Thai Version
  Buddhist's Discipline
  Upasaka Dhamma
  Vesak Day
Easy Ways to Ease Anger  
Basic Knowledge about Anger
Nowadays problems abound; Traffic jams, money woes,
all around. Work and family chaos disturb your mind;
Heres anger relief you can find.
Basic Knowledge about Anger
    Anger has poisonous root and sweet release. This old saying means
that, in the beginning, anger will poison the mind, causing irritation, impatience and rage, prompting the angry persons to vent their feelings by scolding, attacking, or damaging the object of their anger. After the outburst, they will feel satisfied, which explains why anger is said to have sweet release.
    In 1992, a native of Uttaradit, Thailand, in his mid-thirties came to a hospital in Bangkok for a heart surgery. During several days of various examinations prior to the operation, the man was treated badly by a ward nurse who spoke to him rudely and bossed him around. His irritation grew stronger as days passed, as the foulmouthed nurse continued to nag him incessantly.
   After the surgery, the man regained his consciousness, only to see the bossy nurse and hear nasty words coming from her foul mouth. Angered by her words and behavior, he plotted revenge.
    Several days later, the patient happened to spot on a table next to his bed, a basketfull of fruit, a gift from one of his friends. Inside the basket was a bunch of bananas. Though still frail and helpless, the man made an effort to grab a banana a backbreaking task. He had to rest for a while before regaining his breath. Then he peeled off the banana skin and tossed it onto the floor, with the expectation that the much-hated nurse would step on it. Things went as planned the nurse came in, and just as she was about to speak, she stepped on the banana skin and fell. Much to his satisfaction, the man burst into laughter.As a result, his wounds reopened, and he had to be rushed back to the operation room for surgery again. (A true story contributed by Ajarn Aree Boonsue, a retired Education Ministry officer)
    Apart from having poisonous root and sweet release as seen in the example above, anger is also like a bomb, which when it explodes, first destroys itself, but then creates shrapnel which damages nearby persons or objects. In the same manner, in some people, senses and decency are destroyed by growing anger, leading them to inflict damage on persons around them (that they see as enemies) through words and deeds until their senses are regained.    
Here are the levels of anger ( ranked according to the degree of intensity ):

1. Troubled mind
2. Trembling
3. Verbal assault
4. Physical assault
5. Murder
6. Murder followed by suicide ( the highest
degree of anger ) as in the following
example of Robert :

    19-year-old Robert lived with his mother following his parents separation.
The three barely got along. The taciturn youth went to Gutenberg High
School in Erfurt, Germany. He got good grades but was expelled from
school after he failed to attend classes.         
    As a member of a local shooting club and having obtained a license, Robert had several guns of his own. On April 26, 2002, the teenager went on a shooting rampage slaying 16 people 13 teachers, 2 students, and 1 officer. When the police arrived on the scene, the young murderer turned the gun on himself, sending the death toll to 17. It was the most horrendous massacre the world had witnessed in 20 years with bodies scattered about on the school premises. Many students were in complete shock.        
   Police searched the compound and found 500 bullets hidden in a school
restroom. It was believed that the bullets were intended for a gunfight with
the police or for a shooting spree.       
   Survivors said that apart from Robert they saw another gunman in the school, who possibly could have escaped. His friends said they still had a hard time believing that the quiet and reclusive young man could commit such an unspeakable crime. Authorities said the youngsters shooting frenzy wasin revenge for his expulsion from school months ago due to skipping classes and forging documents. The punishment barred him from taking the university entrance examination. (The Thairath Daily, April 27-28, 2002)
When burning rage consumes your mind,
Blinds your heart, distorts your sense,
It drives you to a vicious crime,
Committed to vent the soul from heat.
    Anger is bad for health. An American psychological journal reported that people with chronic anger are more likely to develop heart disease than smokers or those with high blood pressure or other risk factors. The research was conducted with 774 Caucasian male subjects, average age 60, with differing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight, proportion of waist to hip and smoking and drinking habits. The results showed a higher correlation between heart diseases and anger and hatred than any other risk factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol levels, etc. (The Thairath Daily, November 22, 2002)
    Having spent 15 years observing 3,300 teenage volunteers, scientists at
Northwestern University in Chicago, USA, reached a conclusion that short-
tempered teenagers who reacted aggressively were 84% more likely to
develop high blood pressure in their late thirties than their calmer
counterparts.The more aggressive they were, the riskier it became, they said. Therefore, hot temper is a major risk factor to develop high blood pressure.
(The Thairath Daily, October 28, 2003)
    US researchers also found that quick-tempered young men with no history of heart disease in their family were five times as likely as their calmer counterparts to suffer from a heart attack earlier in life. The former group also has 3 times the stroke-related mortality risk of their good-humored peers. A piece of advice for testy young men find a way to deal with your anger. A recent study found that the condition of heart patients who learned to control their anger improved noticeably. However, researchers doubted whether it could be applied to easily irritable women.
(The Thairath Daily, April 25, 2002)
    There was a 45-year-old woman weighing around 100 kilograms. She was
married with children; her husband later had a mistress. One day, the lawful
wife went to the mistress house to look for her husband, but ended up
quarrelling with the mistress before collapsing and passing out. The mistress
called the womans children, who rushed to the scene only to find their
mother already dead. They believed she had been injured by the mistress.
    After the post-mortem, Thailands most renowned forensic expert Doctor
Pornthip Rojanasunan explained that the woman had not likely been injured
as she was much bigger than the other woman. The likelier scenario was
that the two had gotten into a brawl, with the wife getting infuriated as a result.This quickened her heartbeats, clotted the veins and resulted in a deadly heart attack.
(An extract from I Fight for the Dead, by Doctor Pornthip Rojanasunan)
    Psychologist Orison Swett Marden wrote that anger is destructive to our
physical health. The consequences of anger are as follows:
1. Loss of the sense of taste, resulting in loss of appetite;
2. Digestive disorders;
3. Crippled nerves;
4. Sickened body;
5. Self-poisoning. Anger will cause the body to produce poisonous chemicals,
which, like the venom of a snake, will harm your health;
6. Slow growth. Children suffering bullying or maltreatment are found to
suffer abnormally slow growth.
    According to his experiments, Professor Gates detected differences between the chemical composition of anger-induced sweat and normal sweat. In fact, anger prompted the body into producing toxic substances. The scientist suggested that, to prevent these undesirable effects of anger, we should undertake sweaty exercise, because it could relieve hatred and even neutralize the toxins in our body.
(An excerpt from Moral Support, by Luang Vichitvadakarn)
    Some are fussy, unpredictable, and can be easily irritated by the smallest
things such as the weather and their surroundings. Just like the Thai saying
which goes, To curse when it rains, to complain when its dry, these finicky
people are touchy but can get over their anger quickly just like marks in the
sand which fade away with a slight breeze or the rising tide.
    A 34-year-old Singaporean housewife, married for 16 years with 3 children, flew into a rage after hearing from a friend that her husband, a 37-year-old used-car dealer, was having an affair. Judging from his changing new cars recently and his returning home late at night, the woman planned to divorce her husband.To inflict revenge on him for his infidelity, she rushed to the car tent, and mindlessly smashed 18 vehicles, most of which were luxury cars such as Mercedes Benz and Volvo, with a pound hammer, severely damaging the cars windshields and bodies.
    Others have extremely good memory they wont forget wrongs inflicted upon them, be they big or small. They always harbor hatred for a long time like a mark on the rock which, come wind or water, does not fade with the
passage of time. When the anger accumulates and becomes unbearable, the outburst is usually violent.
    For more than 10 years, Phon, 74, a former police officer, had been quarrelling with Thonglor, 82, the head of a local senior citizen club, who usually took the matter to the police and filed defamation suits against Phon. This greatly displeased Phon, who said Thonglor did not behave like a man.
    On June 1, 1998, the hatred erupted into violence when old Phon grabbed a gun and walked to Thonglors house, intent on taking revenge.
Thonglor was watching TV with his wife and children when Phon arrived.
When Thonglor answered the door, Phon shot him repeatedly and instantly
killed him. Thonglors wife and daughter were also severely wounded.
(Siam Rath newspaper, June 3, 1998)
How to Cope with Gossips and Verbal Abuses
     Gossip is not a new invention; it has been practiced since ancient times.
One who is sitting still is faulted for being like a dummy; a chatty person is
said to be jabbering endlessly like a chatterbox. Even a moderately talking
person can be criticized Why does he/she think his/her speech is silver
or gold, and say only a few words?
    Even the earth, the sun and the moon have long been the objects of criticism. No one was, is or will be exempt from gossip.
    Blames are like waste from a toilet bowl
Which, amassed, yields a stench so foul.
If rejected, itll go back to
The stinking mouths that bark at you.
The sun, the moon that light the earth,
Are all subject to nasty words.
Some people talk what is abler
Than wagging tongue of a gossiper?
(Si Prad)
    When given a gift, we usually keep it for use if its a good, useful thing.
But if its useless waste some foulsmelling garbage then we have to
throw it away to prevent it from making our home dirty and messy.
One should treat words the same way. If they are good and constructive,
they are worth listening to and keeping in mind. Gossip, on the contrary,
is like useless, stinking rubbish which should not be remembered and
should be disposed of immediately.
When dogs and bears have horns
And lizards grow tusks, turtles sprout beards
When comes smoke without a fire,
Then may humans escape criticism.
(An old saying)
    We may be upset by the abusive, sarcastic, or belittling words of others.
But if we are tolerant enough, not falling victim to anger and aggression,
then those verbal attacks will pass as we pretend to be ignorant or turn
a deaf ear on them. After all, why shouldnt ordinary people like us sometimes receive harsh criticisms and abusive comments? Even powerful presidents and prime ministers are heavily criticized. Then how can we, as commoners, escape being slighted?
(Sujib Punyanubhab)
Whoever likes you or hates you,
Let it go.
Whoever praises or applauds you,
Ignore it.
Whoever is bored and pesters you,
Stay patient.
If your heart is peaceful and serene,
That is enough.
