Like any emotion, anger can come at you unexpectedly in response to arising circumstances. Anger does not come from circumstances, it is your reaction to circumstances. You can control your reaction. The first step in addressing anger is seeing how it arises. When you notice anger arise in you, or somebody else, it is important to focus on the anger as you deal with the circumstance. If the anger is in you, you will be under its spell for a period of time. It is important to watch what you do and say in that time. Once anger arises, your practice is to see how long it takes for it to subside. It will subside as your thoughts that feed it change. If you are angry at another person, looking at the situation from their perspective can help you change your thoughts and let your anger out. Simply thinking about your anger, rather that the circumstance will also change your thoughts enough to let the anger abate.

If you encounter anger in another person, it is also important to recognize the anger, as well as the circumstances which inspire it. A normal response to another person’s anger is more anger. If you are able to recognize another person’s anger you have a chance to influence your reaction and not bring more anger to the situation. If you do get angry, then your main practice is to deal with your anger.

When you see that your thoughts turn on and off your anger, you will stop believing that anger is something that just happens to you and you will see that you are a full participant in the process. When you practice recognizing  your anger as it arises, then watching it go, it will not cause you, or others, so much trouble. Where you once turned to anger, you can instead turn to understanding, compassion and peace.

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