Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. – Buddha
A Delve into My Past
In my teenage years, I walked around with a big chip on my shoulder, thought life wasn’t fair and held a lot of anger.
Most weekends I’d use alcohol as a mask for my anger.
I’d get drunk and start fights or arguments with people I didn’t know.
I thought violence and letting my anger out in the external world was the right answer.
But it never was, and i’d always feel intense regret later.
I carried this attitude through school and university, and it wasn’t until I went travelling that I realised my anger didn’t serve me.
It was here, on the road, that I finally got time to understand myself, my problems, and in this case, the origin of my anger.
Dealing With Anger
Over the last 3 years travelling I’ve put in a lot of self-development work to understand and dilute my anger and negativity.
Controlling anger is a personal topic, and what works for me might not necessarily work for you, but here are a few useful observations and things I’ve tried to control my own anger:
1. Anger hurts yourself more than others
Holding on to anger is as good as stabbing yourself in the chest. There’s no doubt, your anger will hurt other people, but you will always hurt yourself the most. The negative thoughts. The grudges. The pain. The guilt. The resentment. The jealously. It will burn inside you until you understand the route origin of your anger (more on that in point number 4).
2. Masking anger doesn’t get rid of the problem
I used alcohol as a mask anger for many years as a method of short-term gratification. It felt good to temporarily block and numb out the intense feelings, but my anger would always catch up with me somewhere down the line.
Masking and offsetting the problem now for later isn’t facing the issue at head. In my case, it wasn’t until I became vulnerable, accepted the problem, and confronted it head on that I managed to slowly dilute my own anger.
3. Negativity breeds more anger
For years I fuelled my mind with negative thoughts, which created a mind-set built on fear, instead of abundance.One way we are fed fear and negativity is through modern day media and adverting in the form of news. Death story, followed by terrorist attack, followed by tax increases. Imagine the compound affect of negativity on your mind.
About 2 years ago I made a conscious decision to stop watching the news all together. I knew it was a trade off and that I’d not know what’s going on in the world, but the prospect of a mindset based on abundance and positivity was more important to me.
Since that decision, my world has changed and I have experienced a lot less anger, over reaction and negativity in my life.
4. Understanding yourself and the triggers
Without a proper understanding of the root cause of anger, you will never be able to do anything about it.
Sit down (with a pen and piece of paper if you like) and really think about some of the following questions:
•What situations and circumstances trigger your anger? Is it the environment that you are in or friends that you hold that is influencing your anger?
•Can you hazard a reason to why you get angry? Think back to your childhood, significant events in your life.
•What do you do when you are angry and how do you react? What feelings, emotions, words, statements, actions do you use?
•How do you normally deal with your anger? How do people react to the ways you deal with your anger?
5. Give love
As paradoxical as it is sounds, by giving love, we can dilute anger. Letting go of anger means learning to love yourself and becoming on good terms with yourself.
On the other side, if someone is coming at you with anger, always come back from a place of love and compassion. No revenge is the best revenge, because anger built on more anger is a vicious circle that is going to keep on hurting you. Learn to let go and drown them in love instead.
A good question to ask yourself when an angry situation arises: How can I deal with this in a compassionate and loving way?
I’m still learning how to control my own anger and always will be. The aim isn’t to get ride of anger completely (that’s unrealistic and impossible), but rather, to under yourself and learn how to best mitigate the effect of anger
I hope you can resonate and found some use in the points made when dealing with your own anger.
I’d love to hear some of the ways you deal with your own anger in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Daniel Beaumont, Sunday 31st January 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
If you enjoyed reading this article, please share it with your friends and join the discussion below by posting your thoughts and questions.
If you want to read more articles like this then please subscribe to my mailing list here to receive content directly to your inbox.