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
than the sword, as they say. In a few moments, irreversible
damage can be inflicted. So extreme does this emotion become
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 deep breaths.
iii. Repeating relaxing phrases: we should
slowly repeat a calming word or
phrase such as: “relax” and “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 built within us.
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
Some long term measures which can be useful to
manage anger are as follows:
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 or her.
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 comes.
We should decide 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
faults; 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 our cool. And
when we do, two things that befit us are:
i. We must always apologize to the
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
Muhammad (sws) is reported to have said
that a strong person is not the one who defeats his rival in a
duel; 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. ”