Anger is a toxic poison we willingly serve to ourselves. We think that by holding on to our anger that we are somehow punishing those that have wronged us in the past. In truth, we hurt ourselves over and over again by holding on to past experiences and angry emotions. Anger, like stress, is powerful enough to manifest itself in physical ailments. Also, since your focus determines your reality, your focus on anger attracts more opportunities for you to be angry at. It’s time to extinguish your burning anger.

Understand the Source of Your Anger

We mistakenly believe that people and situations make us angry. What really happens is that people do what they do, and situations occur as they must and we choose to be angry about them. Therefore, if we want to find the source of our anger, we must look at why we choose to be angry.

Behind every anger is a fear. Fear of betrayal, loss, not having enough, false accusation, being victimized, or not being loved are all potential sparks to anger. Once those emotions have been evoked, we blame someone as the reason why we are angry. Then, as a means of punishing them for making us feel the way we do, we hold on to that anger.

Holding On to Anger Only Hurts You

The Buddha is credited with saying, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the only one getting burned.” When we hold on to anger, we are only hurting ourselves. While we think we are hurting the person we are angry with, they are going on with their life and are more than likely not thinking about your anger as much as you are. Meanwhile, you are poisoning your mood and your health. You are also wasting thought and energy that could be spent on something else to maintain that level of anger.

Families have stopped speaking for so long that they don’t exactly remember why they aren’t speaking. Friendships end over a minor difference that goes unresolved. Marriages are slowly wrecked as anger builds and the desire to reconcile goes by the wayside. We allow important relationships to deteriorate because of issues that seem big at the time, but are usually not worth the loss of connection with a loved one.

Anger Analysis

The next time you are angry about anything, ask yourself what is it about you that makes this an angry situation for you? Anger doesn’t happen automatically. Anger is always a choice. The next time you find yourself angry, don’t blame the person or people involved. Instead, try to understand what it is about your belief system, past, or fears that makes this an angry situation for you. You’ll find when a particular fear is evoked, you react the same way every time. Figure out the fear behind each anger.

Once you discover the underlying fear in situations that make you the angry, decide how you would prefer to handle those situations. Then, when you become angry in the future, step away from the situation until you can think clearly about it. Once clear and the sting of the anger has warn off some, try to understand what it is about you that makes this an angry situation for you. Decide how you would have preferred to respond to that situation. Then, when a similar situation arises, think first, and then respond the way you choose to.

You don’t have to become a monk or a Vulcan to manage your anger. You do need to pay attention to why you become angry, accept responsibility for your own emotions, and have the discipline to “respond” (as in responsibility) instead of “react” (duplication of a previous action, often without thought).

Author's Bio: 

James LeGrand is the Author of "Evolve!", an best seller in Religion and Spirituality. He is also the publisher of, a free weekly newsletter that presents solutions to life’s issues through the lens of self-help, wisdom, philosophy and spirituality. In addition, James LeGrand is a Life Strategist, an Expert Author with &, a former Radio Personality, a Fortune 500 Vice President, and a Sifu in Shaolin Kungfu, which has been known for centuries as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment.