Personal Development Tip: Controlling Anger

Most of us at one time or another go around smoking with thoughts about how someone did something wrong to us. The mental habit of fixating our mind on particular thoughts that make us feel angry can pollute our mind. Like all of our emotions, anger doesn’t emerge out of a void. We get angry mostly out of judgments we make about other people doing or saying things we don’t think they should, and then often internalizing it to attack our negative core beliefs about ourselves.

Anger is almost always a response to thoughts we are running through our minds, in which we are judging a person or a situation which we believe has caused us damage. But when we judge another person or situation, we’re saying that we have the power and wisdom to know what is good and what is bad. When we refuse to accept something for what it is, and instead making judgments as to what should be, the result is usually emotional trauma and a loss of heartfelt engagement with that person; thinking thoughts that make us feel angry is almost always detrimental to our health and well-being.

Whenever you find yourself thinking angry, anxious, or upsetting thoughts toward a person or situation, you can apply these five steps to help you break free from the thoughts and beliefs that are holding you in a state of anger:

1)     Clearly state who you are angry with and WHY; write it down

2)     The second step is to honestly question your beliefs and why you are angry. Why should another person behave or say what we want them to? Why do you think you have the right to judge their behavior? Why should they be held responsible for your feelings? Did the other person intentionally inflict emotional pain upon you or are you doing it with your own thoughts?

3)     The third step in the process is to ask yourself, “How might I be benefiting from my anger? What is the positive payoff on holding onto the belief as to why I am angry?

4)     The fourth step is to ask, “How is my life being damaged by holding onto the belief that someone has wronged me?”

5)     The fifth step is to ask the question, “How would my life change by letting go of the belief that this person has wronged me?”

A common underlying problem with anger is we place blame on other people. At the heart of this basic blaming problem are two core beliefs: the belief and feeling of being helpless; and the belief and feeling of being unlovable or unworthy.  One of the truly powerful techniques that we can apply to help heal unrealistic negative core beliefs is the process of listening, without judgment, to our own recurring self-debasing thoughts. Regularly pause to write down the thoughts that have just been running through your mind. Find out what your unconscious mind is chronically fixating upon; in a word, get to know yourself. Then replace focusing on those old beliefs with spending more time in the spontaneous interaction with the world in the present moment.

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