How to Beat Anger (in 3 easy steps)

3 Ways to Beat Anger

Getting a handle on anger is a common problem. They have whole classes on it, programs, probably college degrees. It’s one of those emotions that has the power to wreak havok on everything around it. Think about it. You could potentially destroy your entire life with just one bad decision you made under the influence of anger. How much effort is spent trying to clean up after something you said or did while pissed? How do you beat anger?

Today I’m going to give you the cure in three easy to remember steps. In a previous article I showed you how you can use the three ingredients required to make fire to get a handle on your emotions. Anger was the emotion we used as an example, so I will use that again, here. I am going to teach you how nuclear radiation can help you achieve the same exact thing. Because I’m awesome like that, and also because I like this method better anyways.

I call this the TDS Method because those are the three things they teach you to avoid the dangerous effects of radiation.

Time, Distance, and Shielding icons

Time

Radiation doesn’t last forever. It has a half-life, or whatever. For some atomic bombs it can take like 30 years. Check out this article for more on that if you like. The point is, one way to avoid the effects of radiation is to wait for it to no longer be harmful.

Emotions are the same way. How can you beat anger using time?

Once we have stopped engaging the things that make us angry (putting fuel on the fire), and learned to remove ourselves from the source (starving it of oxygen), the final piece of the equation is to let ourselves cool down. We are all familiar with this concept. If you find yourself getting riled up by a person or situation, you have to give yourself time to cool off. This is easier to do if you remove the source of your anger. Take yourself away from the situation.

A great way to cool down is by engaging in activities that calm us. Redirect your thoughts onto something else, meditate, do breathing exercises, go for a walk. Listen to soothing music or work on a hobby that brings you serenity. Turn down the heat. The key here is to replace the action that is causing you to get fired up with something else that has the opposite effect. Take a breather and distract yourself with something that brings you serenity and joy. When you’ve cooled off, you’ll be in a better position to deal with the situation rationally.

The greatest remedy for anger is delay. — Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Give yourself time to think things through. When you’ve calmed down, you can begin working on a solution to the problem. It is far better to discuss things with another if you are in a calmed state. It will be easier to direct the conversation in a healthy manner, and solutions will be more readily available.

Distance

The second thing you can use to not die from radiation is distance. The farther you are from the blast zone and all that jazz, the better. Here’s a handy article on just how far you should be from a blast. This also applies to your emotions. How can you beat anger using distance?

We can buffer ourselves from our anger by putting distance between ourselves and the thing that’s making us angry. Learning to extricate ourselves from the source of our anger is like closing a window to prevent more oxygen from getting to our fire. This could be walking away from a person who is provoking us. It could be logging off the internet. It could be turning off the television or changing the channel. Remove the source so that it cannot provide more stimulus, or better yet, avoid it altogether. This is the second way to reduce the risk of being overcome by anger. Get away from the thing that causes you stress for a while. Do not allow it to fan your flames.

A fool gives vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. — Proverbs 29:11

Just like with the time concept I mentioned, this requires cultivating self-awareness and self-control. It is often in our power to avoid the things that provoke us. Get rid of the toxic people in your life. Don’t get dragged into pointless internet arguments. It is very similar to the way a skilled martial artist will avoid a fight altogether. Learn to avoid the things that make you angry.

Shielding

The last thing that can protect you from radiation is shielding. Some substance that can block out the effects. Lead works well. Concrete. Dirt. Whatever. You get the idea. But how does this relate to your emotions? How can you beat anger using shielding?

We often engage our anger by allowing ourselves to become incensed by external situations and people. If we are to properly master our own anger, we must learn to shield ourselves from the things that provoke us, and we do this with reason. Clear thinking. Rational thought. Prudence. We must train ourselves through practice to start decreasing the number of things that provoke us.

Many of these things are trivial matters — online discussions, people on the road, pet peeves — that are easy to disengage ourselves from. With our minds, it is possible to start recognizing that these matters aren’t worth our energy. As we begin to get a grip on the petty things that bother us, we can then start working on the bigger ones. Don’t allow things to convince us to add fuel to our fires. By practicing self-reflection and awareness, we can see what gets under our skin. We can analyze why it does so, then we can decide to let it go.

You can learn to shield yourself from the things that incense you.

You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all. — Marcus Aurelius

Learn to recognize what is worth putting your energy towards. Does this thing actually matter? We get annoyed by a lot of things, and most of them are petty. They are not worthy of our attention. Practice this by not engaging the little things that make you angry. Think about why they make you angry. Are you being unreasonable? Does it help the situation to be angered? Probably not. Choose not to be angry at things that don’t matter. Do not feed your fire.

Start by practicing on the little things and work your way up to the more substantial ones.

Now You Know How to Beat Anger

I find that the TDS Method is easier to remember than the fire triangle, and I use it all the time. It also helps to communicate with others about what you are doing and why. Explaining why you are doing it can help them understand that you’re not just being a dick. It also lets you come back to problems with a clear mind, which helps you find solutions to problems without the interference of out of control emotions.

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