I rarely see a situation in life where anger helps, yet I often see situations where anger hurts not only the person who is the target of the rage, but also the one who allows himself to become angry.
Yet some people seem angry all the time. I wish we could do a study and track angry episodes per month and how it would correlate to physical health and longevity. If stress causes damage, anger is stress on steroids.
Does yelling at the person that cut you off in traffic help? Does yelling at your kid when she doesn’t do her chores improve your relationship? Does fuming at your teacher for producing an unexpected pop-quiz improve your chances of getting a good grade? Invariably, the answer is no.
So why get angry? “I have no self control” is not a valid answer: the truth is that you have not mastered the millisecond gap — see my previous post here on the topic.
Like any worthy goal, it takes getting out of bad habits, unlinking your reaction from the “triggers” and learning new better habits. If you want to get better, and believe that you can and that you must, you can and will succeed..
Here are six great quotes about anger and how we can get better:
When anger rises, think of the consequences.
When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.
— Thomas Jefferson
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.
— Joel Osteen
Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him.
— Louis L’Amour
Getting angry doesn’t solve anything.
— Grace Kelly
A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.
— Jessamyn West
Resolve to remove anger from your DNA. It will lead you to a much better place.
How do I start?
Like much of my advice, start by keeping an honest log of your angered moments and the reasons why you got angry. Why something happened is far more powerful than what happened. Pale ink is magical, as I have observed in previous posts — here’s a post about anger’s cousin, also beatable through the magic of pale ink, the destructive habit of complaining.
I.M. Optimism Man