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Spiritual Meditations ( 21 March 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Burn Anger Before Anger Burns You

By J P Vaswani

Mar 12, 2012

Anger is more destructive than fire or earthquakes. When you get angry, certain glands in your body get activated. This leads to an outpouring of adrenaline and other stress hormones, with noticeable physical consequences. Your face reddens, blood pressure increases, voice rises to a higher pitch, and breathing becomes faster and deeper, your heart beats harder and your arm and leg muscles tighten. Your body becomes tense. The cumulative effect is that anger increases risk of coronary and other life-threatening diseases, like strokes, ulcers and high blood pressure. Better, then, to overcome anger. Burn anger, before anger burns you!

When you are calm, peaceful, happy, digestive processes in your body work normally. When angry, they go for a toss. Doctors recommend remaining cheerful when you eat, for instance. Avoid eating when angry or resentful. Anger affects the entire body; it is poison.

There are three ways to handle anger. Firstly, your expression. Psychiatrists say it is good to express anger for it brings relief, as you have spoken your mind. The relief, however, is temporary. Resentments build up again, and you are ready for another spill out. Gradually, anger becomes a habit and you could become its slave. Anger controls you; it is a terrible master.

Secondly, the way of suppression but that's not the right way as it drives anger into the subconscious and continues to create havoc. However, neither expression nor suppression is recommended for these do not help you overcome anger.

So the third way, that of forgiveness, patience and forbearance, works better. Forgive, and be free! Every night, before you retire, replay the days happenings. Were you cheated by someone? Did someone offend you, hurt you or treat you badly? Call out that person’s name and say, "X, I forgive you!" You will sleep peacefully.

I recall an incident in the life of the great Prussian king, Frederick the Second. One day, he found one of his servants taking a little snuff from his silver snuffbox. Do you like this snuff-box asked the king in utter simplicity. The boy, caught in the act of stealing, felt embarrassed; he did not answer. Once again, the king repeated the question: Do you like the snuff-box? The boy looked up and said: Yes sire, it is indeed a beautiful snuff-box! Then, said the king, take it. For it is too small for the two of us!

There was a monk who was bad tempered. He lived in an ashram but found it difficult to get along with the ashramites. He decided to leave and live a secluded life in the forest. He thought he could thus overcome anger. In the beginning, he found peace and tranquility within. He was happy.

One day, he went to the river to fill a jug of water. As he placed the jug on the ground, it toppled over. He picked it up and filled it again. Again, the jug toppled down. He repeated the process a number of times, until finally he lost his temper and smashed the jug to pieces. Then it was that he realised his mistake.

I left the ashram, he confessed to himself, only to control my anger, but anger has followed me even here into the forest.

It is not individuals or situations that cause anger. It is your own reaction or response to individuals and situations that determines whether you will be angry or otherwise. Therefore, develop the will to control anger.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi