A sister recently asked me if I had some tips on dealing with anger. I would like to take a different approach and help YOU to explore anger for yourself. If you find that you have a temper that you want to manage, but, like most of us, struggle with it more frequently, the following writing exercise will help you learn alot about yourself:
1) What has to happen for you to decide its time to be angry?
2) What does anger in that moment represent for you?
3) What has to happen for you to calm down?
4) Describe the last time you got angry at someone (kids, spouse, friend.) What was happening that triggered anger?
5) Go back and look at the paragraph you wrote – can you rewrite the scene? Look in from an objective point of view as an outsider. How might they reframe the situation and see it in a positive light?
6) Find 10 ways to replace the word anger to represent different levels of anger. (upset, ticked off, etc.) Then go back and decide which word really applies to that situation you described.
There are several objectives in this exercise.
First of all to help you understand what anger represents to you, as there is usually another emotion underneath anger. Identify what that actually is. Someone might get angry when they are embarrassed. Now having dug deeper, the person can get better advice on dealing with the root of the anger itself.
Second, to be able to reframe situations in a more positive light. Sometimes you get angry because your kids aren’t listening to you. Turns out, they needed your attention, and in hindsight, that’s a good thing. They just want to be WITH you.
Third, to see things for the way they really are. If you always say “I was so angry” then you will be. What if you say, instead, ” I feel really flustered right now.” What a difference!!
If you find that anger is something you have a hard time handling, and it comes up frequently, then complete the exercise, and email me. I will take a more personal look at what is going on, and provide some more detailed tips to getting over anger. As I have said, anger is often a mask for something else. To overcome it means to really get to know yourself. Every single one of us will get angry at some point in our lives. Our goal here is to keep a healthy balance.
A final reminder on anger is the following:
It has been narrated by Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) That Allah’s Messenger said:
“ The strong is not the one who over comes the people by his strength”
“But the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.”