Very few people are cool by nature. Most are prone to lose their temper. To overcome the tendency to anger is difficult without understanding how and wherefrom it arises.
Anger cannot be escaped, ignored or overlooked as it is a mental state. There are various reasons for anger. Physical ill-health reduces energy levels and causes irritability, with or without sympathy from people. Even having to relay the same information over and over again can be irritating. To keep calm in all circumstances, we need to innovate and find ways to reduce our irritability and anger.
Understand that anger arises out of attachment. With attachment comes expectation, followed by insistence on its fulfilment. In the world, there are more chances of frustration and disappointment than the fulfilment of expectations. As an offshoot of intense attachment, parents have expectations from their children. If their hopes are not fulfilled, they turn into insistence or obsession and become a reason for anger. If freedom from expectations is not possible, we can, at least try to let go on the insistence of their fulfilment.
Desire and ambition are expectations in different degrees and form, which when not fulfilled, cause anger. This leads to sorrow and the obstacle on our path becomes the target of our anger. Anger is not because of a person or the personality, it stems from the relationship and the demands that arise from it.
Ego is yet another reason for anger. For example, if someone does not do something we want, we get angry. It is not because the job was not done, but the ego was pricked and resulted in an angry outpouring. We want the world to dance to our tune. However, when another’s ego is hurt, the outlook changes. We try pacification and advise them not to take offence.
In Sanskrit, krodha means anger as well as agitation. The first consequence of anger is agitation; peace of mind and tranquillity its first casualty. Agitation when expressed in the outside world spreads negative vibrations. An expression of anger displays much energy but ends in total exhaustion. In its aftermath we experience tiredness and fatigue.
To overcome anger, the first step is to become conscious of the anger within. Many are unable to admit and accept to their being short-tempered. The angry individual feels perverse pleasure in the display of rage and even takes pride in terrifying others. Swami Chinmayananda said, “Temper takes you to trouble and pride keeps you there.” Often people are too proud to even admit to a mistake.
In the process of overcoming anger we should first find its cause. We may not be able to immediately remove the causes, but we can be aware of the losses it brings.