How To Control Anger
By Leo Gura - February 20, 2014 | 11 Comments
The root causes of anger and how to deal with them permanently.
Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video I’m going to talk about how to control anger.
Let’s break into this. How to control anger? In this video, we’re going to talk about, in about fifteen minutes, we’re going to quickly cover a lot of stuff. This is going to be a jam-packed session.
We’re going to talk about what anger is, the root causes of anger, ways to manage anger that are just covering the root cause and then how to actually get at the root cause to fix your anger problems more permanently. We’re also going to talk about different techniques, practical techniques you can use to control your anger, and techniques for going deeper, introspecting and getting at that root cause we’re talking about.
Calm Like The Ocean
I’m going to give you some really powerful techniques. If you just use them, I think they’re going to help you quite a bit. Let’s crack into it. The first thing I will tell you is, this issue of anger, it’s a little hard for me to relate to. Throughout my life, I don’t know why it’s been this way, but it has always been hard for me to get angry at stuff.
Of course, I do get angry. I get frustrated, which is a lower form of anger. I get irritated sometimes. But really full out rage, I don’t really get that. It’s a little bit hard for me to relate to people who do, even though I do study a lot of this stuff. I do understand it on a logical level. I don’t really experience it myself, emotionally.
Ultimately, I want to ask you, because when I see people being angry, I see people in rage, full on rage, having these episodes where they’re just blowing up on other people, getting frustrated, yelling at them, getting into heated discussions or flaming somebody on a message board.
Whatever that is, when I see that it’s like “Woah, what is going on there?” That person is at such a low level of consciousness and self-control that to me, it’s just disgusting. It’s literally disgusting. I’m disgusted when I see it.
I’m disgusted when I see it in myself too, on those rare occasions. What the hell are you angry about, honestly? What are you angry about? You need to wake up. Life is short. Life is beautiful. You’re a fucking loser if you’re angry all the time and you’re exploding at people. That’s not a problem with the world, that’s a problem with you.
Let’s get very clear on that. Someone who is in a high-consciousness state, someone who is living a charged life, someone who has emotional intelligence does not get angered easily. I will get angry when something extreme happens, like when my life is threatened. When I have some severe catastrophe that might happen. When my family is threatened.
Ignore The Trivial
Those are cases where if that happens, fine, get angry. But throughout your day, if you’re driving in your car, I don’t care how bad the traffic is. If something at work is not going quite well, or something’s happening in your relationship, you should not be getting angry at those situations, at all.
You should not be — your blood should not be boiling, you should never be yelling, you should never be so frustrated that you want to punch a wall. If that’s happening to you, something is wrong there. Something is wrong with your psychology. You need to start to get that psychology dialed in.
That’s what we’re going to talk about now. One quote that comes to mind, from reading all this self-help material, is — there was this quote, and I forget which book it was from exactly, but it went something like this analogy, which said that when you’re angry at someone, it’s kind of like going to the store and buying a bag of rat poison because you’ve got a rat infestation at home, coming home and then consuming that poison yourself.
What you don’t realise, you think that when you’re angry you get to express yourself and that somehow that resolves the situation, somehow that releases your emotions and all of a sudden things are lighter, better.
You’re Only Hurting Yourself
In fact, what you’re doing is not helping yourself in any way. Deep down, psychologically, you’re injuring yourself even more than the person you’re angry at. You’re not going to have an amazing, successful life, a happy, fulfilling life, if you’re angry.
It’s just not going to happen. It’s impossible. I really want to motivate you to start to go on a journey to discover what the root cause is. That’s what, if you take away one thing from this video, it’s that. That is the thing. You don’t need a quick little technique for how to just control or relieve some anger.
What you need is to go on a journey to discover what the source of it is. Let’s talk about what anger is as an emotion. I bet most people out there don’t even realise what anger means, as an emotional signal.
Every emotion is actually a signal that your mind, your subconscious mind, is sending to your conscious mind. These signals, you can learn to decipher the messages, because the messages are pretty simple if you just think about them. You can gain more awareness around them and you can actually use the anger to point you in the right direction.
Protecting Your Standards
You can use the anger against itself. Like aikidoing the anger into something positive. What is anger? The reason you become angry is because you perceive somebody else, or some situation out there, violating your standards, or your model of reality.
You have a certain model of reality. You have a certain thought process and belief process about how reality should be. You have certain ideals. Maybe one of your ideals is being honest. Maybe another ideal of yours is performing work well. Maybe another ideal of yours is being very creative. Maybe another ideal of yours is being humorous.
