Mindfully Managing Anger

Updated: Mar 22



This episode, recorded live during a teaching, dives deep into one of the most powerful emotions that can often manifest destructively -- anger. Ven. Tenzin uncovers the triggers of anger - and its antidotes - followed by a reflection that invites us to look at a past episode of anger, understand its roots and see clearly how often anger can be caused by (and cause) a misapprehension of reality.

Show Notes


Characteristics of Anger:

  • Theme: Being thwarted in pursuit of goal that matters to you

  • Effects: Anger controls, punishes and retaliates

  • Dangerous effect: Anger calls forth more anger. It is difficult not to respond to anger with anger, especially when it appears unjustified

  • Why do people want to change anger?

  • It is the dangerous emotion that can quickly hurt others, psychologically, and physically

  • Many taught not to express anger -> guilt, shame

  • For some own anger can get out of control -> fear

Common Anger Triggers

  • Interference and lack of efficacy

  • Disrespect

  • Someone trying to hurt us

  • Another person’s anger

  • Injustice: both societal and personal (not being given credit for work)

  • Disappointment in how a person has acted

  • Betrayal, abandonment, rejection

  • Being falsely accused

  • Breaking a cultural rule

Anger Antidotes

  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes

  • Don’t take it personally!

  • Is the other person mirroring your own unwanted qualities?

  • Do you have a need that is not being met?

  • Check your expectation!

  • Check for an underlying emotion (fear, hurt, vulnerability)

  • Is there an important message?

  • Keep a healthy distance from triggering objects!

  • Cultivating loving-kindness and compassion