Appeared in "The Island" dated Jan 9, 2001
Whenever there is a sign of slight
irritation, stop all conversation and change the topic. Donít extend your
arguments or discussions any further howsoever logical your points may be. This
is because once the emotion of anger possible has crept in you, you canít
carry out an objective and unbiased discussion. As irritation and anger
increase, the discussion no more remains an exchange of knowledge; it becomes a
ground for leg pulling as to who is able to run down or demoralize the other.
If you find it hard to remain silent due to the lack of mental control or because it is not practical, then leave the place at once by making some excuse. Drink a glass of cold water, sit somewhere and close youíre your eyes and cool yourself down either by counting 1 to 100, or by silently repeating your favorite mantra. If you -find it easier, you can also concentrate on your breathing, meditating mentally each in-breath (inhalation) and out-breath (exhalation). If the mind is very disturbed, you can even do loud recitation of some mantra like ĎOmí for some time. Alternatively, you can go out in the fresh air and take a brisk walk. All these measures will substantially subside your anger.
However, the most important point is that you should be aware when anger is approaching you. Whenever there is the slightest indication of irritation, it must be nipped in the bud. When anger assumes a grave form, it becomes difficult to control.
Another technique to check anger, if it is possible, is that whenever comes to you, immediately think of the consequences of it as to what impression it will leave on the people around and whether it will
Serve any purpose?
Most of the time anger creeps in when you indulge in long arguments and discussions with people, especially those of an emotional, temperamental and egoist type. So reduce your habit of long arguments and discussions with people of such nature and if inadvertently such arguments start, be aware of it and stop it quickly at that stage. Logical discussion and arguments can be carried out with those people who are reasonable enough to appreciate othersí viewpoint and have a patient and stable mind. They appreciate exchange of knowledge which emerges out of such discussions.
Another technique which you can utilize to control to your anger is to immediately realize that mental peace and mental control are the most things important things in life and not the person and his statements, which are just a temporary phase. Understand to yourself, " Why should I lose my valuable (mental) peace and happiness, for a person who may currently be weaker (mentally)? ". - JMH