How to Overcome a Quick Temper

Calm away the anger

Anger  can be a good thing. It rouses us to action, and as such is a God – given instinct. It was anger which roused men to stop slave trade, and indeed which led to many of the social reforms of the nineteenth century. Certain men become angry at injustice and wrong doing, and their anger spurs them to action.

On the other hand, like many other instincts, anger can be used in such a way that it becomes a bad thing. We get  angry and lose our tempers at the wrong  things, and bring untold misery to ourselves and others.


Uncontrolled anger usually hurts other people, and it always hurts ourselves. It hurts us because it wastes energy, affects our judgement,  increases tension and leaves us fatigued.

The reason for this is quite simple. Anger frees quantities of adrenaline and this makes the heart beat faster. It is intended to lead to action but instead it leaves us tired. Our judgement is affected  and we make decisions which we afterwards regret. Anger can cause ulcers, headaches and a host of other ills.

Anger,  then, can be a useful tool but it can also be a deadly enemy. Many people realize the truth of all this but find it difficult to master their rage and control their temper.

Practical Suggestions:

      How does one begin? Many suggestions have been made us to what to do when you get angry. Many people realize the looking at it to begin with.

a.  Take up some hard physical  labor so that  you are using the extra energy that has been created. To go out into the garden and start digging or to go for a long and strenuous walk will calm away the anger. There is truth of course in this.

b.  Take it out on something inanimate rather than taking it out on people. Go outside and throw stones at something. Use a punching bag. The idea is to work off your anger on something where it does no harm.

c.  Force yourself to keep your voice down. When a person is angry he usually raises his voice and shouts. If you make a deliberate attempt to speak quietly and slowly you find your anger becoming more controlled.

d.  If possible, go and look at your face  in a mirror. The idea behind this suggestion is that an angry person usually looks very funny to someone who is watching. If you look at your angry face you will realize how ridiculous it is get angry.

     There are very useful suggestions about what to do when you are angry. It is much better, however, to build up your character so that you avoid unnecessary anger. There are ways of doing this and in the long run they are most effective.

Character – Formation:

1.  Ask yourself quietly: Why do I get anger and lose my temper? There are usually one or two reasons. Perhaps there is a sense of insecurity somewhere which makes us oversensitive. In this case we need to examine our minds and try to find out why we feel insecure.

     Another reason could be frustration. We want to catch a bus and each one that arrives is full. Because we are anxious to get on our journey we begin to get angry. We are already late and we are limited to a crawl. So we get angry.

     Being over – sensitive because of insecurity and being frustrated are the two chief causes of unnecessary anger. Analyse your own situation – knowing one’s enemy is the first necessity to overcome it.

2.  As far as possible, avoid the situation which leads to frustration. A great thing in life is to learn to accept the things we cannot alter. Do your best – and leave the rest  which is beyond your control. Getting angry will not help – it will only make things more difficult. If you are caught in a traffic jam, accept the fact. You have come as fast as you could. Getting angry will not get you home any quicker. It is far more likely to lead to an accident which will get you home much later, or not at all.

     If you are angry because someone in the office is frustrating you, remember again that a man who loses his temper has lost his case. Accept the fact that you cannot compel another to accept your point of view. There is no reason why he should. Getting angry and losing your temper will accomplish nothing.

3.  Cultivate a sense of perspective. We often lose our tempers over things that are trivial compared with the great issues of life. This sense of perspective has to be cultivated. Make up your mind what really matters  to you in life, and get accustomed to seeing things against that background. If friendship matters to you, it is not worth the risk of losing a friend by losing your temper.

4.  Try to understand people especially those who tend to make you angry. Ask yourself why does a person always make me see red? Why am I so ready to fly into a temper? Try to state quite clearly why you find them so irritating. “To understand all is to forgive all” is sound philosophy.

5.  Practice a relaxed  attitude to life.Getting into a temper is just the opposite to relaxation. However busy you are, you can be relaxed, and a relaxed person cannot lose his temper. Put aside some short time each day to relax quietly. By being relaxed you will accomplish far more  and you will gain a poise which will make the loss of your temper much less of a likelihood.

6.  Use your religious faith. You can pray your way out of a bad temper – so long as you don’t concentrate on your temper. Relax in the presence of God and fix your mind on his serenity.


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