Anger is a human emotion that can wreak havoc. It can ruin relationships in the
blink of an eye and hurt people irreparably. The tongue can inflict wounds
deeper the sword, as they say. In a few moments, irreversible damage can be
inflicted. So extreme this emotion becomes at times that a person physically
abuses others and even goes as far as killing people.
The pinnacle of human dignity is to show patience and restraint when the
adrenaline of anger pumps within us. We need to realize that if things are not
going our way, then they are going God’s way. So why should a true believer vent
his frustration when faced with unexpected situations? It is essential that a
concerted plan be chalked out to manage our anger. Suggested below are some
short term and long term measures to restrain this monster. Both these types of
measures work in tandem and attention needs to be paid to both.
As far as the short term measures are concerned, they primarily relate to
delaying our immediate reaction and response. They include:
i. Changing of posture: for example, if we are sitting, we
should stand up and vice versa.
ii. Drawing deep breaths: it is recommended that we take ten
iii. Repeating relaxing phrases: we should slowly repeat
a calming word or phrase such as: “relax,” “take it easy,” while we are
iv. Drinking a glass of water.
v. Changing location: thus only leaving the place where one has
experienced this surge in temper helps.
vi. Finding a physical release: It is suggested that “an
anger workout” be done. Thus hitting a mattress with a tennis racket or slapping
the sofa with a bat or punching a pillow releases the pressure
vii. Talking to God: some of the above measures may not
completely release our anger, and in spite of controlling it for the time being
one may find its surge arising later. In such cases, it is best to talk with God
and share our pain and anguish with Him. Inevitably, we will feel relieved.
Some long term measures which can be useful to manage anger are
i. Figuring out what generally triggers our anger viz a viz our
relatives and friends as well as situations: once we are able to calmly evaluate
these triggers, we should try our best that we stay away from scenarios that
cause these triggers.
ii. Giving ourselves positive messages: this is particularly
useful when anger is caused by a person. In this regard, we should always look
at the qualities of that person, and any benefit we may have received from him
iii. Learning to relax in our lives: if we take regular time out
in our daily routines to relax and enjoy we tend to become individuals who in
general are not stressed out; a relaxed body has relaxed nerves that provide a
tremendous buffer in critical situations.
iv. Visualizing our response: we should imagine and visualize what we should do
when the crunch time comes. We should talk to ourselves that when it happens how
we will react and what we will say. This may save us from spur of the moment
flare ups which really can cause great harm and havoc.
v. Following exemplary people: we human beings are weak by nature and need
encouragement and inspiration from role models. It is really worthwhile to read
stories and anecdotes of people whose exemplary patience and forbearance in
testing times make them unlikely victors.
vi. Reminding ourselves that no one is perfect: anger most of the time results
because of various imperfections in life that we come across. We should continue
to remind our selves that we have to live with imperfections – foremost with
one’s own and remember that these may be a cause of anger for others. So if
others tolerate us we should reciprocate this attitude.
vii. Learning to forgive: Forgiveness mitigates anger. We expect God to forgive
us for our own blemishes; all the more reason that we should forgive others in
return for their faults and shortcomings.
These measures may prove helpful in restraining our fury. However, in spite of
trying hard to contain anger, we humans can still err and lose cool. And when we
do, two things may help us further:
i. We must always apologize to the aggrieved person.
ii. We should impose a monetary fine on ourselves and then spend the collected
money in the interest and welfare of the aggrieved person.
Here is what some prophets of God say in this regard:
Muhammad (sws) is reported to have said that a strong person is not the one who
defeats his rival in a dual; rather a strong person is the one who controls
himself when he is angry.
Jesus (sws) is reported to have said: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse
you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you.”
David (sws) is reported to have said: “Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do
not fret; it leads only to evildoing. ”