new age spirituality

This article may be freely downloaded and reproduced in electronic and/or print format. Where reproduced it must be reproduced in its entirety and include an acknowledgement and a link to

How to Manage Anger

Anger Management Techniques

Anger is a particularly human emotion. It is both negative and destructive. In the entire history of the universe anger has never solved a problem or moved any situation forwards.

In sport a common object of "gamesmanship" is to try to make an opponent angry. An angry opponent is de-focused and tends to make mistakes, and is thus easier to defeat.

Anger is essentially the loss or submission of control. Not to our higher, or Spiritual, self but to the lowest, most flawed part of our being.

Anger may take many forms from outright physical or verbal aggression, to an inner simmering fury slowly and silently destroying us from within. Here we examine three kinds of anger categorized by object; anger towards others, towards the world, and towards ourself.

Too many allow others to irritate them too often. I say, "allow others to irritate", because the irritation and anger comes from within. "He did it", "it's all her fault", "you made a mistake / did it wrong / are stupid", etc etc. Sometimes the anger is without cause. The object of our anger is merely traveling their own path which may differ from our own. But all people are imperfect to varying degrees.

Some people appear immature, selfish, ignorant, rude… Most times that is their problem, and it's to be hoped they will make some progress in their time here. But sometimes people do behave unreasonably towards us - intentionally or otherwise. And our first human reaction is to be angered. Such anger may boil over into aggression, which serves only to exacerbate the problem. If our anger becomes physical we may end up being convicted of assault, or find that our irritant holds a karate black belt. Most dangerously of all we may create an embittered enemy wishing us ill and plotting our downfall. Don't pour gasoline on the flames.

He that is without sin...

"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone...", said Lord Jesus (John 8:7). Remember that we too have probably been guilty of the kinds of things that anger us when done by others.

Of course we should not meekly accept encroachments upon our rights. We should defend them to the full. But when unfortunate enough to encounter a less evolved soul we should follow the old adage and count to ten. Not merely to dissipate our anger but to take time to reflect how to deal with the situation in a controlled, calm and effective manner. By doing something positive, and knowing that we are taking the most effective action open to us, the need for flying off the handle is removed and the situation is resolved as advantageously as possible.

It is also too easy to become embittered and angered by the world in general. "Poor me", "everyone gets a better deal than me", "I never win", "the system's against me", etc etc. It's a hard truth that life is hard. Those that appear more fortunate than you undoubtedly have their problems and burdens, though they may be different to yours. Instead of being resentful of difficulties, re-frame them as opportunities, opportunities to fulfill our real purpose of learning and growth.

By coming through a dark period we emerge from the other side wiser and stronger, and perhaps ready for greater worldly success, should that be our desire and destiny.

We tend to notice only life's bad things. The many good things that sweeten our journey are frequently overlooked. By taking time to count our blessings, literally listing our positives on a sheet of paper, we realize the good far outweighs the bad.

Disappointments such as losing a job, the break-up of a relationship, or the realization that we've made a mistake can all give rise to anger at oneself resulting in feelings of inferiority, worthlessness, even self hatred. Again the way forward is through reflection.

You are imperfect. I am imperfect. Everyone in human clothes is imperfect, else we wouldn't need to be here. In spite of your imperfections you are a very special and unique individual. You are also part of the great oneness that is Spirit.

Take a moment to identify you particular characteristics, both positive and negative. Remind yourself of your many good points. It is these that should set the general direction of your future path. But know also your weaknesses. Treat these as opportunity for progress. For example, if you are very shy you probably won't become a cold-calling salesperson (and probably don't want to), but you might make a special effort to help strangers looking for directions…

Despite the proliferation of machinery designed to ease our lives modern times seem to bring greater stress than ever and this stress creates conditions in which anger can flourish. Controlling stress reduces the likelihood of anger. Simple steps such as healthy eating, regular exercise and the practice of some form of meditation in which we give our mind time and space away from the incessant demands of the material world all help reduce stress and in turn anger.

new age spirituality © abracad 2005