8 Buddhist Tips for Dealing with Anger

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2. Be a Hero: Patience

Disturbing emotions are best overcome through their opponent; fighting fire with fire simply doesn’t work. Why? It’s impossible for our minds to hold two opposing emotions simultaneously. You can’t yell at someone and be patient with them at the same time – it just doesn’t work. Patience is often seen by many as a sign of weakness, where you let others walk all over you and get away with whatever they want. The reality, however, couldn’t be more different. When we’re frustrated, how easy is it to simply scream and shout? And just how difficult is it to stay calm and control our emotions? Following our feelings wherever they lead us does not make us heroes – it makes us weak. So next time you’re on the verge of screaming your head off, draw your sword of patience and cut the head off your own anger instead.

How? We could try breathing deeply – a direct antidote to the short, sharp breaths we take when we’re angry – if we notice ourselves becoming tense. We can count slowly to 100, to prevent ourselves from saying things we’ll regret later on. Or, if we’re in a direct confrontation, we might want to remove ourselves from the situation before it all goes downhill. Each situation is different, so you’ll need to use your brain to see which one works best for you.

3. Get Real: Analyze the Situation

When we’re angry, our rage appears to arrive as some sort of protector, like our best friend looking after our interests, helping us on the battlefield. This illusion allows us to think that being angry is justified. But if we look carefully, anger is not our friend, but our enemy.

Anger causes us stress, anguish, loss of sleep and appetite. If we continue being angry at someone, it creates a long-lasting impression on others. Let’s face it: who wants to hang around an angry person?

When we’re accused of something and feel that defensive knot start to tighten in our stomach, we should stop and think rationally. There are only two choices: either the accusation is true, or it’s false. If it’s true, then why should we be angry? If we want to be mature adults, we should admit it, learn from it, and move forward with our lives. If it’s not true, again why should we be angry? The person made a mistake – is that something we’ve never done in our lives?

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