What happens is, we all have these ideals, for each person’s a little bit different. What happens is, we have these ideals and when we see other people not fulfilling those ideals, which are ours, they might not be those person’s ideals, then we get angry at it.
For example, we see somebody lying, we catch someone in a lie, and we say “Ah! You’re lying! You shouldn’t be doing that. You should be honouring honesty.” We get angry at that person, even though if we go and do a search, we can find cases where we ourselves have done similar things in the past.
Or it could be with humour. I had one client at one time who was really into humour. He loved to do comedy, he loved to do improv. One of the things that was really high on his list of values was humour. One of the things he really didn’t like were humourless people.
Why is that? Because he has this value of humour, of joy, of funniness, and when he doesn’t perceive it in others, then he doesn’t like that. It rubs him the wrong way. We’re going to get into the deeper reasons of why that is in a second.
Imposing Your Values
Anger is about violation of standards. What I want you to start to realise, though, to get a little bit more awareness around this, is that your standards are your own. They’re not necessarily the standards of another person. You have to start to understand that there is this distinction.
When somebody else is not living up to your standard, maybe you need to ask yourself could they have a different value system than you? Could you be okay with that? Could you be okay with somebody else having different values and not having to judge them for that?
In the end, that’s what you’re doing. You’re judging. You’re pointing a finger at someone and saying “Ah, he did that! Ah, he did this!” You get upset at that. Someone cuts you off on the road and you get upset at that person. Why? Because you think that’s wrong. They should observe proper road etiquette.
Yet how many times in your life have you cut someone off? Maybe you cut someone off and didn’t even realise it. One of the easy, quick little techniques I’m going to give you right now to fight road rage is to get curious whenever something happens on the road to you.
Just start to get inside the mind of the other person. Ask yourself “What is actually going on there? Someone just cut me off. He’s being an ass. He’s not observing proper road etiquette.” But ask yourself “Have I ever done that myself? Yes, maybe I don’t do it all the time, maybe I’m better than that person, but I probably have done it once or twice. OK, what went on with me at that time that I did it? Was I in a rush because I had to get somewhere important really fast? Did I have sick baby in my car and I needed to get to the hospital? Maybe there was an important report that was due at work? An important business meeting? Maybe I was just so upset because I just had a break up with my relationship that I was driving and I was just being careless? I was being petty and mean.”
Think about that and wonder if that person is doing something that you think is not right, they probably have some sort of justification for it. Just start to get curious about what that justification is, even if it’s wrong. Even if they’re wrong, just get curious. That will naturally get you shifted out of the outrage that you have into more a wondering mindset.
It will give you more consciousness. It will reduce your anger. That’s a quick little technique for road rage. You can use that for all forms of anger, really. The root of anger is the same no matter where it happens in your life — whether it’s a relationship at work, or on the road.
Let The Anger In
The next technique I’m going to give you is, I want you to just allow yourself to be angry. The point here is, to get yourself out of anger permanently, you need to start to develop and raise your consciousness. The more consciousness you have, the more conscious awareness, the more you’re going to be able to control your angry episodes.
What you’ve got to start to do is just let yourself be angry. After watching this video, tomorrow, for the next week, try this. Just observe yourself, the next time you’re angry, try to remember this video, and try to remember this point I’m making now. Just be the watcher.
Let your anger happen and watch it happen as though you were a third person observer. Like you were looking at yourself on a TV monitor, or on a camera. Just let it play out. Don’t try to control yourself. Don’t try to judge yourself.
Be angry. Go ahead and yell at that person at work. Go ahead and flick that guy off who cut you off on the road. Go ahead and yell at your spouse. Do it, but watch yourself. There’s a big difference between doing that and not seeing yourself doing it, and doing it and in the moment you’re doing it, to be watching yourself.
Watch yourself throughout the whole episode and just notice what happens. What you’re going to start to see is, if you do that, if you’re disciplined enough to do this, and you actually remember, you don’t get triggered too much, you’re going to see that as you’re watching yourself, you’re going to stop becoming angry.
You cannot, it’s almost impossible psychologically, for you to be watching yourself doing something mean or hurtful or spiteful or outrageous or angry like that, yelling at someone, for example, while watching yourself. It’s almost impossible because you’re too high-consciousness for that.
