Learning how to handle anger is a crucial skill not only for managing relationships with others, but for managing the relationship you have with yourself as well.
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Anger is an unpleasant feeling. It is like a blazing flame that burns up our self-control and causes us to say and do things that we regret later. When someone is angry, we can see clearly that he or she is abiding in hell. Anger and hatred are the materials from which hell is made. A mind without anger is cool, fresh, and sane. The absence of anger is the basis of real happiness, the basis of love and compassion.
When our anger is placed under the lamp of mindfulness, it immediately begins to lose some of its destructive nature. We can say to ourselves, “Breathing in, I know that anger is in me. Breathing out, I know that I am my anger.” If we follow our breathing closely while we identify and mindfully observe our anger, it can no longer monopolize our consciousness.
Awareness can be called upon to be a companion for our anger. Our awareness of our anger does not suppress it or drive it out. It just looks after it. This is a very important principle. Mindfulness is not a judge. It is more like an older sister looking after and comforting her younger sister in an affectionate and caring way. We can concentrate on our breathing in order to maintain this mindfulness and know ourselves fully.
“Willpower is like a battery, at least in the short term. If it is depleted, future challenges will falter. This is a fundamental insight. Self-control is not available around the clock. It needs time to refuel.” ~ Rolf Dobelli, The Art of Thinking Clearly
“Freedom is born of self-discipline. No individual, no nation, can achieve or maintain liberty without self-control. The undisciplined man is a slave to his own weaknesses.” ~ Alan Valentine
“It takes courage, of course, to step out of the fray, as it takes courage to do anything that’s necessary, whether tending to a loved one on her deathbed or turning away from that sugarcoated doughnut. And with billions of our global neighbors in crying need, with so much in every life that has to be done, it can sound selfish to take a break or go off to a quiet place. But as soon as you do sit still, you find that it actually brings you closer to others, in both understanding and sympathy. As the meditative video artist Bill Viola notes, it’s the man who steps away from the world whose sleeve is wet with tears for it.” ~ Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness
As humans, we are wired to seek pleasure and to avoid pain.
Cookies; Nutella; and Netflix.
Soft couches; sleeping in; and social media.
Push-ups; Lettuce; and Cardio.
Reading books; rising early; and writing blogs.
When given the choice, instinctually speaking, we will choose cookies over push-ups.
Or Netflix over cardio.
Or social media over writing blogs.
Unless we learn learn the power of delaying gratification.
“The principle of fasting is taught in almost all major world religions as a means of developing a higher level of self-mastery and self-control, and also a deeper awareness of how really dependent we are.” ~ Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit
“Surely what a man does when he is taken off guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.” ~ C.S. Lewis
“Don’t fight with yourself. Then you have one less enemy. How can you control anyone else if you can’t control yourself?” ~ Chow Hung-Yuen
“Nothing external to you has any power over you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The most powerful way to control your focus is through the use of questions.” ~ Anthony Robbins
“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” ~ Debrah Reber
“A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.” ~ Bruce Lee
“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” ~ Buddha