(An old saying)
Examples of Anger Management in Daily Life
    If someone wakes you up with a telephone call in the middle of the night, dont get angry. The caller may have dialed a wrong number, or it may be an emergency. Ask before you jump to conclusions. If it is, indeed, a prank caller, just think Forget it! He is either mad or drunk. Remember the saying, Dont mind the mad, dont blame the drunk. If you get annoyed, then you will just lose sleep and the prankster will have succeeded. He may even do it again! But if you ignore it, he will lose interest and stop bothering you.
    If someone cuts in front of you on the road, dont get angry. Just think Perhaps she is in an emergency and forgive her. Or else, think Forget it! If she wants to drive recklessly, then she will either have an accident or be stopped by the police. There is no point in getting annoyed by this type of person because you will risk losing concentration which may cause you to have an accident yourself!If you hear someone whom you hold in high respect being berated or gossiped about, it would be pretty hard not to get angry. This is because getting angry is easy it requires no special abilities or skills even a baby can get angry with no practice! Not getting angry when provoked, on the other hand, is difficult. It is a special ability, as difficult to find and as rare as a diamond. Therefore, if you want to become a priceless diamond, donÕt get angry easily.
    Another line of thought is that even the mightiest of people such as religious leaders or leaders of superpower nations are berated or gossiped about. Humans and gossip go hand in hand. It is unavoidable. Therefore, as it is impossible to stop people from talking, one should rather protect ones own heart from anger. Purifying you own heart is much better than trying to improve others.
    If your religious beliefs are condemned, just reflect on the fact that both sides in any conflict will believe that they are right and the opposing side is wrong. In the same way, people with different faiths will believe themselves to be right and others to be wrong. Conflict between different religions has been around for a long time. It has led to numerous wars both in the past and present, and will also do so in the future. If you have true faith in your religion and truly believe others to be wrong, there is no need to listen to the criticisms of others. If you are sure that they are wrong, do warn them out of compassion, but if they choose not to listen, then do not get angry or vindictive. Let them face their own fate!
    All the thoughts, sayings, proverbs and stories in this book on how to prevent yourself from being a victim of anger can be summarized as follows:
    1. Consider the harm caused by anger: anger is poisonous to the body as one cannot eat or sleep. It causes feelings to become heated and the face to become ugly.Those who are close to you feel uncomfortable and draw apart. It causes you to lose control and cause trouble and arguments which may end with injury or death.
If you are not angry, your body does not suffer, your close friends and family are not troubled. Control over anger is therefore beneficial both to yourself and those close to you. One reader related the following personal experience which showed the detrimental effect of anger as well as the power of controlling ones anger:
    In the second round of the All Thailand Table Tennis Championships team event, our opposition tried to provoke us and succeeded in making us angry. We were really mad and that caused us to perform poorly and went down by 2 sets and would have lost if we dropped one more set. However, when we managed to
calm our minds and stem the angry feelings, our performance changed and we won the last 3 sets, taking us through to the third round.
(A. Thassanasuwan, a university student)
    2. Dont think or care about things or people that cause you to anger. If you dont think or care, then you will be able to let go of anger. Pretend that you are watching television, when disturbing or distressing pictures that you do not like come on, you can close your eyes or even switch the television off!
    3. Switch your thoughts to those which will not cause you to anger. The examples are as follows:
    Think of good things that you are proud of like the fact that you are the love of your family, that you are a good citizen.
    Think of the beauty of nature, a running brook of cold and clear water, a magnificent sky with rainbow of many colors or brightly colored flowers with refreshingly sweet perfume.
    Think of your status, rank, family or educational background and control anger. For example, a boss who takes advantage of his position to scold or reprimand his subordinates for no reason will lose their respect, while at the same time, a subordinate who is aggressive and likes to argue with her boss loses her good manners as well as her future.
    4. Find something to do to make you forget your anger such as doing exercise, watching television, going for a walk, doing housework or reading a book.
    5. Try to discover the reasons for your anger. Find the source or contributing factors. Once you find the root cause of your anger it is much easier to control.
    6. Vent your anger by finding a quiet place, away from other people and then shouting as much as you want. Or else you can vent your anger through writing down your feelings. You may even write down your enemys name on a piece of paper and then scratch it out, crumple it up, and burn it! Once you have relieved your anger, forgive your enemy and stop feeling angry. This should be done only if all the other methods are ineffective.
   Anger is the greatest threat to the world. It is the real terrorist, humanitys true enemy. Even the best friends and members of family are turned into bitter enemies by anger. Humans should look for ways to destroy anger and not for ways to kill or harm each other at angers bidding. The many ways proposed above are like armor and weapons in the fight against anger. The readers are invited to choose from them to arm themselves in the battle against anger. Even if you do not manage to kill the anger, at least you will be protected from it.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Smile sweetly and the whole world will be happy.

Peace comes when anger subsides,
Then man can smile and have fun.
Gone is anger, here is peace, the day is won;
Happy indeed the world with anger gone.

WARNING : The temple is not associated with the "guides" roaming on its premises.
© Copyright 2004 Watsomanas.com All Right Reserved.