Since childhood, society has trained us to believe that complex issues need complex solutions. Managing our emotions is one of them. Anger is hard to handle and almost impossible to control at a certain level. No matter how much we try, it seems to be a self-created monster that we will never be able to defeat.
Amid waves of hopelessness and desperation, we seek professional help. There are endless academics and professionals that people look to heal and solve their issues. We also have plenty of online anger management classes, programs, and courses that promise relief and, in most cases, a long process to embark on.
All these options mentioned are perfectly valid and should, of course, be the FIRST step to take; one should always seek professional help. However, in this article, we will explore an alternative option to consider. It is NOT a substitute for professional advice; it is an exercise of self-observation, a perspective, and an inquiry on the emotion of anger.
Such inquiry can be fruitful and helpful in bringing a simpler understanding of this emotion, thus the possibility of alleviating the pressure of its overwhelming presence.
- Can Anger Management Online Courses Help?
- Are You an Angry Person? – What Anger is NOT!
- Annoyance vs. Anger
- Anger Is a Secondary Emotion
- Are There Different Types of Anger?
- Assertive Anger: Controlling Anger and Overcoming Irritability
- Anger, Love, and Wisdom
- Easy DIY Anger Management Programs at Home
- Self-Inquiry, Non-Duality, and Anger Management
Can Anger Management Online Courses Help?
This question only you can answer. You should take your time and do your homework on the courses and classes that bring interest to you. Never act impulsively; always be calm and act from a place of intelligence, love, care, and understanding. Be wise.
As we mentioned in the opening paragraph, throughout this article, we will explore the feeling of anger from a new perspective. Our goal is to diminish this scary giant “monster” into a little feeling of inconvenience. If you’re able to achieve this new understanding, it might bring clarity to any anger management course, program, or class.
The “light” we want to bring to the table is inquiry, self-inquiry to be precise, which means the act of observation and analysis. I want to present to you the idea that “anger” is not what you think it is. Anger is not triggered by the things you think. In the same way that by seeing the false as false in the example above (not a snake but a rope), fear was gone; the torture of anger can also disappear when it’s revealed as what it TRULY is.
Are You an Angry Person? – What Anger is NOT!
We tend to label many human reactions and emotions as anger when in fact, they aren’t. This conclusion is critical because making such errors can grow into guilt, frustration, and disappointment for those working on emotionally improving themselves.
Sudden feelings of “reasonable” anger are totally common among all human beings; it is part of our nature; this does NOT make you an angry person. If a person feels abused or attacked, it is normal to feel sparks of anger.
Some situations may trigger spontaneous temporary anger in you. That’s ok, it’s normal.
The emotion of anger does not make you an angry person; it is a normal reaction. It makes you human.
However, the amount of time you hold on to the feeling of anger is the most important aspect of it. That will determine if you’ll act intelligently and respond to the situation rather than drown in your “own” drama acting with a flag of vengeance, violence, etc.
Let’s say you’re working from home, sitting on your computer and the neighbor’s dog has a routine of barking all morning. You might try to ignore it, put some headphones on, noise cancellation, this, and that. For some reason, you can still hear it, and it is distracting you.
So, your patience turns into annoyance and might spark some anger. That’s normal. The barking is not only disturbing your peace, but it’s also affecting your work and livelihood. If the barking unreasonably interferes with your comfort or convenience, and you can prove it, you can even act legally.
But first things first, you let go of your anger, and you decide to act with intelligence and good intentions. You acknowledge that you’re upset, but instead of feeding it with more drama, you place all your attention and energy on the possible steps for resolving the issue.
You might even have an aggressive, no BS approach and personality, so it is normal for some to label you as an angry person, but that’s on them. They cannot see that your actions don’t express hate, rage, or violence. You are FOCUSED on the solution; there’s no space left for holding on to anger anymore. You take action and go through the possible steps for resolution.
First, have a conversation with your neighbor. If that doesn’t work, maybe install thicker windows or some extra insulation. You could also try an anti-barking device you can buy, and if nothing else works, you could document all the things you’ve tried and escalate it by reporting it legally as a ‘statutory noise nuisance.’
It all might end up taking your neighbor to court. You do what you need to do because it’s what resonates with you, NOT because you’re angry. So don’t forget, if you fall into this category of personality or style of communication, people will most likely blame you for their insecurities, inability to understand, or sense of intimidation.
They will label your approach as ANGER. Do not get tricked into these games. Anger comes with feelings of fury, rage, or irritation, NOT with passion, leadership, and self-confidence.
Annoyance vs. Anger
Every single human being has personal beliefs, preferences, likes, and dislikes. Whenever these are disturbed or challenged, the person will begin to feel. In the lower scale of negative emotions, the first that arises during discomfort is ANNOYANCE.
Depending on each person’s personality, and psychological structure, many things might be able to cause annoyance and irritation:
- The nonstop barking of a dog
- A slow internet connection
- Devices crashing randomly
- A child’s tantrum
- Unreasonable people
- Unsatisfying Routines
The list goes on and on, and feeling annoyed is perfectly fine. When this happens, always remember: You’re annoyed, not angry. That is human, and realizing that makes a huge difference.