That’s pettiness, that only operates on a low-consciousness level. If you can raise your consciousness to the point where you’re watching it, you’re just observing it, not judging it, just observing it, you’re going to start to see that “I don’t need to yell at that person right now”.
You’re going to start to see “You know what, that guy cut me off, but I don’t need to flick him off. I don’t even need to honk at him.” You’re going to start to notice that. Maybe someone said something mean to you, and you’re going to say “You know what, I don’t need to respond.”
Just because you’re watching yourself, you might start to respond, then you’ll notice yourself and it’s like “Oh, I’m just about to say something petty and nasty.” You see yourself and it’s like “You know what, I don’t really feel like saying that. I still might be a little upset, I might be hurt, but I don’t need to respond in an angry way.”
The next technique I’m going to give you is — I’m not going to go into the depth of this, but — meditation. If you’re an angry person, meditation might be the saving grace for you. Start to develop a habit of meditation. I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty of that, it’s little bit too much for one video.
I have other videos that talk about the benefits of meditation, other videos that talk about how to develop a meditation habit, make it stick. All I’m going to say about meditation is that it calms your mind, it puts you into the present moment and raises your conscious awareness. Develop a habit of meditating.
I would say, start with twenty minutes every single day, in the morning or in the evening, be very consistent about it, and you will notice that it has a profound effect on how peaceful and calm you feel throughout your day, throughout your whole week.
That will diminish angry episodes in your life. It will reduce their severity, it will reduce the amount of them. It will have many, many other benefits for you in the long run as well. Consider that.
Looking At The Cause
After I gave you some practical techniques, because I wanted to give you some techniques to control your anger right now, but what I also want to talk about is the root of your anger. The root of your anger is a disintegration of different parts within you.
What you’re doing when you’re angry all the time is denying something within yourself, you’re repressing something. That’s the core of it. This is probably stemming from some sort of childhood trauma or maybe even adulthood trauma. Some sort of event that has shaped your personality, shaped your ego in such a way where now you feel that there’s something within you that you need to repress.
What you’ve done is setup these high moral standards. At the same time, your subconscious mind also realises how hard you have to fight to live up to those moral standards and that you’re not perfect at them yourself.
When you see someone else breaking those standards, you become extra critical, because you want to shift the focus away from yourself. This is a deep idea. Your ego, in fact, if you’ve never heard this idea before, your ego is not going to accept it.
You’re either going to gloss over this, ignore it, or you’re going to say “No, that just doesn’t apply to me.” You’re wrong. You need to do more introspection to understand what’s really going on here. This is factually what’s happening. When you’re getting angry at someone, the only reason you’re angry is because there is a disowned part of you that you are really angry at.
You have not integrated it. For example, you might think being honest is super, super important. Therefore, wherever you see dishonesty, you call it out. You always get angry at that person. Yet, what are the areas of your life you’re dishonest in?
Think about that. That is more of a subtle point than you are willing to admit right now. Maybe you’re going to say “Well, Leo, I’m actually a super, super honest guy. I’m honest all the time. I try so hard to be honest. I try to be more honest than everybody I see out in the world. I’m entitled to this. I’m entitled to be judgemental of people.”
That very struggle you’re going through is already telling us there’s disintegration within you. You would not have to struggle so hard to be honest all the time, if you were truly and naturally comfortable with being honest.
What’s happening is that you’re really forcing yourself into an unnatural, inauthentic state and your body and mind are rebelling against it, and that is causing you to project your anger out into the world in situations where you see that. In situations that highlight your own disownment, your own disintegration.
What you do is focus on the other party, the other person, because it’s more comfortable for your ego to look for the problem out there in the world than admit that you have a problem inside. Anger is all about the inside. It’s not about the world at all.
It’s not about the external world. It’s all about the internal world. It’s about the beliefs you have. It’s about the self-image you have. That is where you have to work. Do that deep work to really get you anger controlled permanently. This can be done.
It takes work. It takes introspection. There are various techniques — I can’t go into all of them now — coaching is great for that, therapy is great for that, various awareness techniques. I would start you off with just being an observer. Go with that technique and do some meditation. Those two will have some big impact on the level of anger you experience.
That is it. I’m going to wrap it up there. That is how to control your anger in a nutshell. I hope you enjoyed it. Please like, please share it, go ahead and subscribe, because I’m releasing videos all the time.
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It’s the psychology that’s the key, that’s why people are tripping up and having miserable lives, not having the results they want. They don’t understand the psychology of success. They don’t, for example, understand what their anger is about, so they’re always angry.
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