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Managing Anger
Question:

Lately I have been losing control of my temper, and it's ugly. I have tremendous energy and a loud, deep voice to begin with, so losing my temper becomes scary to all who witness the explosion (including myself). This hasn't happened to me in a long time, and I'm feeling scared and ashamed. I started a new job earlier this year that I'm not happy in, and I recently took on a project working with a group of people who are inflexible and difficult. I'm sure this is the trigger. What can I do? Please help.


Response:

Since you are aware of the triggers to your temper, that means you are self-aware enough to begin addressing this issue productively.

Here’s a formula you can use over and over again to override that instinctive reaction to lose your temper. It uses the acronym, stop, S.T.O.P.

S. Stands for stop, just stop, hold on, wait a minute.

T. Stands for take three deep breath and then smile.

O. Stands for observe what’s happening inside of you. It probably doesn’t feel very good. But you have to observe it to know that.

P. Stands for proceed with awareness and kindness.

Begin by noticing when you start to judge your colleagues as inflexible and difficult. See if you begin feeling frustrated, upset, Watch yourself going into old patterns instead of seeing the situation afresh. Here is where you simple recognize what you are doing and make a decision to stop. and take a deep breath. Cut off the reaction and go back on the self. Just stopping the old reaction is a step forward. Next take a few deep relaxing breaths and permit yourself the possibility that there is something about this situation that is valuable and useful right now. That is what you can smile inside about and be at peace with. Allow a new way of responding to come up. It’s okay if it doesn’t, just being receptive instead of combative is helpful.

Observing what is happening in your mind, heart and body at this moment will help you become more conscious in your actions in the future instead of acting unconsciously and losing your temper. Observing is not judging, so just notice what is going on without criticism. Finally, in that state of fuller, more balanced awareness, proceed in your action with greater consideration and respect for others. You don’t have to be a perfect example of compassion right away for this technique to work, just keep at it and it will shift your old reactive behavior to calmer and kinder over time.

Love,
Deepak

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Comments

Great process to learn and practice.... I plan to incorporate S.T.O.P. into my life.\nI currently am practicing Breathwork which releases the original source of sadness, fear and anger. Breathwork combined with a Forgiveness Diet (part of process).... I have shed layers of that which holds me back from my aliveness.
Graphic Queen - March 24, 2014
I found myself losing my temper with a colleague last night so this is timely. I call it \"going NY on them\". I try to keep my \"NY\" down but sometimes I find that I can`t. I really like the S.T.O.P method. As a health coach when I am working with clients that have temper issues I will be able to discuss this method with them and ask them to practice it. \n\nThank you Deepak for always inspiring a new way of thinking!
Stephanie Sinagra - October 8, 2013
Yoga
Lolavictor - October 8, 2013
dear mr.Chopra,\n\nin my opinion anger is nothing ugly,coz it´s also an emotion.I was raised not to show any anger,but inside I carry much.So I had a lot of problems in my life to handle with this emotion,I never try to scream out,or anything like this.\nU can not always be nice and kind,which everyone wants from me to do,we all have some sorrows,doupts,fear,and I always try to do my best,coz I´m still lear\nning.\nBlessings for u,Eva Maria from germany.
eva maria uhl - October 8, 2013
(ANGER) is the quality mainly associated with a person which is a response to a stimuli that provokes you to accelerate both mental and physical energies as the person in confronted in a situation. Sudden stopping of Anger may lead to negative perceptions in the brain,in the long run which may give rise to outbursts, which may not be socially acceptable. Just compare fire with anger. Stimuli is ignition by the tool of a match and a candle. The candle burns in it`s own fashion when ignited. The candle also complete the process of burning & extinguished in it`s own fashion.\nProvocation is like lighting the \"anger\" in you in an accelerated pace. So first know what makes you provoked? List them. Think each of them as many times as you can to know that. When you know it in reality, then the \"acceleration\" changes to a \"velocity\". At that time you are natural & you can have a \"grip\" on it. Now if you can easily retard the velocity to a pause. So think that you are the candle glowing gently in it`s own fashion and do not care for the time it will glow. When someone is angry, he uses both physical as well as mental energies resulting in outrages & outbursts. He is a bad listener & a perfect talker & doer. (When someone talks in anger, he releases mental energies & when he does something out of physical energies it may be devastating. So be a lighted candle when ignited & do not accelerate the fire of the candle, which is harmful to you and also to others.Remember one thing: God is not an angry person. Why anger?\n\nNewton`s third Law say`s briefly for every action has an equal & opposite reaction. But this is the Law of Physics. Coming to human beings, we are not supposed to react immediately for any act (We are living human beings). But we can rationalize the reaction by processing the cause of the provocation encountered in a situation to our profit, as finally we learn that \"I was a stupid to react in such a manner\" and start thinking or brooding over the matter in futile actions of ours which kills time and energy.\nScience of Living. (Patron: Prof.T.D.Purohit.)
Tulsidas Purohit - October 6, 2013
I always had trust in my husband but it`s gone temporarily . How do I get it back. NHe`s leaving for 7 weeks to china...... Very anxious and confused...
Trust - October 6, 2013
Dear selfish jackass with \" tremendous energy \" \n\nYou are over meditating and under purifying your weak character and lazy body! \n\n1) eat less food\n2) go to the gym daily\n3) serve others \n4) get a teacher who is harder on you- you are a spoiled BRAT \n5) Deepak deserves students who are less embarrassing!
ReverendZorena Dombrowski - October 5, 2013
keeping it real. Thanks Deepak Chopra I am working on the same thing. Nice to know I am in good company. Peace and Many Blessings
Allie Mi-Mi Carroll - October 3, 2013
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