November 13, 2023


I wished I knew how to control my anger.

More by Rieko Mwenyewe

How to manage anger: 10 tips to take control

How to manage anger: 10 tips to take control

Photo courtesy of Guardian Nigeria News

When you are not able to control your anger, it controls you. It can get destructive both for you and for others. A little bit of self-awareness and deliberate attention will go a long way because as you give in to anger, you are giving away your true strength.

When I was young and growing up, I could easily be annoyed and angry at any provocation. I would start a fight at the least mentioning of what was not right for me. As I grew up, I wished I knew how to control my anger. So here are a few tips to control the demon called anger.

1. Have a Happiness that is Self-Fuelled.

When you come to a decision with yourself that you are taking responsibility for your own happiness, that is, you are deliberately and consciously putting your attention, focus and time on the things that are serving your emotions well, you will be catching yourself early whenever you are heading in the opposite direction of happiness, which in this case towards anger. The feeling of anger will now be a choice for you to make, instead of an uncontrolled reaction or habit that you unconsciously just fall into by default. You will already know that you can choose to go into anger or not, instead of blaming the people or circumstances for the way you feel. With the right focus, you know you can get yourself back to a happy, aligned state, from where you are. You will not let the anger well up inside of you because how you feel is already within your control.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I giving up the control for my own happiness?

2. Do not give in to the Endless Internal Monologue.

A lot of times, when we are faced with a disturbing situation, our mind gets in an endless loop of conclusions and judgments, which ends up clouding our clarity to make a conscious response. Start making an intention to observe your mind as it starts to engage in unnecessary chatter. Instead of reacting, try observing. Pause for a while and take a deep breath as you centre yourself. By doing this, you will become the watcher of your mind, instead of becoming a victim of your own angry thoughts. You will not be paying too much attention to that voice in the head talking, and the probability to give in to anger will become lesser as a result.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I just making stuff up in my head right now?

3. Do not take Things Personally.

When you are not attaching yourself personally to all the happenings around you, you will have a much lighter approach to circumstances, and things will not bother you that easily. Whenever you are seeing other people’s behaviour as a reflection of the energy that is going on inside of them, without any connection to what you are doing, you will not be taking things personally and be feeling any anger or hurt for how a person behaved toward you. Whatever their reaction or behaviour is, is essentially a result of their own beliefs, perspectives and habits of thinking, and is totally unrelated to who you are. Nothing will feel like a personal attack, and as a result, you will easily be detaching yourself out of the situation, and feel a sense of understanding or compassion for how a person turned out. What they chose to do has got nothing to do with you, and you will choose to disengage in any anger or any kind of lower energy.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, is there something in here that I am just taking personally?

4. Do not make too much of Small Things.

Becoming anger-proof requires the commitment to not be sweating the small stuff, or in other words, to be maintaining a bigger picture of life at all times. In times when you are inclined to get angry, you can ask yourself, will this thing really matter months or years from now. Will I allow this thing or person to take away minutes or hours of happiness from me, something that is comparatively miniscule in the bigger scheme of things. If your answer is no, then you now have moved a whole lot of energy in the right direction and already decided that going the anger route won’t be worth it.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I looking at the big picture here?

5. Give Respect for Differences.

People would normally have different upbringings, environments and backgrounds in life which would make for a variety of opinions and attitudes about ways of living and interacting with the world. And being able to recognize and allow for these differences and contrasting personalities will ease up a lot of tension when confronted with someone or something that is different from what you’ve been used to. Whenever you have the mindset of honouring the individualities of every single person you meet, you will not feel the need to be angry and will become more accepting of these differences.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I just using our differences as an excuse to feel the anger.

6. Release the Need to be Right.

Most angry feelings stem from the need to be right and to prove another person or circumstance wrong. And releasing this need to insist yourself or your point of view will result in a greater relief on your part as you will not be attached to winning an argument and being the right one. Keep in mind that the things happening around us are all subjective. It can be right or wrong depending on who’s looking or interpreting. You can release the need to prove your side when you understand that it will be fruitless to argue, and feeling good is more important to you. You will walk away peacefully, knowing that nothing valuable will come out from going deeper into something you do not want.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I just wanting to prove myself or my opinion right?

7. Be unattached to any Specific Outcome.

Whenever you are accepting and flowing with life as it presents itself in every moment, instead of resisting what is already in front of you and insisting that it should not be the way that it is, you will naturally not feel anger or disappointment with whatever is happening. Becoming unattached to how things should specifically play out will eliminate a great deal of unnecessary demanding or pushing against something that is beyond your control. Remember that nothing is broken and nothing happens by accident. Everything is a perfect match. There is no need to feel angry about an outcome because it is the perfect result of the co-creation of everyone involved. You can trust that things are always working out in the way that it should for the highest good of all.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I just making an enemy of the present moment?

8. Practice Forgiveness.

Forgiving often, instead of storing anger or hurt within you, will increase the likelihood of having immunity to feeling too much anger again. When you do not practice that kind of vibration inside you, there would not be any trapped energies of anger that can be easily triggered by outside circumstances. When you are keeping your heart open, practicing forgiveness, and releasing any wounds of the past that may be trapped inside, the tendency to succumb to the feeling of anger will become less and less. Through forgiveness, you are also treating the situation as an opportunity for your soul advancement, and seeing the gift that the situation or person is providing for you.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, can I choose to forgive instead of feel angry.

9. Practice Self-Love.

When you are putting self-love as your priority in every interaction, you will become more gentle towards yourself as well as to others. You will naturally be connected to your core values of peace, harmony, joy and love, and will naturally move toward harmonious responses. You will also be immune to other people’s comments, judgment or criticism of any kind, and the need to seek validation or approval from them will be gone. What will most matter to you will be taking care of your own vibration, and not letting the feeling of anger bring your vibration down.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I choosing self love with this response?

10. Be Fully Present.

As you ground yourself in the present moment by taking full conscious breaths before responding to any situation, you will create a space between unconscious reacting and conscious responding. That space of presence will set your mind clearer as to the what the beneficial action should be. As you maintain your presence, you will become more observant of the emotional energy you are allowing within your own body.

Before getting angry, ask yourself, am I grounded in the present moment?


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