If you are troubled by the way your anger controls you rather than the other way around, there’s a help at hand. Among its multiple benefits, one of the major benefits of meditation is that it helps in reducing anger. But before we get into the solution, let’s understand the problem and its effects.
What is anger?
Anger is defined as “a normal, usually healthy, human emotion.” After a surge of anger, if you can hit the delete button, then that is fine. However, when anger gets out of hand, a host of problems pop-up in all areas of life: physical, mental, emotional, and social.
Why is anger harmful to your health?
Anger triggers the basic flight-or-fight response. Primarily, it causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. The breathing rate increases too. When anger is ‘recurrent and unmanaged’, metabolic changes are set in motion that inevitably affect not just health, but also the overall quality of life. Unmanaged anger can cause many ill-effects such as:
- heart attack
- decreased immunity
- skin problems
- high blood pressure
- digestive problems
- anxiety and depression
- negative emotions
- complications in pre-existing health conditions.
Have you noticed that despite reminding yourself repeatedly that getting angry is not good, yet when the emotion arises you are unable to control it? As children, you were taught to not get angry but were not taught how to control anger. Before we get into the tips on managing anger, let’s start with understanding the root cause of anger:
- Often when we see imperfection around us, we are unable to accept it. For instance, when someone has done something wrong, our anger rises like a wave and then subsides, leaving us shaken, and sometimes with regret.
- When we are angry, we are not aware. The first step is to realize that anger cannot remove imperfections. We need to understand that only when we are able to accept the situation as it is, we can correct it with awareness.
- This is easier said than done because it is never easy to deal with the mind or emotions directly. That is why we need the help of certain techniques to help us. This is where meditation, breathing techniques play a major role.
7 simple anger management tips
You are what you eat
Have you noticed that some days you feel calm and relaxed and some days you are restless? This is because the food you eat greatly affects your mind and emotions. Certain types of food bring restlessness and tension in mind and body. This type of food mainly include non-vegetarian, spicy and oily food. Avoiding this food will help you reduce your tendency to get angry as well as feel the intensity of the emotion when it arises.
Experience the power of rest
How do you feel if you have not had sound sleep? Do you tend to get angry more often? Tiredness and restlessness in your body can lead to stress, tension, and agitation in the mind. Sleeping for at least 6-8 hours every day is essential for managing your anger because it ensures proper rest for the body as well as the mind. Good sleep reduces the chances of you feeling agitated.
Yogic twists are good
A quick 10 to 15 minutes of yoga asanas will help remove the tension and restlessness in your body and mind. This, in turn, will help you in managing your anger. A few rounds of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) could be a good way to begin. The advantage of yoga asanas over just physical exercise is that the yogic postures are synchronized with breath and thus, increase your energy levels along with providing the necessary physical stretches.
“On certain days, when I feel stressed out, I feel a lot of stiffness in my body. This makes me restless and agitated. I tend to get angry easily. Yoga removes stiffness from the body and the result is a relaxed and happy mind,” said Priyam Khanna.
Taking a few deep breaths will instantly help you drop anger. The moment you become angry, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Observe the change in your state of mind. Breath releases stress and helps your mind calm down.
“Meditation keeps me calm and away from my anger,” said Surbhi Sharma
Do the ‘hmm’
Doing the “hmm” process takes just a couple of minutes, but will immediately make you calmer and put you in control of your anger.
Watch this video to learn how to do the “hmmm” process.
Regular practice of yoga, pranayama, and attention to food help settle the restlessness, but how can one sustain a calm and balanced state of mind? Meditating regularly is your answer. Just 20 minutes of daily meditation is sufficient for an entire day. You will notice that even if you do get angry, you calm down faster. Even a guided meditation can be the solution.
Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks.
Written by Divya Sachdev, based on inputs from Bharathy Harish, Faculty, The Art of Living.
Practicing meditation regularly alleviates you from stress-related problems, deeply relaxes the mind and rejuvenates the system. The Art of Living’s Sahaj Samadhi Meditation is a specially crafted program to help you tap into your unlimited potential by diving deep within yourself.
“In meditation, healing can happen. When the mind is calm, alert...
Whether you are new to meditation, out of practice or a regular...
I had to once make a presentation. I was not ready. Something...