One of the biggest threats to our peace of mind is the affliction of anger. At work, we often find ourselves angry at our boss, co-workers, or subordinates. Hardly a day goes by when someone or something at work does not disturb our peace of mind. We find that our homes are also a breeding ground for angry reactions. Someone did not pay a bill on time, someone else has gobbled up our favorite dessert, our children are arguing and giving us a headache, or our spouse made a commitment on our behalf that we would rather not keep. The list goes on and on. Even the trip to and from work stirs up our anger. Smooth flowing traffic suddenly comes to a halt for no reason and we sit motionless for fifteen minutes. Someone does not let us change lanes and we miss our exit. Another driver cuts us off, nearly causing an accident. By the time we get to work, we are agitated and hostile.
It seems life is ready to pounce on us with another situation that stirs us to states of frenzy. Is there any antidote for anger? The more we give in to anger, the angrier we become, and it gains its power over us. We reach a point in which we lose total control and end up doing or saying something that hurts others and ourselves.
The secret to overcome anger, is to stay calm in the face of whatever is happening. As we face problems at home, at the office, or in traffic, we should not react in anger. We can recognize that the problems are there. We can take steps to solve the problem. We can even be proactive and try to remove the agitating source by communication or by finding solutions, while trying to avoid becoming angry. Anger is not going to eliminate problems. All it will do is raise our blood pressure, cause fight-or-flight hormones to circulate through our body and make us ill, keeping our mind in a state of obsessive agitation. The anger does not cause others to stop doing what they are doing. All anger does is make us sick and ineffective. But if we remain calm, we can tackle the problem with all our faculties fully in our control and we can find a more effective solution. We will have more energy to solve the problem.
Step by Step
So, what are the steps to overcoming anger?
First, when we feel ourselves getting angry we should not say or do anything immediately. Rather, we should take a deep breath and slow down.
Second, we should sit in meditation. We should remove ourselves from the situation to be alone, and sit in a state of calm meditation. We should realize that the longer we can remain calm, quiet, and composed, the less energy anger will have, and it will gradually vanish.
Let us destroy anger by our calmness, equipoise, and balance. We will find that while the same situations that incite us every day continue, we will not become slaves to them. We can calmly pass through them using our body, mind, and energy for more constructive purposes and we will feel happier, more joyful, and more peaceful.