Anger is considered as a response to feelings of hurt or threat or unhappiness we experience in unpleasant or provocative circumstances. According to Sivananda anger is a great force. If you control, it can be transmuted into a tremendous whiff of power which can move the whole world but, if you fail to control anger there is nothing more destructive than this. Unbridled anger destroys your peace of mind and happiness, leading you to unending sufferings and distress. Even your body becomes tense, and uncomfortable.
Anger can devastate you
As Buddha warned ; ‘Holding on anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned’. The famous American writer and humorist Mark Twain once remarked; ‘Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than anything on which it is poured’.
Physiology of anger
Anger triggers the fight or flight response of the body. The adrenal glands secrete the stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Blood flows towards muscles in preparation for physical exertion. Besides, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate etc will increase. Body temperature rises and the body begins to perspire. The mind becomes sharper and more focused, as if ready for a war.
Health issues of anger
If your anger is not properly managed short term or long term problems can arise eventually causing harm to different systems of body. Severe headache, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, rise in blood pressure, digestive problems, heart attack, and stroke are some of the major issues that can arise out of anger.
Managing your anger
You should be aware of the consequences of the uncontrolled anger. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. If you feel out of control, walk away from the situation temporarily and stay away until you cool down. You have to recognize the emotion is normal and try to find out the real reason for this.
You can do some physical activity such as walking, running, climbing the stairs etc. to have a control on your anger. Laughter is the best way to reduce the anger in a faster way . Even a deliberate smile can help you to be calm. Think of the funny side of the situation and try to laugh in your heart.
As the Chinese philosopher Confucius advised centuries; ‘When anger rises, think of the consequences. The moment you realize that you are angry try to focus on your breathing. Take a number of deep breaths, and then you will realize that you are gradually cooling down.
Counting from one to ten deliberately and silently is another quick remedy you can try. Julius Caesar, the famous Roman emperor used to control his anger by reciting the letters of the roman language sequentially. It helped him a lot to come back to his proper senses.
The famous tennis phenomenon Roger Federer used to express his unbridled anger in the court and later he was repentant of it. He tried to correct his anger tantrums by watching his play videos. He could drastically change his angry behavior in the court by this method.
The well known American writer and journalist James Fallows suggests a practical method to control anger towards your enemy. Write angry letters to your enemy in recalcitrant and strong words and read it, but never send it to the person. You have to burn it imagining that your anger is also gone into fire.
Another method is to challenge the rationality of the cause of your anger towards another person. Look at things from the other person’s perspective, and then you will understand that your anger is not reasonable. Try to be empathetic towards him with more of understanding.
It is proved that your Para sympathetic nervous system can be activated by slow breathing through your left nostril alone continuously after closing your right nostril with your right thumb. This is a calming exercise which will help you to reduce your stress and anger.
It is widely accepted by experts that yoga and pranayama can help a person to cool down his anger. Pranayamas like bastrika, naadishodan and sheetali can help to calm your mind and reduce anger considerably. Also, meditation is a wonderful tool to cool down your mind and eliminate your anger. There are a number of meditations you can practice on a daily basis such as mindfulness meditation, humming meditation, yoga nidra etc. Just twenty minutes of daily meditation is enough for the entire day. Then you will notice that even if you become angry you can expunge your anger and calm down faster.
Researchers say that anger is a learned response to a provoking situation. So you can unlearn it if you desire so. As Buddha advised ‘anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten. So, whole heartedly forgive your enemy and forget the thoughts of resentment’.
Always remember the wise words of the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson; ‘For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.’