by Andrew Pacholyk MS, L.Ac.
Anger is the feeling we experience when events in our world are not going according to our plans. Anger is one of the most common and destructive delusions affecting our minds. Because it is based on an exaggeration, anger is an expression of our belief system and how we defend it. It’s as if we have an inner idea of how things, events and people should be for us. When we get angry and either feels frustrated or try to change them, we tend to give away our power! Many of us remain a victim to our tempers all of our lives. In essence, anger is the feeling we get when we want to control the world around us.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, anger is most prevalent in the spring. It is considered the emotion of spring. Although we can and do experience anger at any time or season, it is Spring when we are most easily angered. This is believed to be due to the changes of light and dark and the balance between them.
It is very important to identify the actual cause of whatever unhappiness we feel. If we are forever blaming our difficulties on others, this is a sure sign that there are still many problems and faults within our own mind. If we were truly peaceful inside and had our mind under control, difficult people or circumstances would not be able to disturb this peace, and so we would feel no compulsion to blame anyone or regard them as our enemy. To someone who has subdued his or her mind and eradicated the last trace of anger, all beings are friends.
Techniques for Managing Anger
1. The first step towards managing anger, is to identify which attitudes and convictions that many predispose us to being excessively angry in the first place! Once these beliefs have been identified, it is important to take steps to understand and correct them, if need be.
2. The second step is to realize that anger is a natural human emotion and it is not the emotion of anger that tends to be a problem. The problem is the mismanagement of our anger. Mismanaged anger and rage are the major cause of conflicts in our lives. This mismanagement often has roots from our childhood that prevents us from expressing our anger as appropriately as we should. These factors include fear, denial, ignorance and impatience. These factors can derail the appropriate management of our anger towards others. Learning to understand and change these factors in ourselves, will allow us to express our suppressed anger in a more appropriate way.