Spiritual Transformation Article: How to Control Anger
Spiritual Transformation Article: How to Control Anger

How to Control Anger

Anger is a strong human emotion, but in our hearts none of us can enjoy anger. In this article, the essential teachings on how to control anger are shared by Master Sri Avinash with characteristic depth, an understanding heart and simple logic.

Reading time – 7 minutes

Why it’s good to know how to control anger

When we learn how to control anger, this benefits us and those around us.

If you are in a situation where your anger takes over, try your best to calm down, because when you get angry the anger creates a chemical in your body that eats away at you, causing ulcers and diseases.

It not only causes this type of physical destruction for yourself, but it causes physical harm for the other person as well—the recipient of the anger.

So, have the understanding that your anger is harming others and yourself.

If you are suffering the effects of anger, you might find these healing meditations useful.

Now, let’s look at the ways to control anger to avoid its negative effects. The two possible scenarios are:

  1. Train to control your mind and emotions; and/or
  2. Try your best to calm down in the moment when you are experiencing anger.

Practicing how to control anger

I think we all understand that prevention is the best medicine. So it’s good to train your mind so that you are able to control your thoughts and your emotions when you want to. That’s the best way to control anger.

If you understand life, you know you’re going to go through circumstances where, because of your conditioning, you’re going to have explosions of anger. With that understanding, then you can train or practice ahead of time to prevent that.

You can do spiritual practice to purify and clear your conditioning, and you practice self-control in moments in your life when you struggle to handle your anger.

When your anger has exploded, that failure is actually not a failure—you can use it to prepare for the next opportunity. And then you get better and better at it, until you are in a situation that normally makes you angry, but you’re able to be calm.

So as a preventative, you can train ahead like this, thinking like an Olympian—“In four years’ time, I’m going to go to the Olympics. So I’ll start training now.”

Plan B, when anger has already exploded

“What should I do when I’m already feeling totally frustrated or overly distressed by a situation?”

If a person hasn’t trained and they just rock up to the Olympics, all they can do is try their best in the moment. But they’re not going to perform very well.

So the second way to control your anger is to try your best to calm down as much as you can in that moment, and make a vow to never do that towards another person again.

Try also to understand that ‘this too shall pass’, because this is not the first time it has happened. It has happened hundreds of times, and each time it has passed. It might take days or weeks for it to get out of your mind so that you’re no longer disturbed about it, but you understand that this too shall pass. So try to hang on to your sanity and let it pass.

It’s like if it’s a very hot summer day, you know this too shall pass and all you have to do is just hang in there. Even if you haven’t got air conditioning at home, you just know that all you have to do is just hang in there and it will pass.

That’s probably the best you can do.

Once the bull is running, you can’t stop it because it’s just too powerful. You have to let it calm down, slow down and get tired.

In the same way, your emotions have exploded. There’s destruction to the other person and you’re setting yourself up for destruction in the future, because the other person may not forgive you. But that’s all you can do, really, in that moment.

However, the real solution is to train yourself today, to prepare for tomorrow.

How to control anger - Practice

How does a person win the Olympics? They don’t train on the day of the Olympic tournament—they train years ahead. Nobody will train on the day. So that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to train today, to prepare for the future.

Now, if you don’t prepare and train, there’s nothing wrong with that. It simply means on the day of the tournament you bomb out. It’s no big deal. ‘Bomb out’ means you experience some suffering, that’s all. Otherwise, you have to train early, practice.

Is controlling anger just suppression, so anger explodes afterwards?

The scenario that we understand as ‘suppression’ is when somebody gets angry and they don’t say anything on the outside, but they’re fuming inside, and they go home and explode towards their family.

I’m talking about a different scenario. What I’m talking about is controlling the cause of the anger—the thoughts. When you switch off the thoughts, there are no corresponding emotions of anger arising.

Emotions will always follow thoughts like a shadow, so if there are no thoughts arising then anger cannot arise. This is the key factor.

If we are not aware of the thoughts that are coming in that moment, then they happen automatically so we have no control over them. But if you are aware of your thoughts and therefore you are able to control them, then there’ll be no anger arising inside you.

When anger gets to you

“Despite my prayers, meditation and good intentions, I failed to contain my emotions when provoked recently.”

Let me share a tennis example so you can understand what happened there. I taught my younger brother how to play tennis when he was a boy. I hit the ball to him really hard, as if he was an adult, because I thought if he could take the speed of my shots he could easily beat other people his age.

This is how I used to teach him, and he got quite good.

Many years later, when he was about 15 years old, we played a set together. I wasn’t playing tennis myself at that time, and he beat me six-love, even though I tried my best!

So, of course you’re going to bomb out in that situation, the way I bombed out, because you haven’t practiced observing your mind and disbelieving your mind. As a matter of fact, you’ve practiced the opposite—you’ve spent a whole lifetime believing your mind.

When you want to sleep, your mind says, “I need to sleep, but I’ve got so much to do tomorrow. I haven’t finished this or that… Don’t sleep yet, I’ve got to get this ready, I’ve got to get that ready…” You love it!

You do everything your mind tells you and when you finish the things on that list, you ask, “Are there any other lists to go through?” By then it’s already 4 o’clock in the morning.

If you spend a whole lifetime loving the mind, then of course in the critical moment you’re going to bomb out in this sport of disbelieving it.

There’s nothing you can do in that moment. Like me—I tried my best, but my brother beat me six-love. I wasn’t embarrassed or disappointed at all, because I knew the nature of life. I knew I hadn’t played tennis for years so the result was to be expected. It’s normal.

In other words, you shouldn’t be surprised that you couldn’t control your anger or emotions. You’ve spent years and years believing your mind, nearly 24 hours a day.

Even in your dreams, you believe everything—the mind suggests things that you haven’t fulfilled while you’re awake and you try to fulfill them in your dreams. So, looking at it objectively, without any judgment, the outcome is normal. We shouldn’t be surprised by that.

Now, if you spent 24 hours a day practicing to dis-identify with the mind, learning from a Master who teaches you how to see the invisible nature of the mind, and you still bomb out in that moment—then that would be alarming. That would be a surprise. But you haven’t. You’ve hardly embarked on it.

What you’ve learnt is only theory. It’s just words. But you need to know how to see the invisible, how to see thoughts, because in actual practice the words and theories can’t do anything. So practice in advance, and make sure you’re practicing the right way—learn from a Master of mind control. Then the anger can’t get you.

Share This Page - Choose Your Platform!

You might also like

Grateful | Related Book

If you liked this article about how to control anger, you might enjoy
A Beautiful Life: Spiritual Wisdom for Everyday Living

Related Events