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Anger, Laughter, and the Practice

Anger can be a useful tool when used with awareness and a purpose. However, most of the anger is useless and harmful. Remembering and practicing the following may be helpful.

Others are not responsible for your anger. When you are angry, mostly it is because of the accumulated anger that is already present in you. The external factors are just being a catalyst for stirring that pre-existing anger in you. By blaming situations and others, you only solidify the anger in you.

Your own desires, ego, greed, attachments, and jealousy are the root-causes of your anger.

Accept the realities of life. Situations will continue to come in life which you don’t want or don’t like. You have no control over them. Certain people will behave in a manner or do things which you may not like or agree with, or which may even cause pain to you. This is inevitable. You want only to gain and succeed in life, but the reality is that you will experience loss and failure also.

Everything in life changes. When the change is inevitable, then why should you get angry and upset when it happens? Similarly, there are many other realities of life which you must realize and accept. Do whatever you can do to make things better but, in most situations, being angry is not the way.

Transform your anger into compassion. When you are feeling hurt and angry, at that time it can be helpful to remember that at times you also sometimes hurt others by your behavior and actions. When someone is angry at you, especially if it is someone who loves you, or someone who has done good things for you in the past, accept their anger by remembering the good things, and your love for each other.

This practice of remembering at the right time will help you in transforming your anger into acceptance and compassion, which is soothing to the inner-being. With time and practice you will become better at it. Just as adding some yogurt to the milk turns all of that milk into yogurt, same way, adding some compassion to the anger turns all anger into compassion.

Laugh daily. The saying  ‘laughter is the best medicine’ is very true. But there is a proper way in which it should be done. With a willingness to let go of the daily events, which irritate you and make you angry, fill your heart with compassion and love for yourself and others, especially those who may have hurt you, then laugh, and laugh more. Let your laughter carry compassion toward all.  Let the laughter come from your heart and allow your whole body to shake.

Do this twice daily and in addition, laugh as soon as you can after an incident of anger. It is hard to laugh when your heart is heavy, but this is the best way to come out of heaviness. Make laughing a part of your sadhana. It will bring comfort to your inner-being, and also improve your physical health. Do the above for six months, you will notice a big reduction in the intensity and duration of your anger. Do it for six years, your anger will be transformed into compassion, like the compassion of a yogi.

This article first appeared on shudham.org. 

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