However, be careful about how to handle these situations. You cannot stay unresponsive in those situations; you need to act right away. You need to attend to them accordingly BEFORE they grow into anger.
Sustained annoyance turns into ANGER.
Sustained anger becomes HATE.
Sustained hate can trigger VIOLENCE.
Keep that in mind, be attentive to your reactions, and don’t let them grow into monsters. In any situation, regardless of challenging or not, always act with intelligence, consideration for others, and love.
Anger Is a Secondary Emotion
Studies within psychology have shown that anger is a result of previous emotions that grow out of control. Shame, anxiety, sadness, fear, etc., are the most common primary emotions; when these become overwhelming or near impossible to handle, anger arises.
Psychology uses this inquiry as the first step into a healing process. However, learning about the “order” and structure of emotions does not solve the problem. We need to go farther, deep into the root of it, to see it for what anger truly is; otherwise, it will keep coming back stronger than ever.
If we don’t take a detailed look at the root of anger, we will forever remain victims to its tricks and clever games.
So, let’s for a moment put aside the fact that anger does arise as a secondary emotion. Understood, but now, the bigger questions are:
Why does anger appear? Why do we get angry?
Therefore, in the following section of this article, we will not waste time underlying the emotions behind anger. We’re better off inquiring about its motivation and root. Anger is about personal expectations and our feeling of losing CONTROL over them.
Are There Different Types of Anger?
Before exploring the different types of anger there are, it is wise FIRST to understand one thing:
Anger is part of your DNA, whether triggered mentally (through concepts and thoughts that function in correlation with our brain) or physically (by threats, self-preservation, and survival instincts). In a way, it is a mechanism out of our control, so don’t be so hard on yourself. Bring awareness to it, look at it, and its power will gradually but surely reduce.
Note: Even within the mystery of consciousness, mysticism, or spiritual ideas such as soul, past lives, akashic records, and the rest, it would still be a “happening” out of our limited control, a self-playing phenomenon.
So, for now, let’s keep it nice, simple, and objective and look at the most important types of anger there are and ways to deal with each one of them.
Of course, anger can gradually and permanently diminish in intensity. However, this can NOT happen through conventional online classes or curses. Anger management courses and programs can temporarily alleviate it, but we must go deeper than simple processes and methods for us to heal.
A deeper approach does not mean complexity; on the contrary, it is simplified but straight to the root of the “problem.” Let us then look at the dynamics of the types of anger worth exploring.
Anger can come from TWO SOURCES, a natural intuitive sense of survival and an emotion triggered by a psychological mechanism.
This emotion arises naturally through an intuitive sense of survival. The best example is when we’re suddenly physically attacked. Many animals have this, and it is ingrained in our DNA. There is no psychological reasoning or inquiry about the situation. It is a survival mechanism.
There’s no part of you debating if it’s spiritually wise to take action on this and that. You REACT by instinct.
Your body will release adrenaline, your muscles will tighten, and your heart rate and blood pressure will increase. The emotion of anger causes all those signs.
What can you do about Instinctive Anger?
It is almost impossible to stop these reactions because they’re of our DNA. The only things we can do are to UNDERSTAND that it is an uncontrollable part of our nature, and secondly, we can help by not adding more drama to it once it runs its initial reactive course. After the phenomenon has ceased, this will bring lightness and a new sense of peace once the situation passes.
This type of anger is the most common and complex we have. It happens when we feel we lose control of something or a situation opposite from what we expect. This type of anger is always linked to negative feelings of hurt, disrespect, vulnerability, or being neglected and deeper emotions like guilt, shame, confusion, resentment, frustration, and remorse.
What can you do about Psychological Anger?
Unlike instinctive anger, which is easy to understand as part of your nature, psychological anger is more difficult to cope with. This resistance comes from “the sense” of personal self; we have a strong feeling of identification with our psychological conditioning.
However, if you put your resistance aside for a moment, you can easily notice that psychological anger is also part of our DNA in the same way as instinctive anger. It is our biological conditioning.
Well, follow the objective facts of your body-mind mechanism. Your Psychology is nothing else than your mind. Your mind correlates its function with your brain. Your brain, functioning cells, synaptic transmission, and plasticity are products of your biological machinery. It’s all a BIOLOGICAL phenomenon.
Why is this important?
Because when you can understand that your psychological anger is merely a mechanism and not a personal identity, a load of mental baggage is suddenly dropped. You feel a sense of liberation, and psychological tension is dropped, and when this tension is dropped, you stop feeding it attention and energy. Therefore it begins to fade away gradually.
This realization doesn’t mean you will neglect your responsibilities and become soft or submissive. You will NOT allow others to abuse you. Instead, what happens is that you’ll act from a peaceful, clear, and balanced state of mind. You will begin to RESPOND with intelligence, kindness, and wisdom rather than REACTING with negative emotions filled with stress, tension, hate, vengeance, anger, etc.
Assertive Anger: Controlling Anger and Overcoming Irritability
There are very helpful techniques that can help with irritability and anger management. They all require self-awareness. The strategy is to eliminate escalation, thus stopping anger right in its tracks. The technique requires bringing awareness to a situation that is making you feel anger.
