration or jealousy.

        As you are approaching your anger with awareness, you will get better at feeling these more emotions.

3) As mentioned previously, the other victims of your anger are people around you:

   Unloading your anger at people is like emitting radioactivity.

   Self-defense and counter-anger measures arise from them as they try to protect themselves from your radioactive blast.

   Remember the anger creates suffering not only for you but also for others. The consequence is often irreversible for life.

To summarize:

What triggers anger is mostly ego-driven and multifactorial such as:

Unsatisfied desires, hatred, illusions, regrets of the past, anxiety of the future, people, circumstances  and many other negative feelings can or will trigger anger.

Learning to be detached from the triggers and paying attention to our anger are keys.

Remember that you are the one pulling that trigger and when the bullet is fired you cannot retrieve it.

Thank you