I spent a lot of my life being angry, particularly being pissed off thinking about how my wrongdoers and bullies got away with it.
It was tough. Dealing with anger can be a harrowing experience for sure.
But I made a commitment to change of late.
I did a lot of research and even interviewed experts and influencers across the personal development industry.
You’ll be surprised how we’re constantly misleading ourselves back to anger without knowing it.
To deal with anger, we need to make a shift in perspective. It may sound unconventional at first, but it works.
1. Stop thinking the world should work the way you think it should
We get angry when we feel people should be nice or act a certain, logical manner.
We also get angry when we think we should have gotten over it by now.
But that’s the problem.
We need to get rid of our SHOULD rules.
Our mind says one thing, but reality always says otherwise.
Things will go wrong. Life will continue to be unfair and disobey you. As daunting as that sounds, you need to eliminate your SHOULD rules so you can loosen the grip you have on life.
2. Stop thinking that anger is a bad thing
Surprise! Anger isn’t a bad thing.
Anger is a good source of energy as a force for positive change. Rosa Parks, Ghandi and Martin Luthor King used it.
But yes, anger cannot sustain you. That is why you need to live life and harness other emotions.
This is a foundation you need to set for yourself to alleviate the undesirable feelings anger brings.
To know that anger isn’t a bad thing is to know that there’s nothing wrong with you, that you’re not a monster, that you’ve a disease or that you’re “messed up.”
So take solace in this. Anger is good. Let that be with your fuel to push you in a positive direction.
3. Stop managing your anger
Look, anger management doesn’t work. Surprised? Google it yourself then.
Anger management only serves to repress the feeling and bottle up your anger. That is effectively sweeping your problems under the rug.
No, you’ve to find the root cause of your anger. Anger is after all, a secondary emotion, not primary.
For me personally, I realized one root cause of my anger was fear, that I’d actually lose in a fight one day if it came to it, thus making me think that I’m not a real man.
I had to get honest with myself. I had to deal with it by asking the right questions and then applying realistic ways to stay calm and positive.
So what is it for you? Guilt? Fear? Sadness? Rejection?
Start being honest with yourself. Start asking the right and bigger questions. It will be scary, but you’ve to go through with it.
4. Stop reacting
Check out this powerful quote by Thich Nhat Hanh:
” If you get angry easily, it may be because the seed of anger in you has been watered frequently over many years, and unfortunately you’ve allowed it or even encouraged it to be watered.”
Yes, you may be angry today because you’ve watered the seed too much.
Anger, when used too much, can be a habit, and even an addiction.
That is why you need to stop reacting angrily to some negative thought or person.
No, I don’t even think injecting a positive thought in your head will help. That is a form of reaction that’s still acknowledging the anger and giving it power.
Stop reacting. Let it pass instead. Don’t give it any kind of power.
Why do you think people like to say that ignorance is bliss?
5. Stop taking the easy way out
You know what’s easy?
Getting angry and breaking things around the house, screaming at somebody, punching the wall or generally doing anything stupid.
You know what’s not easy?
Staying calm at the heat of the moment, walking away from a fight and ultimately becoming the master of your own emotions.
I get it man. Anger is tough. It’s frustrating, stressful and downright crappy.
But that’s the entire point.
If you want to see real results, you need to take on the challenge and embrace the struggle head on. You can’t cower down and take the easy route.
So go for it. Even if it doesn’t feel great, know that it’s perfectly normal. Work hard, feel the heat and don’t give up.
You can be the master of your emotions one day.