You start by calming yourself down and proceed to assess the situation with intelligence and consideration towards yourself and the other. If followed correctly, the assertive anger approach can provide conflict resolution very effectively.
The main things to focus on are:
• You try to understand the other person’s point of view
• You need to be always patient
• You must be flexible with your ideas
• You monitor your tone of voice
• You restrain from raising your voice
The purpose of this technique is to avoid emotional conflict from arising. The attempt is for both parties to be as objective and reasonable as possible, eliminating drama from the equation. When this technique is done successfully, the result is generally the best outcome for both ends.
This method doesn’t guarantee a peaceful resolution or any resolution at all. But what this brings to YOU for sure is PEACE OF MIND. If the other person or party cannot carry the conversation in a civil matter, then there’s nothing else to do.
Either way, on your end, there will be no remorse, tension, or anger. You did the best you could; you acted with intelligence, consideration, and kindness.
There’s nothing else you can do. Therefore, you move on peacefully and take the necessary action, again with intelligence, care, and love; YOU RINSE AND REPEAT with peace of mind.
Anger, Love, and Wisdom
Transcending anger is an art form; however, sometimes, the best we can do is stay away from toxic environments, toxic behavior, and toxic people. There’s no need to become a masochist addicted to conflict.
If someone is being unkind, unjust, illogical, or abusing you in any way, the best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation. Some people like to push your buttons or unconsciously do it by acting the way they do. Stupidity, carelessness, and lack of common sense or reasoning are very common in society, and for those that are their opposite, it can be an extremely frustrating test.
When dealing with people under those toxic conditions of character, you might try and try, and try, but in truth, most likely, nothing will change. The only thing you’ll achieve is trying and stressing yourself out.
It is sad to say, but some people cannot change, grow, or understand the diversity of life and the right for others to live in peace. It might hurt, but the wisest thing you can do is leave it alone, thus leaving the person.
If you can’t walk away or push them from your life because they’re part of your responsibility, like family or work, then the best is to keep quiet and engage only when you need to attend to your responsibilities with them. Their toxic personalities took away the opportunity to interact with you at a deeper level. It is the healthiest thing you can do.
Easy DIY Anger Management Programs at Home
Feeling apart from the world and separate from others is the cause and root of aggression between us. Think about it, if you knew in your heart and mind that everything you see out there is part of you, who would you harm it?
The best process, method, or program you can do at home, is the one that helps you to break the illusion of duality. Duality is the root of all conflict. People feel negative emotions towards others or the world because of a strong sense of separation.
Of course, understanding non-duality is easier said than done. But it is possible. Across this site, there are many exercises, step-by-step guides, and methods that can help you start this journey of exploration and self-understanding. Everything is free and easy to follow.
You can browse around and try different styles; we have meditation exercises, self-inquiry, and many other methods for you to explore. You can create your routine and program compatible with your language and style. Check them out here: non-duality exercises.
Self-Inquiry, Non-Duality, and Anger Management
Whether you’re looking for anger management for yourself or someone else, the truth is that there’s no magic pill, yoga, affirmations, or powerful mantra to make it all go away.
There is, however, one path that could bring light to any situation, the path of Self-Inquiry.
The ability to look deep into our conditioning and psychological structure is the most powerful and transformative tool that we can come across. When faced with challenges and adversity, we usually look for solutions and faults outside ourselves.
We act as if our issues were caused by something or someone out there, and we try to find the solution somewhere out there someplace. And of course, in a general sense, if we look at the surface of conflict, it is easy to lose ourselves in this imaginary play.
But if we look closer, we can clearly see that anger is not exclusively constructed out of these three elements. Anger is something much, much deeper than the superficial symbolistic nature of a problematic phenomenon.
Let’s use as an example a person who is crying; we can accurately say that the person is sad, and that is what sadness LOOKS LIKE. Swollen eyelids, tears running down the person’s face, frown expression turning down the corners of the mouth, disrupt breathing, sobbing, etc.
That assumption is correct, THAT is what sadness looks like, but those are just signals and images. They are not the reason causing the sadness. There’s a story behind the sadness, there’s a root causing the emotion, and we must look at that instead of its superficial aspects.
The same applies to ANGER. Attempting to heal anger by fixing the person’s facial expressions is as illogical and ineffective as fixing the villain or the world out there. THE SOLUTION IS INWARD, not out there.
How can you achieve this?
The path is called Self-Inquiry. It is the act of observation of one’s personality, preferences, and ego. It is a detailed, deep look into your psychological structure, attachments, and body-mind mechanism.
Self-inquiry is the road to non-duality, an understanding that dissolves the apparent separation within life’s expression, including conflict, anger, and all the rest. In the presence of nondualism, anger cannot survive. It’s like bringing light into a dark room. It all starts with inquiry, Self-inquiry.
If practiced successfully, it will bring lightness and clarity to your relationship with anger. Thus, anger will lose power over you and will begin to diminish gradually and effortlessly.
To learn more about this path, go here: Introduction to Self-Inquiry