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  • Date :
  • 10/11/2008

Extinguishing the flames: Anger Management


Emotional Intelligence is a way of understanding and shaping how you feel, think and act. One of its

components is self control which relates to the way you handle your emotions.

Anger is a natural emotion experienced when you feel frustrated, hurt, rejected or hostile.

 It can vary in intensity, ranging from mild irritation to violent rage. Anger is a powerful emotion, and unless it is managed properly, it can have a devastating effect on your family, your work and your overall wellbeing.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned’(Buddha). ‘

Like other emotions, anger has an effect on the rest of your body; your heart starts to beat faster, your adrenaline levels increase and your blood pressure and temperature rise. Anger management is the art of

learning to express anger in a positive way.


The five step method set out below can help you to control your anger:


1. Recognise you have a problem:

The first step is to accept that you are feeling anger – don’t be in denial about it! Don’t let it build and simmer

away until you have a violent outburst. If possible, take yourself away from the situation to think about how you feel and why. Look at the bigger picture and consider the consequences of your behaviour before you react.


2. It is OK to have a different opinion:

The world cannot be categorised in terms of black and white or right and wrong. It is important to learn that

everyone has their own subjective opinion, and not to react angrily when someone has a different opinion from



3. Listen:

When you are in a situation that makes you angry, or you are in disagreement with someone, try to

listen to them and empathise (another Emotional Intelligence component) with them. Try to understand the

confl ict from their point of view. This may help to alleviate your own anger.


4. Lifestyle Changes:

 Do you pack too much into your life and therefore struggle to cope with all that life demands of you? Delegate some of your responsibilities and try to find a pleasurable, active way to let off steam to help prevent tension build-up and increase your self-confidence.


5. Look after yourself:

Make sure you eat a balanced and healthy diet, and that you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep and food can make you feel irritable. Are there things in your busy day which other people could help with? It may help to regularly talk things over with a friend or member of the family.

It is virtually impossible to remain calm and sedate all the time. You will feel angry at times, but it’s important

to know how to express your feelings in a healthy way without lashing out, shouting or becoming violent. The

key is to learn how to react calmly when something causes you to feel angry.


The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) reminds us: ‘The best Jihad is Self Control’.


By Marziyah Panju, author of ‘Seven Successful Strategies to Promote Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom’

Other related links:

Breaking the Taboo of Crying

Lack of joy in life ups early death risk

Does Talking to Yourself Mean you’re Crazy?


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